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Young Bond Series, The: #3 - Double or Die - a James Bond Adventure Hardcover – April 22, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Young Bond (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (March 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423110986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423110989
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—This installation in the series begins while James is attending Eton. The professor in charge of his roommate's crossword-puzzle club departs the school unexpectedly and leaves a cryptic letter to the boy explaining his absence. That strange note, combined with the clues from his last crossword contribution to the London Times, has the boys off on an adventure to solve the mystery and rescue Mr. Fairburn. They must decipher all manner of word clues, and the author does a good job of reviewing the last clue while moving on to the next so that readers don't get lost. James and his friends use their wits, but his agile athletic abilities also come in handy as they run after and away from the menacing bad guys. The plot is clever and well developed, and the boys and their actions are believable. An added bonus is the discussion of the medical oddities found at London's Royal College of Surgeons, which will be highly prized among teen boys for the gross-out factor. Students who cut their teeth on Donald J. Sobol's "Encyclopedia Brown" series (Delacorte) will love this more mature mystery, and will have fun trying to figure out the clues before Bond, James Bond.—Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School Library, Loveland, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for BloodFever: 'This story is double-oh so good!' - Funday Times 'This is Higson's second instalment of the young James Bond's life. Aimed at the teenage market, it's every bit as much fun and convincing as his debut' - Daily Mirror 'A thrilling second adventure for the young Bond' - Guardian 'This is writing for children of the highest order' - Spectator --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I have been reading this series and this book is one of my favorites.
C. Nielsen
I especially liked the puzzles and the villians in this book - I am looking forward to reading the next installation.
D. McCaf
The story was very well written but at times seemed a bit predictable.
Matthew Philbin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Cox on April 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charlie Higson's Double or Die is the pivot on which the Young Bond series turns. Double or Die both pulls from past books and points to the future. Where SilverFin infused Bond with his fearless instinct and Blood Fever developed his brawn, Double or Die works his mind (and ours).

Thematically, Double or Die is an adventure of the mind. Bond and his band of friends must decrypt puzzles and clues contained within a mysterious cipher sent by a kidnapped professor. Higson plays the motif throughout as references to skulls and the brain abound. Where Blood Fever was bright and expansive, Double or Die is dark and contained. While this may make it a lesser Bondian adventure for some, the smaller scale allows Higson to work in greater texture and detail, making Double or Die the most vivid and visual of all the Young Bond novels to date. It's also the Young Bond novel that showcases its 1930s setting the best as Higson peppers the book with delightful period slang and long forgotten brand names.

The body count in Double or Die is lower than Blood Fever, but Higson doesn't skimp on the gore, especially during the terrific climax on the London Docklands and inside an abandon pneumatic railway (wonderful Bondian locations both). The fact that the henchmen comes away from each encounter with Young Bond missing another body part is grisly good fun. Higson adds a surprising postscript to this book that is unlike anything that has yet appeared in a Young Bond novel. I will leave it to the reader to discover it, and decide whether it belongs in the Young Bond universe.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Fred R. Eichelman on May 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I won't go into plot details as this has excellently been done by John Cox in the first review for this book. Actaully I agree with all of his comments and wish I had gotten mine in first. As a Bond collector and fan, since the late fifties, of all things relating to 007 I can be very picky. I cannot be in the case of Charlie Higson and his third venture into the young Bond. Each one gets better and in each you see the beginnings of various things that the older and more mature James Bond will have as part of his personna. And thank you Mr. Cox for indicating that there will be at least two more in the series. Actually, going year by year until Fleming's first book there could be another fifteen or more.

I'd rather dwell on why I consider the writing of these books so superior. While I loved John Gardner, who actually wrote more Bond books than Fleming, there was still a special flavor missing. Gardner is a brilliant writer and his other fiction, whether spy or mystery, was and remains superior to his Bond work and anything put out by Ian Fleming himself. Others have tried to write Bond novels and have really missed the mark when it came to that flavor thing as I call it.

What made James Bond stand out in the books, in my own mind, was a special touch. Something that only Ian Fleming seemed to be able to do and even the best of the Bond films could never perfectly capture. Yes, I have my favorites among the films, but that is not what this is about. The Fleming books are books I could read over and over and still find something new. Not great fiction, but still unique in its own way.

Magically Charlie Higson has found that flavor and I have no doubt that were Ian Fleming alive he would greatly approve of Higson's handling of the young James Bond.
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Format: Paperback
"Double or Die" by Charlie Higson is author's third novel in Young James Bond series that tell of the James Bond's adventures when he was a young man and studying at Eton College.

In this installment, that follows SilverFin and Blood Fever, story starts when one of James's professors has been kidnapped in a London cemetery, although his kidnappers want to show that he went willingly.
James is back to his Eton school after spending summer on Italian isles.
Afterwards, professor's letter full of cryptic clues will arrive to James friend, Pritpal, requesting young Bond to decipher this mystery with help of his two friends.

Soon, they'll find out that their professor didn't leave by choice, and his life is very likely in danger.
And when they would finally succeed in deciphering, 48 hours will be all available to save the professor from the dark forces threatening to destroy both them and professor, but the world itself...

The third novel in author's series is of a bit higher quality than last two though the writing style is quite similar, enabling reader to easily read these novels.
Novel is well-made and is able to draw reader into the story due to good action but also clever mystery that young character has to solve in order to save his professor and much more that's at stake.

It's great that younger readers who weren't able to read original Fleming works will get an opportunity to learn about the Bond's youth and attempts of British secret service agency to create a super-secret agent that Bond eventually become.
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More About the Author

Charlie Higson is an acclaimed comedy writer, producer, actor, and genuine James Bond aficionado. He is the author of the adult thrillers, Full Whack and King of the Ants; the internationally best-selling Young Bond series: SilverFin, Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command; and the YA apocalyptic thriller: The Enemy, which he wrote to frighten his ten-year-old son. He lives in London. Follow him on Twitter at:

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