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on 7 October 2007
**WARNING: This review does have a few minor plot spoilers**

Charlie Higson's newest Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold, is a bit of an oddity. One aspect that always shined through as the winning formula of the previous three novels in the series, especially evident in both Blood Fever and Double or Die, was the delicate and interesting mixture between the young James Bond character and the adult 007 he will eventually become. The main character is most undoubtedly a boy and one could argue that is the prime audience these novels should be attempting to please, but Higson always managed to perfectly fit together the puzzle pieces such as new and intriguing locations, the outlandish villains and their sinister plans so that they worked on both the Young Bond and 007 levels. With Hurricane Gold, it seems like the focus was much more in creating a young boy's adventure story and it results in somewhat throwing off that compelling combination.

In the most recent novel in the series, Double or Die, the story's events were always on a tight timescale as James and his friends frantically rushed around London trying to solve several cryptic clues in search of the missing professor. Hurricane Gold's plot is slightly less defined, but the pace still moves at breakneck speed. One of the first things the reader will immediately notice upon starting Hurricane Gold is the absence of any scenes at Eton. With this location out of the way, the action can promptly begin in Mexico. This is an interesting departure for the series in terms of the basic setup for the storyline, but Higson makes it work by interspersing three letters from Bond's friends at Eton (Pritpal Nandra, Perry Mandeville and Mr. Merriot), thus keeping the reader in tune with the general events going on at the school.

The boy's adventure story aspect is most clearly evident in the setup and execution of the many action sequences throughout the majority of the novel. With Blood Fever and Double or Die, the action seemed to alternate with breaks evenly throughout (particularly in Double or Die because of the mystery elements), but in Hurricane Gold, the key word is action from the very beginning. Sequences such as the hurricane and resulting flood are effective, but combined altogether it just doesn't completely feel like the Young James Bond stories we've had in the past.

One of the highlights of Hurricane Gold is the Bond girl of the story, Precious Stone. In a particularly inspired introduction, Bond first meets the initially pretentious and conceited girl as she sits in front of a large make-up mirror, painting her nails: "`You must be James,' she said without looking round." The sequence is faintly reminiscent of Bond's first encounter with the cool and carefree Tiffany Case in Ian Fleming's Diamonds are Forever. Her exhaustive complaining during much of the first half of the novel balances well with the common sense approach Bond uses throughout and it makes for a believable relationship between the two.

Slightly less successful (for the first time in the series) are the villains of Hurricane Gold. El Huracán is certainly one of the more outlandish characters featured so far and he makes a strong impression as he introduces the avenida de la muerte--the avenue of death--at the very beginning of the novel. The main problem is that his appearances throughout the story are limited and even with the addition of details on his past life, he just doesn't make the same kind of impression that earlier villains such as Count Ugo Carnifex and Sir John Charnage did. More effective is the mysterious Theda Glass who leads the gang of thieves and interacts with Bond throughout the first half of the novel. Unfortunately, due to the storyline, the character's importance ultimately pales in comparison to El Huracán.

As with the previous novels in the series, Hurricane Gold has its own unique torture sequence, this time with an assortment of unfriendly creatures. La Avenida de la Muerte has a little bit of everything, whether it be snakes, scorpions, or crocodiles. The surprise of not knowing what is in store in each new room as Bond and Precious proceed through the avenue of death makes for an effective climax.

Do I recommend Hurricane Gold for interested Bond fans? Yes; definitely. It features several intriguing locations that are new to the literary 007 canon and has a pace that never tires. In turn, the aspect that makes the novel disappointing compared to the previous novels in the series is that isn't as enjoyable as a James Bond novel. Hurricane Gold works extremely well as a young boy's adventure novel, but it just feels like the mixture of Young Bond and 007 isn't quite complete.

commanderbond.net
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on 7 October 2007
**WARNING: This review does have a few minor plot spoilers**

Charlie Higson's newest Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold, is a bit of an oddity. One aspect that always shined through as the winning formula of the previous three novels in the series, especially evident in both Blood Fever and Double or Die, was the delicate and interesting mixture between the young James Bond character and the adult 007 he will eventually become. The main character is most undoubtedly a boy and one could argue that is the prime audience these novels should be attempting to please, but Higson always managed to perfectly fit together the puzzle pieces such as new and intriguing locations, the outlandish villains and their sinister plans so that they worked on both the Young Bond and 007 levels. With Hurricane Gold, it seems like the focus was much more in creating a young boy's adventure story and it results in somewhat throwing off that compelling combination.

In the most recent novel in the series, Double or Die, the story's events were always on a tight timescale as James and his friends frantically rushed around London trying to solve several cryptic clues in search of the missing professor. Hurricane Gold's plot is slightly less defined, but the pace still moves at breakneck speed. One of the first things the reader will immediately notice upon starting Hurricane Gold is the absence of any scenes at Eton. With this location out of the way, the action can promptly begin in Mexico. This is an interesting departure for the series in terms of the basic setup for the storyline, but Higson makes it work by interspersing three letters from Bond's friends at Eton (Pritpal Nandra, Perry Mandeville and Mr. Merriot), thus keeping the reader in tune with the general events going on at the school.

The boy's adventure story aspect is most clearly evident in the setup and execution of the many action sequences throughout the majority of the novel. With Blood Fever and Double or Die, the action seemed to alternate with breaks evenly throughout (particularly in Double or Die because of the mystery elements), but in Hurricane Gold, the key word is action from the very beginning. Sequences such as the hurricane and resulting flood are effective, but combined altogether it just doesn't completely feel like the Young James Bond stories we've had in the past.

