Silverfin by Charlie Higson

March 17, 2010
By , Waxhaw, NC
"The smell and noise and confusion of a hallway full of schoolboys can be quite awful at twenty past seven in the morning"(pg3). James Bond the world’s most famous spy is a 14 year old boy at Eton, one of the best schools in England. “He was a new boy; tall for his age and slim, with pale, grey-blue eyes and black hair that he had tried to brush into a perfect, neat shape, but, as usual, failed. One stray lock dropped down over his right eye like a black comma…” (pg3). There he meets a boy named George Hellebore. “He was different from the English boys. He looked healthier – as if he’d been pumped up with vitamins and goodness, with orange juice and milk and fat steaks. He had wide shoulders and clear, sun-tanned skin. His big, strong, jaw was packed with gleaming white teeth and his eyes were so blue they looked unreal…” (pg13). He is older than James and starts to bully him.
George’s dad turns out to be a very rich man who worked in the same field as James’s dad did. James goes to his Aunt’s house on break and in the train that is taking him there he meets a friend, Red. At his Aunt’s house he meets his uncle Max Bond. After meeting Red at a circus he learns of Red’s missing cousin. He had apparently gone fishing because of his missing gear. James’s uncle tells him that it maybe the boy went to Loch Silverfin, a big lake on the Hellebore estate. Together James and Red go to explore the estate grounds. No one seems to make it back from the grounds. What is the secret that is hidden in the estate? Will they make it back alive?

The main theme is determination. Several times in this book James is faced with a very hopeless situation but yet he manages to prosper. One example is when there is a sports competition he is competing in the cross-country race, James finds out that George is cheating by taking short cuts but yet James manages to win.
The writer includes many phrases that are the same or similar to the James Bond movies. One example of this author’s style is the phrase “Bond, James Bond” (pg4).Another example is when he says "The smell and noise and confusion of a hallway full of schoolboys can be quite awful at twenty past seven in the morning"(pg3). This is very similar to the phrase that started Casino Royale, "The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.” Also he adds some irony because a hellebore is a poisonous plant often mistaken for a rose which describes George’s dads handsome appearance but evil intentions.

The author does a very good job of describing what is happening. One example is when he says “… there had been a noise like an avalanche, and a horde of boys pushed past him into the dining room, where they had quickly stuffed their faces with stale buns and cocoa before stampeding out of the building”(pg10). The main reason for the author to write this book was to entertain the audience. Also it adds a whole new dimension to characteristics of the most popular spy in the world. He obviously was inspired by the James Bond movies.
This book is an exciting thriller that shows James Bond as a kid. It has a slow start that does nothing but introduce the characters. Also the villain’s plot is not very well developed. The ending is suspenseful and adds a shocking twist to the tale. Higson has written several books including the 6 in the Young bond series. The young James has inherited all of the adult James’s characteristics that we have become familiar to. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys spy books and the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz.





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