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Young Bond is a series of five young adult spy novels by Charlie Higson featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent James Bond as a young teenage boy attending school at Eton College in the 1930s. The series was originally planned to include only five novels, however, after the release of the fifth novel, a second series has been mentioned as a possibility.
Since the release of the first novel SilverFin in 2005, the series has become very successful and has led to further works including games, a graphic novel and even a supplemental travel guide. The last book, By Royal Command, was published in September 2008.
According to Charlie Higson, Ian Fleming Publications initially 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 Markham pseudonym 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.
The books in the series are:
- SilverFin (2005): In 1933, thirteen-year-old James Bond arrives at Eton 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 Scotland where James investigates a local boy's disappearance. Teaming up with Red Kelly, the boy's Cockney cousin, James finally reaches a castle and a loch which is home to the Hellebores and discovers their deadly secret.
- 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 Sardinia where 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. It seems 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.
- Hurricane Gold (2007): The fourth Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold, is set in Mexico and the Caribbean. 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 mythology and much of the end is focused on it.
- By Royal Command (2008) : The book deals with Bond leaving Eton College due to the incident with the maid, as mentioned in You Only Live Twice. The Royal Family and the British secret service also play a part in the plot (revealing that Bond's tutor is a British spy). In this book, James Bond falls in love with his Irish maid, Roan.
- Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier (2009): Complete and definitive guide to the world and adventures of Young Bond. Includes the brand-new Young Bond short story "A Hard Man to Kill" by Charlie Higson. The story is set between the books Hurricane Gold and By Royal Command and involves Young Bond traveling back to London aboard the French ocean liner SS Colombie. It is the longest James Bond short story yet written
Not to be confused with the 90s animated series James Bond Jr..
The series contains examples of:
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Count Ugo Carnifex
- Big Bad: In order: Lord Randolph Hellebore, Count Ugo Carnifex, Sir John Charnage and Colonel Irena Sedova, El Huracan and Dr. Perseus Friend
- The Baroness: Colonel Irena Sedova, a.k.a. 'Bubushka'
- Bulletproof Vest: Bubushka wears one.
- More like a bullet proof corset, though, from the description in By Royal Command.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: John Charnage from Double or Die
- Cool Big Sis: Bond's Aunt Charmain is like this.
- Cool Car: Bond's Bentley. It gets seen in a "present day" epilogue in Double or Die, too.
- Crossword Puzzle: Double or Die
- Death Course: El Huracan's La Avenida de la Murete
- Die Hard on an X: "A Hard Man to Kill" is 'Die Hard on an ocean liner'.
- Dirty Commies
- Distressed Damsel: Amy Goodenough in Blood Fever.
- The Dragon: In order: Cleek MacSawney, Zoltan the Magyar, Wolfgang and Ludwig Smith, Mrs Theda Glass, and Vladamir Wrangel.
- Evil Teacher: Blood Fever has Professor Peter Haight, who appears to be a Reasonable Authority Figure but it as actually a member of a secret society dedicated to restoring the Roman Empire and who poisons the teenaged James Bond when he gets to close to the truth.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Lord Randolph Hellebore and Dr Perseus Friend
- False-Flag Operation: By Royal Command
- Fiery Redhead: 'Red' Kelly and his sister Kelly.
- Gambit Roulette: In Double or Die, a teacher at Eton is kidnapped and only has enough time to send a letter confirming his resignation and send his last crossword to The Times. In this, he manages to get clues to Bond and his friends about what's really happened to him, where they can go to find more information and that a friend of his is coming to Eton.
- Girl Of The Novel
- Grey and Black Morality: Lampshaded by an MI 6 member who notes that in Real Life, unlike in westerns, "There are some men who wear grey hats."
- Heel Face Turn: Zoltan. Sort of.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The island of Lagrimas Negras (Black Tears) in Hurricane Gold.
- Jerk Jock: George Hellebore, Tony Fitzpaine
- The Jailer: El Hurican is a borderline example.
- Les Cops Sportif: Members of the Maritime Gendarmerie feature prominently in "A Hard Man to Kill", including one who will become a significant character in Bond's future.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: The Smith brothers try to do this to Bond in Double or Die; force-feeding him a bottle of gin and planning to throw him into the Thames.
- Nazi Nobleman: Graf Otto von Schlick, a.k.a. Perseus Friend in By Royal Command.
- Noble Demon: Zoltan.
- Non-Indicative Name: Babushka is not very grandmotherly. Dr Friend is definitely not friendly.
- Obfuscating Disability: Liesl in By Royal Command.
- Outlaw Town: Lagrimas Negras in Hurricane Gold.
- Prisoner of Zenda Exit: Ciaboche in "A Hard Man to Kill"
- Public Secret Message: In Double or Die, Bond's teacher (who is also a cryptic crossword compiler) is kidnapped. The kidnappers allow him to submit his final crossword as failure to submit it would have alerted people to the fact he was missing. He uses the crossword to conceal clues as to his location.
- Repetitive Name: Kelly Kelly in Double or Die.
- Revenge: The main motive of Perseus Friend
- Ruthless Modern Pirates: Zoltan the Magyar and his crew in Blood Fever.
- Sadist Teacher: Codrose
- Teen Superspy: Bond is recruited for a mission by M.I. 6 in By Royal Command.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Bond encounters 'Hitler Jugend' on his train to Kitzbuhel in By Royal Command.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Precious Stone in Hurricane Gold.