on 7 October 2008
Like the Young Bond series itself, the first Young Bond Graphic Novel adaption is cut above all others in its class. Kev Walker's artwork and layouts are just fantastic, and I'm happy to see that, while they've obviously had to condense the book, nothing major has been omitted (aside from the to-hot-for-the-US-publisher wrestling match between Bond and Wilder). I didn't think the trip to the circus would make this version, but it's there!
I also really enjoyed the new visual winks added by Walker -- like Bond wearing #007 on his chest during the foot race. Maybe that would have been too much for the book, but it works here, and I especially love how it's revealed.
Now, am I crazy, or has Walker revised his image of Young Bond to look a little more like a young Daniel Craig than a young Pierce Brosnan? Hey, it's fine by me!
I really hope this book does well and they continue on with the series. The Young Bond books, IMO, just got better and better as they went along, and it would be wonderful to see Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command adapted into graphic novels of this quality.
on 20 December 2012
My Son, who is 8 years old, has recently become enamoured with the James Bond film franchise since I introduced it to him when I bought the blu ray movie collection.
Since then he has watched most of the films and thoroughly enjoyed them so I thought this series of books would be fun for him.
He read them in a matter of days and thought they were fantastic and I'm happy because the subject matter in the films is sometimes a tad too dark for a pre-teen whilst these books are perfect.
My Son highly recommends them.
on 26 December 2010
I am twelve and I think this is a great book for those ten to adults as it contains action mystery and romance. The story was written about James Bond in the years between the two world wars. James hates his schooling at Eton so when the summer holidays come he travels up to his aunt and uncle's lodgings up in Scotland. A mystery unfolds as a murder is discovered and strange coincedences occur.
This book is perfect for those who cant bear another story of fairys and talking animals.
on 30 March 2009
This graphic novel of Silverfin is extraordinarily good. The characters jump from the page and draw you into the adventure. Little touches like Young James wearing 007 on his racing vest tickled me. My 10 and 8 year olds zipped through it asking if the other novels will also be available in this format. Great job Charlie!!!
I have not read any of the Young Bond novels, but found this `graphic novel' adaption of the first book in the series in my local library, and as a comic-book reader, thought that I'd give it a go.
It is an excellent adventure story, well structured and with excellent artwork. The artwork is a bit `cartoony', like many mainstream American comic are nowadays, and not in the more `naturalistic' style that you will find in the James Bond newspaper strip collections of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, but it works well with the story presented here.
There is an opening pre-credit sequence, where we see that there is something fishy going on in Loch Silverfin, in Scotland, with a sinister-looking castle in the background.
Part One introduces us to James Bond, and introduces Bond to Eton school. We meet some of his schoolfriends, and a school bully, one George Hellebore, whose father is Lord Hellebore, an expatriate American weapons manufacturer, on whom Bond makes an impression when they first meet. We see Bond building up his athletic prowess as we head towards the school sports day, sponsored by Lord Hellebore. Young George, who is trying to impress his father, tries cheating in one of the events, only to be caught by Bond, who ruins his chances of winning the competition - something Bond is fond of doing in his adult novels. We can see that Lord Hellbore is not happy with his son's lack of success - a characteristic he shares with the Green Goblin over in the Spider-man comic book.
Part Two sees us heading off to Scotland for the school summer holidays. Bond helps a young lad sneak on to the train, who is off to Scotland to help look for his missing cousin - the figure that we saw in the opening scene. George Hellebore is also off to his father's castle in Scotland for the holidays. He and Bond have a run-in on the train, and he is helped out of a dangerous situation by `Red' Kelley, the boy who he helped earlier. Everyone is heading for the shores of Loch Silverfin, it turns out.
James is staying with his uncle and aunt - though at a more modest house than Skyfall - and among other things, learns of his uncle's exploits as a spy during the (Great) War. James and Red go looking for the missing cousin, making the acquaintance of Miss Wilder Lawless, a horse-riding neighbour along the way. On the shore of Loch Silverfin, overlooking the sinister castle we saw at the beginning of the book, Bond sees a man in a primitive hazmat suit throwing something into the loch, and makes the acquaintance of Mr Mike `Meatpacker' Moran, a Pinkerton Detective, who is investigating Lord Hellebore.
