- Young Bond
"Young Bond" is a series of Young Adult spy novels featuring
Ian Fleming's superspy James Bondas a young teenage boy attending school at Eton College. The series is planned to include only five novels,which were written by Charlie Higson.
Books in the series
According to Charlie Higson,
Ian Fleming Publicationsinitially planned for him to only write one novel and that every subsequent novel would be written by a rotating author, possibly similar to the defunct Robert Markhampseudonym of the late 1960s. This plan fell apart and Higson agreed to author future books in the series. However, comments made by Higson in an interview could suggest that after Higson's five books are completed, the series may be continued by another author. [cite web | url = http://commanderbond.net/article/2677 | title = Charlie Higson interview with CommanderBond.net | work = The Charlie Higson CBn Interview | accessmonthday = February 23 | accessyear = 2005]
Silverfin" (2005): In 1933, thirteen-year-old James Bond arrives at masters college for boys for the first time to continue his schooling. There he meets an American bully and his arms dealing father, Lord Randolph Hellebore. While on Easter break, Bond's adventure continues in the Highlands of Scotlandwhere James investigates a local boy's disappearance. Teaming up with Red Kelly, the boy's cousin, James finally reaches a castle and a loch which is home to the Hellebore's and Lord Hellebore himself.
Blood Fever" (2006): In 1933, James Bond is back at Eton where he is now a member of a secret risk-taking club known as the Danger Society. When summer vacation arrives Bond goes on a field trip to the Italian island of Sardiniawhere he stays with his much older cousin Victor. While there, James investigates a Roman secret society known as the Millenaria that had plans throughout history to restore the Roman Empire. Though it is thought to have been learnt that the Millenaria are still active and are led by the sinister Count Ugo Carnifex.
Double or Die" (2007): The third Young Bond novel is set entirely in England during Christmas and finds James searching for a missing school master in the darkest corners of London. The book involves Russian spies attempting to build an early computer. The title of the book was chosen by fans via an online poll and kept secret until the day of publication. [cite web | title=Video of Double or Die title announcement | work=The Young Bond Dossier |url= http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2007/1/3_Pics_and_video_from_todays_Double_or_Die_event.html | accessmonthday=January 3 | accessyear=2007]
Hurricane Gold" (2007): The fourth Young Bond novel, "Hurricane Gold", is set in Mexicoand the Caribbean. The book was released on September 6, 2007in the UK. [cite web | title=Hurricane Gold official announcment | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url= http://web.mac.com/zencato/iWeb/Young_Bond/News/5D14142E-2DC0-4828-8C00-66202BE4CE63.html | accessdate=April 24 | accessyear=2007] The plot is centered around Bond trying to foil the robbery of a team of professional criminals, only to end up following them around Mexico and eventually to a mysterious Caribbean island called Lagrimas Negras. The book contains many references to Mayan mythologyand much of the end is focused on it.
By Royal Command" (2008) : The fifth Young Bond novel, "By Royal Command" [ cite web | title=Young Bond 5 is BY ROYAL COMMAND | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url=http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/3/6_Young_Bond_5_is_BY_ROYAL_COMMAND.html | accessdate=March 6 | accessyear=2008] was released in the UK on September 3, 2008. The book deals with Bond leaving Eton College due to the incident with the maid, as mentioned in "You Only Live Twice". [cite web | url =http://www.mi6.co.uk/sections/articles/interview_charlie_higson_yb1f_bookfive.php3?t=&s=articles | work=In Conversation With Charlie Higson | title=MI6.co.uk interview with Charlie Higson | accessmonthday= March 8 | accessyear =2006] The Royal Family and the British secret service also play a part in the plot (revealing that Bond's tutor is a British Spy)." [ [http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/2/24_Major_Young_Bond_5_update_from_Charlie_Higson.html Major Young Bond 5 update from Charlie Higson ] ] . In this book, James Bond falls in love with his Irish maid, Roan. [cite web | url =http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2007/10/10_Working_title_for_Young_Bond_5_is....html | work=The Young Bond Dossier | title=Young Bond 5 working title revealed | accessmonthday= October 10 | accessyear =2007] [cite web | url =http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2007/10/6_Charlie_drops_a_Book_5_bombshell.html | work=The Young Bond Dossier | title=Charlie drops a Book 5 bombshell | accessmonthday= October 6 | accessyear =2007]
SilverFinGraphic Novel" (2008) : The first Young Bond novel, "SilverFin", was released as a graphic novel on October 2, 2008. The book was written by Charlie Higson and illustrated by renowned comic book artist artist Kev Walker. [cite web | title=SilverFin The Graphic Novel released in UK | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url=http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/10/2_SILVERFIN_THE_GRAPHIC_NOVEL_OUT_TODAY.html | accessdate=October 2 | accessyear=2008]
* "The Young Bond Rough Guide to London", Puffin Books/Rough Guides, 2007 (ISBN 0141323396). 64-page booklet featuring London locations from "
Double or Die".
