Steve Cole's New Young Bond Novels Series - Reviews and Discussion

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  • edited February 2017 Posts: 2,389
    I think that Cole's books are very good. Maybe not quite up there with Higson's overall but he's doing a good job. I have read the first two and the first half of the third. I only have two criticisms. First, they are a little lighter on the character movement...I think. I have only read Higson's books once, when they were first released, except for By Royal Command which I've read a couple of times so maybe my memory doesn't serve me as well. Secondly, there is not as much scenery description as there should be not unlike in Trigger Mortis. The action is wonderfully written and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Also, I do think that Cole understands the Bond character. Real page turners.
  • edited February 2017 Posts: 4,622
    @bounine
    I've read the first two Coles and I see I can order the 3rd title now. Forget about finding it in an actual mainstream bookstore apparently.
    I quite enjoyed the first two titles, moreso than any of the Higsons, but that's probably because Cole's Bond is getting older.
    In Heads You Die, it's apparent that British Secret Service, has already tagged him as future agent.
    He's even got connections. He's very much on the service radar.
    The girls are friskier now. He's quite proactive on "mission". He's becoming very actual Young James Bond as opposed to being adolescent James Bond who manages to channel his future self, when life suddenly puts him in the midst of outrageous villain schemes forcing him to deal.
    Whereas before he was reactive and dealing with what he had to face, with no real sense of his destiny, now he's developed a Bond swagger.
    He's stirring things up. Instigating his adventures, as if motivated by a duty.
    I think Cole has caught a legit mature teen James Bond persona.
    Mind you the entire Young Bond series I find contrived ie this notion that's he's been fighting supervillains and derailing their schemes since he was 13.
    The stories though make for good yarns and that's the whole point of the exercise, as well as targeting a youth book-buying demo.
    But the older he gets at least, the more he resembles his future 00 self.
    Pearson's fleshed out young Bond biography was more plausible.
    But now we've got both these Bond growing-up scenarios to digest, and that's OK.
    There was at least,long separation from Pearson's bio to Higson's sudden shaking up of things.
    But if our Young Bond ever finds himself foster brother to a future Head of Spectre, then I will stop reading. Grrr ;)
  • edited February 2017 Posts: 2,389
    Delete.
  • edited February 2017 Posts: 2,389
    timmer wrote: »
    @bounine
    I've read the first two Coles and I see I can order the 3rd title now. Forget about finding it in an actual mainstream bookstore apparently.
    I quite enjoyed the first two titles, moreso than any of the Higsons, but that's probably because Cole's Bond is getting older.
    In Heads You Die, it's apparent that British Secret Service, has already tagged him as future agent.
    He's even got connections. He's very much on the service radar.
    The girls are friskier now. He's quite proactive on "mission". He's becoming very actual Young James Bond as opposed to being adolescent James Bond who manages to channel his future self, when life suddenly puts him in the midst of outrageous villain schemes forcing him to deal.
    Whereas before he was reactive and dealing with what he had to face, with no real sense of his destiny, now he's developed a Bond swagger.
    He's stirring things up. Instigating his adventures, as if motivated by a duty.
    I think Cole has caught a legit mature teen James Bond persona.
    Mind you the entire Young Bond series I find contrived ie this notion that's he's been fighting supervillains and derailing their schemes since he was 13.
    The stories though make for good yarns and that's the whole point of the exercise, as well as targeting a youth book-buying demo.
    But the older he gets at least, the more he resembles his future 00 self.
    Pearson's fleshed out young Bond biography was more plausible.
    But now we've got both these Bond growing-up scenarios to digest, and that's OK.
    There was at least,long separation from Pearson's bio to Higson's sudden shaking up of things.
    But if our Young Bond ever finds himself foster brother to a future Head of Spectre, then I will stop reading. Grrr ;)


    Nice, detailed post there.

    This is something I've always had a problem with but I try not to think about it. I still prefer Pearson's much more plausible bio.

    I don't know what they were thinking about in Spectre with the foster brother angle, especially after Austin Powers. Someone lost the plot somewhere along the line. I really feel like this has somewhat tainted the future films.

    Heads You Die is great. I'd say it's better than three or four of Higson's.

