I don’t know how many Young Bond adventures are in the works, but if Charlie Higson continues with this type of storytelling, they will all be worth reading.
Be advised that the main character (James Bond as a young teen) is nothing at all like his adult persona. He is certainly no weakling, but he has the expected teenage boy self-esteem issues and lack of common sense. The author does an absolutely tremendous job making him a completely believable character, getting into completely believable jams, and making completely believable mistakes. He paints a perfect picture of a nervous young boy (whose parents have recently died) thrust into the English boarding school system of the 1930s and just happens to get involved with a psychotic villain.
I was really hoping for some subtle foreshadowings of his future life with Universal Exports, but if they were there, I missed them. James does meet with some interesting fellow students at Eton, and I hope these characters continue in future editions. The antagonist is truly over the top, and an absolute joy to experience. The author keeps the believability right on the edge, and just when you fear it is about to go overboard, reality gives a solid pull, and you can relax again.
The target audience seems to be young readers, but the story line, subplots, and vocabulary are more than satisfactory for the over-the-hill gang.
Rated: None. A thoroughly enjoyable, clean read.