*; Possible Young Bond Short Story: During the "Hurricane Gold" launch party Charlie Higson spoke of the possibility of a Young Bond short story set between "Hurricane Gold" and "By Royal Command". It would be set aboard a ship returning to England from Mexico where Bond would encounter Wilder Lawless from "SilverFin". Charlie cautioned that it was "something that might happen or might not". [cite web | url =http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2007/10/4_Young_Bond_short_story_a_possibility.html | work=The Young Bond Dossier | title=Young Bond short story a possibility | accessmonthday= October 4 | accessyear =2007]
*; Young Bond Series 2?: Charlie Higson says that a second cycle of Young Bond books is a possibility. This second series would be aimed at a “slightly older readership” and would include Bond losing his virginity in Paris at the age of 16 (as established in the Ian Fleming short story, "From A View To A Kill"). [cite web | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7364758.stm | work=BBC News | title= Higson plots new Young Bond books | accessmonthday= April 24 | accessyear =2008] However, Ian Fleming Publications have not yet commissioned a second series of Young Bond novels. [cite web | url =http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/4/24_Charlie_says_Young_Bond_Series_II_a_possibility.html | work=The Young Bond Dossier | title=Charlie says Young Bond Series II a possibility | accessmonthday= April 24 | accessyear =2008]
History and controversy
Prior to the release of "SilverFin", the idea of a "Young Bond" series had not gone over too well with the fans of the more traditional Bond literature and had come under heavy fire, with some fans comparing it to an unsuccessful 1960s attempt by Bond's publishers to launch a youth-oriented line of fiction that resulted in only one book: "" written under the
pseudonymR. D. Mascott. There was also a moderately successful " James Bond Jr." television seriesin the early 1990s aimed at children that dealt with Bond's supposed nephew.
John Gardner, who had written fourteen original novels and two novelisations featuring the adult Bond, was also critical of the series prior to the release of the first book. He stated:
:"It's just the last desperate attempt to draw in a new audience. The films have little to do with the Bond we used to know, and now the books are going the same way." [cite web | url = http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=221082005 | title = John Gardner on Young Bond series | work = Boys' own James Bond | accessmonthday = February 28 | accessyear = 2005]
Higson, for his part, has been on record as stating that he intends to stay true to the backstory Ian Fleming created for Bond, though this in many ways contradicts the popular "" by John Pearson.
When "SilverFin" was published in March 2005, reviews of the novel were good. This, in addition to a large marketing campaign in the
United Kingdom, elevated "SilverFin" to the number eight spot on the Booksellers list of bestselling children's books in the UK. [cite web | url =http://www.commanderbond.net/?action=Story&SID=3067 | work=Blood Fever is #1 Bestseller | title='Blood Fever' sales | accessmonthday= January 18 | accessyear =2006] By November 2005, "SilverFin" had already sold 500,000 copies worldwide. [cite web | url =http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED18%20Nov%202005%2023%3A20%3A16%3A913 | work=The name's Bond - Bond junior | title=SilverFin sales | accessmonthday= September 05 | accessyear =2006]
A second book in the Young Bond series, "Blood Fever", was released on
January 5, 2006in the UK having been delayed from an initial release in October 2005. The book reached the number one spot on the Booksellers list of bestselling children's books in the UK in its second week of release and held the spot for eleven weeks. [cite web | url =http://www.ianflemingcentre.com/index.cfm?nid=FBC1F7E0-D03B-4268-8015-071DB62C4B94 | work=Young Bond at IFP's official site | title=Young Bond sales and acclaim | accessmonthday= January 18 | accessyear =2006]
"Double or Die", the third book in the series, was released in the UK on
January 4, 2007, having had its title announced the day before. The title was voted on in a national poll on the official Young Bond website; the other two titles to choose from were "N.E.M.E.S.I.S." and "The Deadlock Cipher". After the first three days of "Double or Die"'s release it took the number two spot on the Booksellers list of bestselling children's books in the UK and number fourteen in the overall UK Top 50 list. A week later it had climbed to number one on the children's list and the number twelve spot overall. [cite web | url =http://www.thebookseller.com/?pid=7 | work=Bestsellers | title=Double or Die sales - theBookseller.com | accessmonthday= January 20 | accessyear =2007] [cite web | url =http://web.mac.com/zencato/iWeb/Young_Bond/News/AA7C958C-29C2-4F8C-A4D2-223EDEFA6101.html | work=Double or Die is #1 Bestseller | title=Double or Die sales and acclaim | accessmonthday= January 20 | accessyear =2007]
As of March 2008, the four combined Young Bond novels have sold nearly three-quarters of a million copies in the UK alone. [cite web | title=Young Bond sales as of March 08 | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url= http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/3/6_Young_Bond_5_is_BY_ROYAL_COMMAND.html | accessmonthday=March 6 | accessyear=2008]
With the release of the "Hurricane Gold" book [http://www.tamba.co.uk TAMBA] and Fleming media released the [http://www.avenueofdeath.com Avenue of Death] game which is based on one of the chapters in the book.
