The fifth and latest in the Young Bond series chronicling the life of the teenage James Bond sees the future 007 desperately trying to be a normal schoolboy. He has had his fill of villains, danger, adventure and death. Once he catches up to his classmates in Austria (from his previous adventure in Mexico), he is determined to put his past behind him, and just try to learn Latin.
Predictably, fate has other ideas for young Mr. Bond, and he soon becomes entangled in another web of shadowy men, ruthless criminals and international intrigue. After returning to Eton from the holiday in Austria, he also finds some changes in his peer group that are disquieting.
Determined to stay out of trouble and just live a quiet, unassuming life, he seeks solace in physical exercise and daily routine. Soon enough, however, events cascade, and he sees his surroundings in a light he had not ever imagined, and for the first time in his young life, he is forced to make a decision that he knows will define his life forever.
Charlie Higson has succeeded in creating an imaginative and utterly gripping tale to cap off a very enjoyable series; he has clearly saved his best work for last. This story is even better for the reader who is familiar with all of the Fleming novels, since we know the superficial legends associated with Eton that Fleming penned decades ago. Higson artfully remains absolutely true to the mythos while proffering a backstory that is different than what is expected.
Rated: Mild. After the previous book, Hurricane Gold, I had feared that the language would continue to worsen. Happily, it has actually improved, with just over a dozen mild terms and a handful of inappropriate references to Deity.