Young Bond is a series of novels featuring Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond as a young teenage boy attending school at Eton College. The series consists of five novels written by Charlie Higson and one written by Steve Cole.
Books in the series
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, however, 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 as stated by Charlie Higson online. A new series was started by Steve Cole, picking up where Charlie Higson left off, following a teenage James in the aftermath of his expulsion from Eton.
|Double or Die||2007|
|By Royal Command||2008|
|"A Hard Man to Kill"||2009|
|Shoot to Kill||2014||Steve Cole|
|Heads You Die||2016|
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: 003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior written by Arthur Calder-Marshall under the pseudonym R.D. Mascott. There was also a moderately successful James Bond Jr. television series in the early 1990s aimed at children that dealt with Bond's supposed nephew.
John Gardner, who had written fourteen original novels and two novelizations 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."
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 James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 by John Pearson, which is considered canonical by some.
When SilverFin was published in early 2005, reviews of the novel were good. This, in addition to a large marketing campaign in the United Kingdom elevated SilverFin to the "Top Ten Children's Bestseller list" for 11 weeks selling 125,000 in the UK alone.
A second book in the Young Bond series, Blood Fever, was released on January 5, 2006 in the UK having been delayed from an initial release in October 2005. The book reached the #1 spot on The Booksellers list of bestselling children's books in the UK in its second week of release.
The same day that the 2015 film Spectre was announced Steve Cole announced a second book by himself would be released in 2015.
The idea of a Young James Bond film has been brought up with the success of SilverFin, however Ian Fleming Publications at this point is hoping to release a few more books before possibly considering it. It has been 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.
|Young Bond Series|
SilverFin (2005) -- Blood Fever (2006) -- Double or Die (2007) -- Hurricane Gold (2007) -- By Royal Command (2008) -- A Hard Man to Kill (2009)