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Young Bond: Double or Die Paperback – 5 Apr 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Publisher: Puffin (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141343397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141343396
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This is writing for children of the highest order (Spectator)

Charlie Higson's Young Bond books get an A* (GQ)

About the Author

Charlie Higson is a well-known writer of screenplays and adult thriller novels. He's also a performer and co-creator of The Fast Show. He has written five mega-selling novels about Young Bond - Silverfin, Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold and By Royal Command, as well as Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier and best-selling teen thrillers The Enemy and The Dead.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Charlie Higson's Double or Die is the pivot on which the Young Bond series turns. Double or Die both pulls from past books and points to the future. Where SilverFin infused Bond with his fearless instinct and Blood Fever developed his brawn, Double or Die works his mind (and ours). This Young Bond novel is psychologically more complex than its predecessors. Indeed, with its many scenes set in tombs and tunnels, Double or Die drips with Freudian undercurrents.

Thematically, Double or Die is an adventure of the mind. Bond and his band of friends must decrypt puzzles and clues contained within a mysterious cipher sent by a kidnapped professor. Higson plays the motif throughout as references to skulls and the brain abound. Where Blood Fever was bright and expansive, Double or Die is dark and contained. While this could make it a lesser Bondian adventure for some, the smaller scale allows Higson to work in greater texture and detail, making Double or Die the most vivid and visual of all the Young Bond novels to date. It's also the Young Bond novel that showcases its 1930s setting the best as Higson peppers the book with delightful period slang and long forgotten brand names.

The body count in Double or Die is lower than Blood Fever, but Higson doesn't skimp on the gore, especially during the terrific climax on the London Docklands and inside an abandon pneumatic railway (wonderful Bondian locations both). The fact that the henchmen comes away from each encounter with Young Bond missing another body part is grisly good fun and pure Bond. Higson adds a surprising postscript to this book that is unlike anything that has yet appeared in a Young Bond novel. I will leave it to the reader to discover it, and decide whether it belongs in the Young Bond universe.
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Format: Paperback
As a 41-year-old mother of two, I am not exactly this book's target audience, but I thought it was pretty close to perfect. I've read the other two Young Bond books, but the author has really hit his stride with this one. It's exciting and cleverly plotted, with more than enough action to satisfy every boy (and surely every girl) who reads it and also enough hints at how Bond ends up the man we know from the Fleming books to intrigue adults. I gulped it down in two sittings and now envy all those who have yet to enjoy escaping into it. Surely no one with a pulse would fail to enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
Introductions came with SilverFin. Development and maturity followed in Blood Fever. In Double Or Die, Charlie Higson's third novel in the increasingly popular Young Bond series, the key word here is expansion. The first two novels proved that this is indeed no ordinary boy. Bond is obviously quite capable in dealing with an assortment of villains and his past battles have been quite noteworthy. With that in mind, a challenge is created for the author. The truly difficult task in creating the third novel in a series is simply not writing the second one over again. Blood Fever was an incredibly easy Bond novel for the reader to enjoy. With locations in both the UK and Sardinia and unquestionably bizarre villains with even more outrageous plans, the second novel Young Bond is larger than life. How does Higson succeed in making Double Or Die just as enjoyable; and even more importantly, different? Going in the exact opposite direction.

Charlie Higson expands the Young Bond series by restraining Double Or Die from the exotic and glamorous style that characterized Blood Fever. With the entire storyline taking place over the course of only a few days, this third novel gives off the impression of being a much more reserved (and dark) mystery. Thankfully, the pace moves at breakneck speed, making each and every page tense and unputdownable. The solving of the cryptic clues early on in the story is a perfect example. Whether working out the clues in the company of Pritpal and Tommy or trying to figure them out on his own, they are a constant weight on Bond's mind due to the extremely limited amount of time remaining.

Confining the novel to locations only within the UK is another brilliant move by Higson.
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Format: Paperback
DOUBLE OR DIE is in my opinion, the best book in the series so far. Charlie Higson is improving every book and if the improvement between BLOOD FEVER and DOUBLE OR DIE is anything to go by, I cannot wait to read the fourth in the series.
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Format: Paperback
What is it with the third books in the series being notably the best? My favourite Harry Potter was Prisoner of Azkaban, my favourite Alex Rider was Skeleton Key and my favourite His Dark Materials was The Amber Spyglass. And now Mr Higson has joined them...I really liked Silverfin and, although wasn't as keen, enjoyed Blood Fever. But Double or Die has come along and given them a good kick in the place where a laser beam very nearly went in Goldfinger!! It really does feel like a Fleming book, or one of the early Cold War era films. Now we have more references to the war, better assassins (I loved the Smith Brothers) and much more action...Although it should be noted for younger readers, it is quite violent and some sequences quite intense. I wouldn't have a problem with my Children reading it (I'm 29 and enjoyed it as much as they did!) but some parents may wish to check before reading it to their little un's!

Young James now really feels like Young Bond. The books have been given time to settle in. The character is darker, more intense, now not afraid of his deadly killing skills...I could easily see him growing up to be Mr Sean Connery or Mr Daniel Craig.

The plot is a lot tighter than the previous books, and moves at an extremely fast pace. Your children won't be able to put it down...I certainly couldn't!!

Good work Charlie boy...roll on the next instalment!!
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