Friday, April 24, 2009

Silverfin by Charlie Higson

This is the first of the "Young Bond" series. James Bond 007, spy extraordinaire is just beginning high school at an elite prep school in England. He has recently lost his parents. His father and his father's brother Uncle Max both worked for the military and Max was a spy. Max's stories and his teaching Bond to drive are most entertaining. Bond is about to have his first adventure. James, new kid at school quickly makes enemies with the upper class bullies Hellebore, Pruitt and Sedgepole. Hellebore's father, an American Millionaire, initiates a triathlon race with trophy expecting his son to win the entire race. James is known for being a great athlete and there are hopes that he will beat the bully. While that doesn't happen, he does win the foot race and reinforce his enemy status. While on holiday from school, Bond and Hellebore find they are staying near each other in Scotland. Bond has met and helped stowaway Kelly who is going to the same area in search of his recently missing cousin. Rumors abound about the goings on at the Hellebore Castle and at its silverfin loch. Its believed Kelly's cousin met his end there. Its believed something sinister is going on behind the heavily guarded compound. Bond agrees to help Kelly investigate. Indeed there are mad scientists at work trying to create the right pill that will lead to a superhuman. Bond is captured and perhaps will become one of the experimental subjects. Beyond that it would be telling too much! The story takes place just as Adolf Hitler is rising to power. Light reading for adventure enthusiasts, readers of Horowitz and MacHale. JDW 3/24/09

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