Part Three sees Bond and Red keeping the castle under surveillance, and they see Moran's body recovered from the loch. Bond sneaks in to the castle, and finds a laboratory with some sinister experiments underway. He is captured, and, in traditional villainous fashion, Lord Hellebore explains what he is doing, why he is doing it, and who he has been doing it to. Then he does it to Bond, who is subsequently locked in a dungeon, so they can observe the results. Remembering his uncle's account of his exploits as a spy, Bond manages to escape the dungeon, and, after several escapades in the best Bond tradition, along with the help of Miss Lawless along the way, returns to his camp, where he finds young George Hellebore, who has come looking for help to stop his father, following some disturbing scenes between them earlier on the story. They return to the castle for a suitably spectacular Bond-like confrontation and finale.
The only fault I can find with the story is the implication that the experiment on Bond in the dungeon has imbued him with a Captain America/Spider-Man enhanced strength and stamina. If this only lasts for this story, or at least for the Young Bond stories, then fair enough, but if the implication is that this is what gives him his abilities in the adult bond stories, then it is a serious mistake, as it is Bond's human failings that make his original stories the classics that they are today.
My six year old son has recently finished reading Silverfin, in the regular paperback form. I was extremely surprised to see a child so young so enthralled by spy thriller, even if it a young adult version. Although he loved the book - in fact he has talked about little else other than James Bond, spies and secret agents since, I thought he might enjoy a copy with pictures even more.
My hopes were not too high for this book. At 160 pages, less than half that of the paperback, and being made up, in large part of pictures, I assumed a great deal of the story would have to be sacrificed. I was wrong. While the pictures a single picture may not paint 1,000 words, the whole of the pictures effortlessly replaces quite a bit of the text without any loss of story line. Having read both this and the original paperback, I have found the storyline identical. There really is nothing lost in the transfer to a graphic format. I do have a slight preference for the unillustrated version, simply because I like to let my imagination fill in the details, and I read too fast as it is. A good paperback rationed out can last me a few days - and I do have to limit myself so as not to finish it one night. This on the other could be used up in hour, although it took my son a full day to read it. It is still very much a book I could enjoy though.
My son on the other hand loves this book. He immediately asked for Bloodfever in this format, and seeing the joy this has brought I decided to buy it. Unfortunately this is the only young James Bond book available as a graphic novel. More's the pity. These are the type of books that would make any boy into avid readers! I honestly think the decline in comic books has been matched by a decline in literacy. Many studies have shown that children who enjoyed comics were more likely to become fluent readers. More recent studies show how much more students understand and enjoy the classics in graphic form, and even the bible is now available in comic strip style.
Fpr those who have not read the full length version, this is the first in a series about James Bond as young boy. An unimaginable terror as a crazed arms salesman and a mad scientist team up to create an aberration of nature. When a young boy sneaks under the fences for a chance to fish in this secret lake, an chain of events is set off which include Bond, and deeply affect the man he will become. This book gives us the chance to see Bon's character develop and watch him mature from a kind but somewhat frightened young boy, into a confident, couragous and very resourceful young man. It is full of action and excitement, and provides a good role model as well.
I think this is one of the very best children's books ever written. I am only sorry there are no more books like this. I fully recommend this book for all ages.
on 18 December 2010
It's James Bond's first term (or rather, his first half) at Eton and things take a bit of getting used to. Odd rules and customs seem incompressible and some of the older pupils can be, well, bullies. Soon, however, it's the Easter holidays and a chance to rest at the home of his Uncle in the highlands of Scotland, near Loch Silverfin. Little does he know that things are about to take a dark twist and he will find himself drawn into an adventure he never expected...
This is the first of Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels, which are fully authorised by Ian Fleming Publications. In it he begins to construct a back story for Bond' and his early life as a child in post World War I Britain.