    Not in a mainstream bookstore? That's weird. I download books to my i pad now due to the fact that I do a lot of travelling. I like reading them through this device but they'll never compare to a traditional book. Still, I must think of practicality now as I don't like to throw away any books after I've read them.
  • edited February 2017 Posts: 4,622
    There's a handful of big size bookstores, that I pop into regularly.
    They did stock Trigger Mortis, and also the Higson books, but I've yet to see one of Coles Bonds on the shelves, so I will order #3 via Amazon.
    I've got a Kindle. Just have to put it to use.
    I've been buying selected hardcovers, and ordering other stuff via library, but I think I will be going full bore kindle, for everything but Bond hardcovers.
    Shelf space is an issue, and kindle saves lots of $ too.

  • edited July 2017 Posts: 453
  • edited July 2017 Posts: 4,622
    Excellent interview. I quite enjoyed it, having read all 4 of Coles most excellent Bond adventures!

    Just finished Cole's 4th book, Red Nemesis.
    This is Cole's best book yet, but really the 4 titles can be seen as a 4pak as each adventure further develops the Young Bond. The 4 titles build nicely off each other.
    There is some great writing in Red Nemesis, especially as it involves Bonds growing self awareness, as to who he is, his capacity for violence, his sense of duty, loyalty and command to action.
    The slow build to Bond finally pulling a trigger with lethal intent is very well plotted out.
    When he does get to this point, it truly is the time. Bond must act, and he knows it.
    Cole has deftly evolved the young Bond and set him on course to be the future man-of-action, he is destined to be.
    The fact that Cole has expert knowledge of Fleming the man, very much aids his books, as Cole takes pains to evolve Bond with Fleming's creation in mind.
    Cole's commentaries at the end of Red Nemesis in the Special First editions are very enlightening in this respect.
    The last few chapters of Red Nemesis really gave me goosebumps, as we see the Young Bond grow in the face of danger and increasing responsibility.
    Cole does a nice job evolving Bond's sense of self, and where he fits, in what is a very dangerous world, at least for a man of Bond's talents and proclivities.
    Bonds destiny is clear. He is very much on the SIS radar. His exploits have not escaped notice.
    While Higson's five Young Bonds were all good reads, the Cole books have upped the ante. We have a more self-aware Bond.
    Bond is not so much precocious adolescent, with a nose for danger and adventure, as he might come across it.
    Cole's Bond is more proactive. He has a sense of duty, which motivates him, compels him to act.
    He is that much further along the road to becoming his future 00-agent self

    I would encourage Cole to sign-on for another 4 story arc propelling Bond further along his journey and eventual arrival at Royal Les Eaux.

    Cole's 4 book effort, is among the most compelling of any of the Bond continuation novels.
    Real good reads!
    Plus if you order in a timely fashion, as I have been doing, you get a signed copy, with the special edition authors commentary.
  • CASINOROYALECASINOROYALE Somewhere hot
    Posts: 1,003
    I read Higson's books and loved them!
    They were really entertaining. Haven't read any of the Cole books they seem kinda weird. Are they even close to being on the level of Higson?
  • Posts: 4,622
    The Cole books are better, I'd say. Bond is older. He's more recognizable as Bond.
  • Posts: 2,389
    Yeah, the Cole books are great. Not enough people seem to be giving him a chance.
  • edited September 2017 Posts: 4,622
    @Bounine

    Cole has written the four books that he was contracted for.
    Do you know, is that it?
    Any idea where young Bond is going? Are we ever going to get him to age 16 at least .
    Actually, I'd like to see a jump-ahead to age 20.
    Stories of Bond losing his virginity and further teenage sexploits, I find creepy.
    Bringing him up to the war years is all we need now. He is already quite formidable, worldly and smooth with the young women.
    We can just allow that he had a fairly normal life between the last YB adventure, and moving forward to the edge of the war.
    My 2 cents.
  • edited September 2017 Posts: 453
    I think it is important to talk about his first sex time, even if it is bold due to the young audience these books are (partialy) aimed. From the previous book, Bond doesn't seems to have sexual pulsions or know something about it, could be interesting to know that have changed, to know why he decided one day to go at prostitutes in Paris. Think it is important to understand the psycologie of the carracter. It's cap in a boy life to lose virginity, and for me, it's must me be explained (and not in a shy way, with some details of the act !). (And why he was in Paris btw ?)

    There other important thing important before go to war's year, is that before war, Bond go two month in Monte-Carlo for a mission with Mathis. And before war, he have take the Transsibérian train (Cole fuck that up, Bond shouldn't have take plane in Red Nemisis to go to Russia but the Transsibérian).

    One important other thing, is the moment that Bond enlist himself in war, and it before he have 20 (since he lie in his age by saying he have 19).

