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SilverFin is Sunday Times children`s book of the week

20-Mar-2005 • Young Bond

SilverFin, the first of the Young Bond series by author Charlie Higson, is the Sunday Times children's book of the week.

Reviewed by Nicolette Jones:
What is unexpected about this James Bond prequel is that its hero is so ordinary. Fast Show comedian Higson has also written a surprisingly straight-faced adventure, with few in-jokes: a girl called Wilder Lawless and her horse Martini; young James blushing when his aunt predicts success with women; James, on hearing his uncle was a spy, responding, “Really? How exciting.” We learn what turned a decent, unexceptional Eton schoolboy into a legend: who taught him to stay underwater for ages, to love cars and to fight dirty. James is also transformed by his first perilous mission — bullies now find him fearlessly laconic, while hormones injected by a villain make him braver, more aggressive and slightly more stupid (which is a funny idea). Thoughtful about relationships, Silverfin also specialises in explanations: Eton’s peculiar traditions, how car engines work, how to shoot deer or how to cast a line. With careful between-the-wars detail and clear prose, it reads rather like a well-written manual, even when the dangers escalate and a mad, Mendel-admiring millionaire threatens James’s life and the future of the world — which is more the sort of action we expect.

Thanks to `JP` for the alert.

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