Higson has cleverly taken the essence of Bond's character - grit, courage and determination - and transposed it to into a younger, more naive vessel. He has also taken the best loved elements of the films - the manic villain, the chases, the Bond girl - and worked them into the plot, thus enhancing the authenticity of this as a part of the Bond canon.
Despite being set between the wars, he has given the characters - and their dialogue - a current feel in keeping with his young audience. Although slightly odd, from the perspective of an older reader, this approach does work and the target audience (11-13 year old boys, I'd say) will take it for granted.
There are a couple of places where, for me, he does misses the mark, though. For instance, I thought naming the girl Wilder Lawless was fun but naming her horse Martini was a bit much. Such squabbles were minor though and did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. Indeed, I liked it so much I have already added the next, Blood Fever, to my Amazon wish list.
I'd thoroughly recommend Silverfin to any fan of James Bond, young or old.
This is a graphic novel version of the first Young Bond novel, which tells the story in an exciting way. I purchased some graphic novels for my eight year old son, who I noticed was dilligently reading his school book, but much less likely to pick up a book for pleasure (which worried me I have to admit). Since receiving a batch of graphic novels over the holidays, he has picked them up, flicked through them and become hooked on reading again. These are an ideal way to introduce reluctant readers to a love of books and my son has now asked me for the next in the series, as well as the original version of this novel. However, graphic novels are not a poor second at all - this is a well produced book with a great attention to detail and great fun. Which is, after all, the whole point of reading.
on 10 April 2015
As an adult I was somewhat reluctant to read SilverFin by Charlie Higson. I thought that it would be too simplistically written and plotted to keep me entertained; how wrong I was! SilverFin is the first novel in the Young Bond series and it’s a book written for the teenage market with Bond portrayed as an adolescent in the 1930s. This is the first of Higson’s Young Bond novels and as they feature the words “James Bond” on the cover they are all fully sanctioned by Ian Fleming Publications.
The novel exceeded my expectations as it provided a very solid back story for the Fleming novels to come. References were cleverly added to tie in with what we already know about Bond: his appearance, life, friends, family, likes, dislikes and the details we already knew about his past and which helped to forever shape him. Higson also ingeniously uses what we all know and love about the movies too and weaves them into the story: the mad villain, the car chases, the fiendish plan, henchmen and even a Bond girl with a suitable outlandish name: Wilder Lawless. I must say that naming her horse, “Martini” was probably one step too far. Other points I noted was that the opening is very similar to Ian Fleming‘s Casino Royale, Bond’s Aunt and Uncle drive the same Bentley as Bond and the Mighty Donovan name-checked at the circus is probably Red Grant‘s father. I’m sure that there are lots more which I’ve missed?
While the story fitted with what was possible within the constraints of being a 13 year old boy one concession Higson does make is that despite being set between WWI and WW2 the characters language is modern and understandable, something which fits into the target market expectations but not something you’d probably see in an adult book.
As the plot is revealed the details of the villain’s dastardly plan become clear, building to a final thrilling culmination of action and suspense. Of course, being Bond he finds himself in all sorts of “impossible to escape from” situations, which of course he escapes from. But that has always been one of the fun parts of Bond, understanding the dreadful situation Bond finds himself in and trying to figure out how you would breakout and then seeing how he does it. Towards the end of the book Bond faces one punishing experience after another, its fairly relentless stuff. I found myself thinking that perhaps some of these could have been cut out as the more Bond has to go through the more far-fetched it becomes. But saying this it was still a fun and easy book to read, especially as the writing is undemanding for an adult.
So in summary, a nice distraction from my main project in 2015 of reading all of the original Fleming books and I’ll definitely add the follow-up, Blood Fever to my “to-read” list. I suppose one factor as to whether or not you will like the book is how much you want Bonds back story to remain ambiguous. If you want his past to be shrouded in mystery with only a few details being revealed then you may want to avoid SilverFin, but I would certainly recommend Silverfin to any Bond fan, regardless of their age.
on 3 November 2009
From Rowan (age 9) I enjoyed the story but found Charlie Higson's voice a bit monotonous. Not as good as Alex Rider so I'll probably only listen to it once.