On August 11, 2008 Puffin Books announced the first Young Bond alternate reality game (ARG), [http://www.youngbondshadowwar.com/ The Shadow War] . [cite web | title=The Shadow War press release | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url= http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/8/11_The_Shadow_War.html | accessmonthday=August 11 | accessyear=2008] The online game started on the 23rd August, when Charlie Higson set the first mission during his appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. In the game, players around the world use a range of media, including the Young Bond books themselves and the worldwide web, to complete the missions and influence the outcome of the game. Charlie Higson took part in a live online event that concluded the game on October 8, 2008. [cite web | title=The Shadow War is won! | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url= http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/10/8_The_Shadow_War_concludes.html | accessmonthday=October 8 | accessyear=2008]
January 27, 2005Puffin launched the official Young Bond website [http://www.youngbond.com www.youngbond.com] . [cite web | title=Young Bond Website Launched! | work=CommanderBond.net | url=http://commanderbond.net/article/2649 | accessmonthday=January 27 | accessyear=2005] The site contains downloads, games, character images by Kev Walkerand book extracts. Joining "the Danger Society" allowed users to post in a forum (now closed) and receive email newsletters with the latest Young Bond news. Originally, the site was designed to look like Young Bond's room at Eton, but the site received a major overhaul in May 2008 and now features a more contemporary look. [cite web | title=Youngbond.come gets a makeover | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url=http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/5/29_Youngbond.com_gets_a_makeover.html | accessmonthday=May 28 | accessyear=2008] Official news is streamed to the site from the fansite [http://youngbonddossier.com www.youngbonddossier.com] run by "zencat" (American screenwriter John Cox). [cite web | title=Young Bond Dossier now OFFICIAL news source | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url=http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2007/9/7_Young_Bond_Dossier_now_OFFICIAL_news_source.html | accessmonthday=September 7 | accessyear=2007]
April 23, 2005, Ian Fleming Publications released the first illustration of the thirteen-year-old James Bond drawn by Kev Walker. Walker illustrations have also been used on the covers of the U.S. hardback editions of "Blood Fever" and "Double or Die". Walker will illustrate the "SilverFin" graphic novel to be released in the UK on October 2, 2008. [cite web | title=New release date for SilverFin graphic novel | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url=http://www.youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2007/12/22_New_release_date_for_SilverFin_Graphic_Novel.html | accessmonthday=June 8 | accessyear=2006]
Due to the success of "SilverFin" and "Blood Fever",
Hollywoodhas been interested in adapting these novels to film; however, Ian Fleming Publications and Charlie Higson have said they hope to release a few more books before possibly considering it. [cite web | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/5031094.stm | work=Author resists Young Bond movie | title=Young Bond on film | accessmonthday=May 30 |accessyear =2006] Today, it is believed the film rights to James Bond on film reside exclusively with Danjaq, LLC, the parent company of EON Productions, however, according to Charlie Higson this is not exactly the case. [cite web | url =http://www.commanderbond.net/?action=Story&SID=2759 | work=Charlie Higson in Los Angeles | title=Young Bond film rights | accessmonthday= October 20 | accessyear =2005] Other books among teen readers include the popular Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz; Fledgling Jason Steed, the best selling teen spy book by Mark A Cooper; the Jimmy Coates series by Joe Craig; and Cody Banks. These books, along with Charlie Higson's Young Bond series, have introduced many teens into reading for the first time.
* [http://www.youngbond.com Young Bond official website]
* [http://youngbonddossier.com The Young Bond Dossier] - Official Young Bond news source
* [http://www.mi6.co.uk/sections/articles/index.php3?categoryid=75 Young Bond coverage on MI6]
* [http://www.theyoungbondforum.co.nr The Young Bond Forum]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.