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Young Bond: Shoot to Kill Hardcover – 6 Nov 2014

4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (6 Nov. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857533738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857533739
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"There are car chases, fight scenes, a glamorous party and a final shoot-out that is surely a homage to the climax of The Man With the Golden Gun . . . [Cole] is a master of action, and the scenes on the sinister airship as it makes its way over the Atlantic are particularly tense." (Suzi Feay The Financial Times)

"What impressed me most about Shoot to Kill was Cole’s ability to create a contained story that moved the character of James Bond on, but stayed true to the Fleming vision. Children will love the action elements of this book, but even an adult who is a fan of Bond can get some sneaky pleasure out of the book." (The Bookbag)

"The story was exciting and the period details were authentic; he has obviously done his research and handles his material with confidence. The writing is economical and the characters are well drawn, they include some suitably villainous bad guys plus strong female roles too. As a life-long fan of Fleming's books Steve Cole is comfortable in Bond's world including several playful nods to the older Bond's character." (Clair Stanton We Love This Book)

"Action-packed, with references to Fleming's Bond that will surprise and delight the most avid Bond fan." (Mail on Sunday)

"Comedy, dash and imagination refresh a rebooted British hero." (Amanda Craig New Statesman)

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Young Bond is back!

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I hadn't read any of the Young Bond books before - I suppose I felt that Bond was too difficult a character to investigate as a young man, that the Young Bond books would be one spin-off/re-boot/reimagining too far... also that this was bound to mean that the books would be quite violent for the younger end of the reading range these books were being aimed at; with hindsight I realise that my logic for avoiding them was quite faulty, and my memory short, because (whether a good or bad thing is another matter) I was reading Fleming's Bond books at around the age of 12 or 13, so very much the ages children read Young Bond books now...

All of that said, any misgivings about the suitability of the idea or worries about the execution of it faded quickly when I started to read Shoot To Kill. Cole has clearly had to write within quite imposing restrictions - Bond isn't yet a martini-guzzling, Beretta/Walther-toting assassin but clearly he still has to get into dangerous situations (or dangerous situations find him)...events have to take place that will help shape the future of the spy. Cole skilfully takes on Bond from where Higson left off (again, within what little of the back history Fleming left us with, Bond has to move school after having been thrown out of Eton) into what appears to be a temporary limbo; but very quickly a fascinating adventure develops. The fact that Bond finds his way across the Atlantic to the seemingly glamorous Allworld Studios in Hollywoodland as part of the plot works well. It's pacy, it's well-written and Cole has clearly done his homework - the period detail is seamlessly incorporated into the story and enhances it; the supporting characters are well-drawn, Bond is believable...above all it's a cracking good story and a page-turner. I read the last 200-odd pages in one sitting. Definitely one to read and has made me think seriously about reading Higson's entries as well.
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Format: Hardcover
A new Young Bond novel that I didn't even find out about until the day after publication - not sure if that's a black mark for the marketing department (not sure I'm target audience) or Amazon's recommendations (which should definitely know I'm a Bond fan).

The story takes place following the end of the series written by Charlie Higson (which covered Bond's time at Eton) but before he starts at his next school, Fettes - which allows the author to have some fun and take Bond away from home much in the style of many of the original Fleming novels.

Despite the setting in the earlier half of the twentieth century, Coles has managed to craft a really exciting story that doesn't feel dated to a (admittedly slightly old) reader in the twenty-first. It's full of the technology, peril, adventure, glamour and action that's expected of James Bond, and while there are tiny hints of things to come, it skips some of the aspects of the original character that might not work in a book aimed at younger readers.

An exciting, superbly paced, richly detailed story about one of my favourite characters that really hints, perhaps more so than Higson even, at the man Bond will become.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charlie Higson's five Young Bond novels were dark and layered and embraced by both kids and adults. They were about Bond becoming England's "blunt instrument" -- becoming Ian Fleming's James Bond. Steve Cole's first book, Shoot To Kill, suggests that his series might be more about building the heroic and stoic 007 -- less Ian Fleming's hero than the James Bond of popular culture. Shoot To Kill is lighter and more straightforward than Higson. While there might not be enough thematic meat here for adults, this might serve the core young readership and the overall Young Bond franchise extremely well. If Higson gave us Harry Potter, Cole is giving us Alex Rider. Choose your mega-success.

The plot of Shoot To Kill is well handled and the opening chapter has a terrific Film Noir feel and a nice twist. Young Bond himself feels much like Higson's character, and the Young Bond Girl, Boudicca "Boody" Price, is very well drawn. The author also offers up several nods to Fleming that hardcore fans will appreciate. The first chapter is titled "You Asked For It" (the title of the first American Casino Royale paperback), and at one point James passes himself off as the son of Hoagy Carmichael (Fleming's physical model for 007). And while Steve doesn't quite yet have the Higson touch when it comes to penning atmosphere, he is just as capable with the action scenes.

Hollywood is a location that is LONG overdue for a Bond visit, and it's exciting to finally have a Hollywood-set James Bond adventure. However, I feel like the author's handling of the L.A. locations isn't as well researched as it could be. There are a few errors that are hard to get past, such as mentions of freeways which didn't exist in 1934.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Inevitably anyone following on from Charlie Higson and the adult Bond books will be compared to what has gone before... so how does it compare?

I enjoyed it whilst I read it, in a guilty pleasure way - it is quite a decent page turner but it is far, far, far below the standard of the other Young Bond novels (which I have started re-reading since).

Plot - not great, lots of holes, iffily worked out motivations of the villains
Characterisations - Bond is a cipher of the Higson character. It's a shame. His supporting cast aren't any better.

So why 3 stars? It's more 2.5 to be honest. It's enjoyable if you can disengage your brain. It's the equivalent of a dumb fun blockbuster - the Transformers of Bond novels.
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