One of the highlights of Hurricane Gold is the Bond girl of the story, Precious Stone. In a particularly inspired introduction, Bond first meets the initially pretentious and conceited girl as she sits in front of a large make-up mirror, painting her nails: "`You must be James,' she said without looking round." The sequence is faintly reminiscent of Bond's first encounter with the cool and carefree Tiffany Case in Ian Fleming's Diamonds are Forever. Her exhaustive complaining during much of the first half of the novel balances well with the common sense approach Bond uses throughout and it makes for a believable relationship between the two.

Slightly less successful (for the first time in the series) are the villains of Hurricane Gold. El Huracán is certainly one of the more outlandish characters featured so far and he makes a strong impression as he introduces the avenida de la muerte--the avenue of death--at the very beginning of the novel. The main problem is that his appearances throughout the story are limited and even with the addition of details on his past life, he just doesn't make the same kind of impression that earlier villains such as Count Ugo Carnifex and Sir John Charnage did. More effective is the mysterious Theda Glass who leads the gang of thieves and interacts with Bond throughout the first half of the novel. Unfortunately, due to the storyline, the character's importance ultimately pales in comparison to El Huracán.

As with the previous novels in the series, Hurricane Gold has its own unique torture sequence, this time with an assortment of unfriendly creatures. La Avenida de la Muerte has a little bit of everything, whether it be snakes, scorpions, or crocodiles. The surprise of not knowing what is in store in each new room as Bond and Precious proceed through the avenue of death makes for an effective climax.

Do I recommend Hurricane Gold for interested Bond fans? Yes; definitely. It features several intriguing locations that are new to the literary 007 canon and has a pace that never tires. In turn, the aspect that makes the novel disappointing compared to the previous novels in the series is that isn't as enjoyable as a James Bond novel. Hurricane Gold works extremely well as a young boy's adventure novel, but it just feels like the mixture of Young Bond and 007 isn't quite complete.

commanderbond.net
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on 24 July 2009
If you dont read much because you find too few exciting books out there then this one is for you! If you are like my partner and read a new book every day and are an avid James Bond reader (even the classic novels), I am sure you will love this.

I am always reluctant to pick up a book over using my computer, but these are really good! They kept me reading the entire series so far and I cant wait for the next book. They are fun, exciting and really give you an idea how James Bond learnt all the skills that made him the man you read/see today. If you are looking for flaws and inconsistancies - good luck!

Happy reading
-T
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on 14 February 2009
I am not a big fan of the Young James Bond series. I have read the previous three and believed that Charlie Higson was turning a great idea into a mediocre series. I was plesently suprised by the fourth installment of the bestselling series. It's fast, fun, and you're on the edge of you're seat the whole way through. Like always there are many layers behind the plot, it is not complex, but for a young adult book it is. You have to find out many things for yourself and the author uses a very good job of foreshadowing. Charlie struck gold (sorry couldn't help myself) in this book. It does resemble the third Alex Rider book by Anthony Horowitz. It is similar and sure sometimes old Charlie might of looked through it for some inspiration, but it is not a copy. The storyline is similar in many books, even if Charlie used Skeleton Key as a refrence a few times he did make it his own. This is a must read for all teen spy lovers, and fans of young adult litriture.
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on 23 July 2010
I'm a big fan of the Young Bond series, and this is just as good as the previous three. After the stress of his experiences in Double or Die, James is in Mexico with his aunt for some much-needed relaxation. Luckily for us, he doesn't get the chance to put his feet up for long, as he gets drawn toward an island where villains can spend the rest of their lives without the threat of the law hanging over them. The catch is, they're never allowed to leave..

It's always a real test of a character when they can be removed from a familiar setting - in this case Eton - and still be as engaging and rewarding. Thankfully, this book has action and drama in spades, and is well worth a read.
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on 14 April 2013
My grandson has got three of Charlie Higson's Young Bond series and has really enjoyed reading them. They are very well written and have loads of action and excitement in them and I bought him this for his 11th birthday as he said he would like it. I read the first bit on-line and was hooked myself! I can really recommend this book for youngsters and I am sure girls would find it good reading too.
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on 15 September 2007
Bond is BACK in this terrific 4th Young Bond novel. This time author Charlie Higson shakes up the formula and elects not to have any set-up scenes at Eton. Instead, Higson throws Bond almost instantly into action in a hurricane ravaged Mexico (amazingly, a location Bond has never been before). In many ways, this book is a sister to Book 3, Double or Die (released earlier this year), in that it is very much about its location and is jammed with action and a wild collection of sinister villains. But I expect Hurricane Gold will easily become the favorite Young Bond novel thus far as Charlie seems to have perfected his own unique "Young Bond" formula (a curious mix of James Bond, boys adventure, surprising amounts of gore, and dry wit) and executes it here perfectly. Even publisher Puffin seems to be throwing in with this book as it is the first Young Bond to be published in hardcover...and dig that all-gold cover!

The only disappointment with this series is the realization that there is only one book left.
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on 13 July 2013
I bought this and 2 others in the Young Bond series for my grandson's 12th birthday, as he had already read another one of the series. He rated them 4 and a half - he liked them!
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on 23 July 2014
This book Is Sooooooooooo awesome. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Recommend for mystery lovers and James Bond fans (books +movies) I looooooooove James Bond
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on 12 April 2015
Amazing book, read the other books before this one to understand hurricane gold. People who like the Alex Rider books will love this series
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