Summary and book reviews of Silverfin by Charlie Higson

Silverfin

A James Bond Adventure

By Charlie Higson

Silverfin
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2005,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2006,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the adventure of James Bond, 007, readers meet a young boy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will someday take him across the globe, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals of all time.

When we first meet young James, he's just started boarding school at Eton in the 1930’s, and from there, the action moves to the Highlands of Scotland, where Alfie Kelly, a local boy, has gone missing. James teams up with the boy’s cousin, Red, to investigate the mystery, and they soon discover that Alfie’s disappearance is linked to a madman and his sinister plot for global power.

Acclaimed British author Charlie Higson has written a brilliantly crafted tale that reveals the unknown story of a boy who grew up to become one the most iconic figures of our time. SilverFin is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will mesmerize readers of all ages.

James was shivering. His body felt raw, as if he'd had the skin peeled off it, like Croaker's eel. He rubbed his arms to try to get some feeling back into them, and the raised goose bumps made them feel as rough as sandpaper.

If it was this cold out of the water, what was it going to be like in it?

Well, there was only one way to find out.

It was half an hour before afternoon lessons and he was standing on a low diving board at Ward's Mead, peering at the water, which looked like some of Codrose's less appetizing soup. Cold soup. Freezing-cold soup.

"Come on, then," he said out loud. "Just do it."

He pulled back his arms, took a deep breath and flung himself forward. When he entered the water it was like being hit by a cricket bat. He was stunned by the cold and for a moment he couldn't move, but then he came alive, clawed his way to the surface and gasped. All his limbs were aching and his throbbing head felt numb. The ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

Silverfin, the first in a planned 5 part series, has received relatively poor media reveiws. A number comment that there isn't enough of the adult bond in the 13 year old James. To that I say, what a relief! I don't think I could have put up with a thirteen-year-old who was that smooth and self-assured. The young Bond is an orphan who doesn't follow the crowd and is more than comfortable spending time alone, but equally he knows a good friend when he sees one and sticks by the ones he makes; he's an exceptional athlete in some areas and speaks multiple languages, but has never thought of these as talents to be proud of. The bottom line is he's an all round nice, unassuming sort of chap, and thoughtful to boot.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (549 words).

Media Reviews
Author Blurb Philip Ardagh
This is a most enjoyable, well-written book which is well worth a read even if you're not a James Bond fan.

Sunday Times (UK), Nicolette Jones

What is unexpected about this James Bond prequel is that its hero is so ordinary.....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.

School Library Journal - Angela M. Boccuzzi-Reichert

The book may appeal to serious Bond fans, but for students who are looking for mystery and adventure, Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" books (Philomel) are a better choice.-Angela M. Boccuzzi-Reichert

Publishers Weekly

Sadly, there's no hint of the bon vivant James later becomes, but there is a blond, green-eyed beauty named Wilder Lawless who comes to his rescue on horseback. The steed's name? Martini.

Reader Reviews
Dophile Hilglebottom

Best book
My quadruplets love this book I read it to them ever night and they love it! action packed! full of adventure and what's more? Charlie Higson wrote it! I am a single mum that loves reading books to my children! We love you Charlie!!!!

Tyler Maass

SilverFin
This is an amazing book. A great read for those 10 and up who love a good, exciting book. Close to the end, I was so wraped up in my book, my mom had to shake me for five minutes before I became aware. I would totaly recomend this book to anyone I ...   Read More

super spy

a great read
I am 13, and red about Silverfin in a magezine. I had never really thought about what Bond was like as a kid until I read about this book. It looked good enough so I read it. I know what you might be thinking; The author doesn't know anything about ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Charlie Higson is a well-known British comedy writer, producer, and actor, particularly well known for writing and performing on the hit 1990s comedy The Fast Show. His novels include the Young Bond series and four blackly humorous novels for adults: Getting Rid of Mister Kitchen (1996), Full Whack (1995), Happy Now (1993), and King of the Ants (1992).

The Young Bond series to date:
1. Silverfin (2005)
2. Blood Fever (2006, January in UK, June in USA).

Interesting link: Ian Fleming's impression of James Bond, drawn by an unknown artist (it would seem that out of all the movie Bonds, Pierce Brosnan is the closest to what Fleming envisaged.

By the way, did you know there's a new Bond movie, Casino Royale, with ...

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