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 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 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 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!!!
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 5 April 2005
Charlie Higson, like me, is a Bond aficionado and would know only too well the weight of expectation concerning this,his first 'Young Bond' novel. I must confess that I was sceptical as to whether he'd be able to come up with, what is ostensibly, an origin story for 007. I'm thrilled to report that he manages it with pace and wit aplenty.
The story follows Bond from the playing fields of Eton to the Highlands of Scotland, where he follows up the disappearance of a young local boy in the area around a loch called Silverfin. Without going into too much detail, the story does feature a mad, outsize villain, a dastardly plot and a heavily fortified headquarters. This is clearly all the stuff of Bond and, predictability being part of the Bond formula, works just fine. It's exciting whilst bordering on silly and plays out just the way you would want it to.
However, Silverfin really scores when the author gets down and personal with our young, not yet legendary hero. Using what little information Fleming revealed about Bond's background, Higson begins to weave a compelling tapestry of the characters and places that will come to shape his life. To do this, Higson takes the well-established idea that Bond was (and is) a fantasy projection of Ian Fleming himself and than proceeds to cosolidate this perception even further by making HIS Bond echo some of Fleming's life. Hence, Bond is now a keen cross-country runner at Eton just as Fleming was himself. The major change, I suspect however, between young Bond and young Fleming was that Fleming was a somewhat vain and pompous young upstart, whereas Higson's Bond is rather sweet and unassuming.
Silverfin is a terrific ripping yarn that, I believe, Ian Fleming and the Fleming estate would thoroughly approve of. Five Stars!
Not only that but that other all-important Bond family may well be impressed too:
If the Broccoli's are sharp, they seriously could have the next Harry Potter on their hands as well as a fabulous way of opening up Bond's cinematic heritage; Alan Rickman as the villainous Lord Hellebore, Celia Imrie as Aunt Charmian, Patrick Macnee as Uncle Max,Sir Anthony Hopkins as Mr. Merriot e.t.c.
If Cody Banks and Spy Kids can cheerfully rip-off what the Broccolis have successfully been doing for decades, surely they, in return, can outspy young Cody with the real deal - Young Bond!
on 1 February 2005
As a fan of Ian Fleming's original Bond novels, I was eager to discover how Charlie Higson would tackle the famous spy's first adventures as a 1930s school boy. Would he be able to produce the same style of page turning adventure? Would the dry Fleming wit be present? Most importantly, would I recognise in this young boy the future hero of millions of people around the globe? Happily, the answer to all these questions is a resounding "YES!".
I'm not even going to hint at the plot as I don't want to give anything at all away. Suffice to say that fans of Fleming's novels, as well as Bond film fans of all ages, are definitely in for a treat. Higson has done a wonderful job of reproducing Fleming's style and "Silverfin" deserves a place on the bookshelf just ahead of "Casino Royale" (with space in between for future Young Bond adventures). This cleverly conceived and beautifully executed novel is an absolute must for all James Bond fans and I can give Higson no higher praise than to say that I'm sure Ian Fleming would approve.
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.
on 12 April 2012
Charlie Higson has written this excellently - I strongly disagree with the reviewers who think that this novel drags on and has been written in a monotonous or boring style. A few reviews have also mentioned Anthony Horowitz, that he could have done a better job at writing Silverfin or that they prefer his books to Higson's.
I do not disagree (I am a MASSIVE Horowitz fan myself - he is my favourite author!), and even though the storyline is similar to the Alex Rider adventures, it did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying this spy novel.
The plot keeps you hooked all the way through, and even though there are a few technical parts describing the mechanics of a car (as a girl, I admit that during the long explanations Higson lost me for a few pages), it did not put me off at all.
I would definitely recommend this to any lover of spy stories, adventure, action and a touch of horror. This novel is not at all disappointing - I loved it!
on 4 May 2006
Silverfin is a unique book about Bond in his teens. While he is at school he encounters a bully who he also bumps into while in Scotland for the holiday. James gets tied up with these people and has to squeeze himself out of many awkward situations.
I gave this book four stars because the characters are swayed and twisted by others. Also the thoughts and angers of each character are displayed in the book and their personal decisions are changed during the adventure. The down side is the secrets of the adventure they are easy to guess and released too early on in the story.
To make a long story short it is a must read and good for any type of reader young, old, experienced and also challenged readers will find it a good fun read because it is just the right length for anybody.