Literature / Young Bond

Young Bond is a series young adult spy novels initially written 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 was mentioned as a possibility, which became true in 2014 with the release of Shoot to Kill by Steve Cole.

Since the release of the first novel 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 books in the series are:

  • SilverFin (2005) — The thirteen-year-old James Bond begins his studies at Eton, and later gets in an adventure in the Scottish highlands.
  • Blood Fever (2006) — On a class trip to Sardinia, Bond comes across a secret society which is set out to rule Europe.
  • Double or Die (2007) — An Eton schoolmaster is kidnapped, and Bond, together with his friends, try unravel the clues that he has left behind.
  • Hurricane Gold (2007) — Bond chases after criminals who have taken two children hostage.
  • By Royal Command (2008) — Bond gets involved with spies and their "shadow war" that goes on in Europe.
  • Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier (2009) — A supplementary book on the series, which includes the short story "A Hard Man to Kill".
  • Shoot to Kill (2014) — Bond joins a trip to Hollywoodland, where he has to solve a blackmail-conspiracy.
  • Heads You Die (2016) — While visiting Cuba, a family friend of Bond's is kidnapped, and he starts looking for him.
  • Strike Lightning (2016) — After death of a schoolmate, Bond swears revenge and goes after those responsible.

Not to be confused with the 90s animated series James Bond Jr., which stars Bond's nephew.

The examples of series-wide tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Michael Merriot, one of Bond's teachers at Eton.
  • Continuity Nod: Bond is repeatedly noted as having 'a cruel mouth', a nod to the hard, ruthless, womanising man he will become.
  • Cool Big Sis: Bond's Aunt Charmian is like this; she's an anthropologist who has been travelling around the world, knows how to cook exotic meals and inspires the fascination that Bond has about cars.
  • Cool Car:
    • Bond's Bentley. It gets seen in a "present day" epilogue in Double or Die, too.
    • And it's predecessor, the inherited Bramford & Martin
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. Merriot at Eton, a friend of Bond's who tries to make studying enjoyable.
  • Fiery Redhead: 'Red' Kelly and his sister Kelly. In fact, the whole Kelly clan might qualify.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Bond will be expelled from Eton, but his adventures afterward are still to be fully told.
  • Mystery Magnet: Bond keeps getting mixed up with criminal conspiracies and international spy operations by the virtue of going to school.
  • Spin-Off Babies: It's James Bond... as a teenager!
  • War Is Hell: Many adult characters took part in The Great War, and it left its scars on them, if not directly giving inspiration, as in the case of some of the villains.

Examples in the short story "A Hard Man to Kill":

  • Big Bad: Caiboche.
  • Les Cops Sportif: Members of the Maritime Gendarmerie feature prominently, including one who will become a significant character in Bond's future.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Die Hard on an ocean liner. The name of the story should also ring a bell.
  • High Dive Escape: Caiboche does this, leaping from the smoking deck of the ocean liner Colombie into the Atlantic Ocean. Everyone thinks he has leapt to his death but there was a submarine waiting to pick him up.
  • Interquel: The story is set between the books Hurricane Gold and By Royal Command.