By Charlie Higson
been an unabashed Bond fan for years and I've read all the Ian Fleming
series, so I was delighted to discover Hyperion was doing a series
showing Bond's younger years. I only hoped they would do well by
my favorite spy. Charlie Higson does a fine job in this first novel
in the series. Silverfin lets us meet James in his early
days at Eton, before sending him off on blood-chilling adventure.
This early meeting does a wonderful job of showing us both Bonds'
early state of "otherness" that sets him apart from his schoolmates
and his very human fears and discomforts. Bond is a schoolboy, not
a spy, so he's still feeling his way in the world, a bit. The Eton
opening gets the reader off to a bit slower start than adventure
story readers might expect, but James' school days aren't without
interest - and we get to meet the arch-villain, which is always
important. The author has him say, "Bond, James Bond" perhaps one
too many times - certainly we expected it, but it takes a careful
touch to render Bond without parody. For the most part, Higson manages
it. Overall, it's a solid adventure story - interesting with plenty
of tension and tight spots. Though James must make do with a minimum
of gadgets, we enjoy him just the same.