    But I agree, that except these three point that Fleming have talked in his books, there no point to to make last the pre-war years by creating intrigues that have no roots with what Fleming have revealed about his past. And I these war years, even if it is considering no pollitically correct these day, Bond must lit his first cigarettes. In interview, Higson explain he begin smoke during war because it's was a difficult time, and for me it a good explanation.

    The pollitically correct is the main obstacle, IFP MUST dare to include for the first time in his book "destined" to young audience, tabbaco and sex (and alcohol) ! There are already strong violence scenes in the previous, there no reason to no include that too. Not including this will be a outrage to the Bond carracter, a serious lose of quality for the serie... The serie and Bond will be travesty by Pollitically Correct. Maybe the solution is simple : the problem is young audience so the solution is simple : not market anymore the new serie as books for young people, change the name of the serie in something who doesn't have "Young" in it.
  • edited October 2017 Posts: 2,389
    timmer wrote: »
    @Bounine

    Cole has written the four books that he was contracted for.
    Do you know, is that it?
    Any idea where young Bond is going? Are we ever going to get him to age 16 at least .
    Actually, I'd like to see a jump-ahead to age 20.
    Stories of Bond losing his virginity and further teenage sexploits, I find creepy.
    Bringing him up to the war years is all we need now. He is already quite formidable, worldly and smooth with the young women.
    We can just allow that he had a fairly normal life between the last YB adventure, and moving forward to the edge of the war.
    My 2 cents.

    I'm eager to find out what's happening next.

    "We can just allow that he had a fairly normal life between the last YB adventure, and moving forward to the edge of the war."

    Not when there's money to be made. ;)
  • Posts: 3,785
    And before war, he have take the Transsibérian train (Cole fuck that up, Bond shouldn't have take plane in Red Nemisis to go to Russia but the Transsibérian).

    Not unless he goes to Vladivostok, or from Vladivostok to Moscow. The Trans-Siberian departs from Moskow, not from London.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Siberian_Railway
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    I wonder who's going to write Young Bond Vol. 3 now that Cole himself completed his run.
  • Posts: 4,622
    @Moneyofpropre

    I'm not worried about the YB being burdened by pc. Sure it's possible, but so far we haven't seen it.
    He's developed a taste for booze. Cole got that established in the last book. So that path is marked. He's no stranger to violence.
    Bond smoking will not be a stretch. He'll be starting very shortly in his teens, which would be quite normal for the 1930s.
    As for girls, he's still only 15, as of last adventure.
    But it's being made clear, that both teen-girls, and older women too, are very interested in the YB.
    He's interested alright, but he's also much like his future self. The women are coming to him. He'll move when the the time is right. There really is no urgency. He's basically got them lining up. Being actual James Bond will do that.

    Shouldn't be difficult for the next author to get him to Flemings brothel by age 16.
    But beyond that it's not a stretch I don't think, that the teen Bond not crank up the womanizing, till he's more mature, and better able to handle it, when he's 18 say.
    I think that is perfectly natural evolution for a teenage male.
    Even Flemings adult Bond spaced out his conquests.

    But I would like to know what's going on with this series.
    Cole did a real good job. I'd just let him continue
  • edited January 2018 Posts: 2,389
    Yeah, I'd like to know what's going on with Young Bond not to mention when Horowitz's new Bond novel will be released this year. This has got to be the quietest period I’ve ever known in the world of Bond in terms of the films and books.
  • Posts: 2,389
    Well, I finally finished reading Cole's last Young Bond effort, "Red Nemesis". Thoroughly enjoyable but my favourite in his series is "Heads You Die". Overall, he did a fine job with his Young Bond series. I wouldn't say that they're better than Higson's books but atleast on the same level. In terms of Higson's Bond, "By Royal Command" is my favourite.

    Now, I can't decide whether I should start reading "Forever and a Day" or savour the excitement for longer and read another non Bond novel...
  • Posts: 3,785
    Gerard wrote: »
    And before war, he have take the Transsibérian train (Cole fuck that up, Bond shouldn't have take plane in Red Nemisis to go to Russia but the Transsibérian).

    Not unless he goes to Vladivostok, or from Vladivostok to Moscow. The Trans-Siberian departs from Moskow, not from London.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Siberian_Railway

    Well, after reading the novel, I've seen that I was right : Bond goes nowhere near Siberia, and thus doesn't need to take the TransSiberian. BTW, this is a train that is not very much liked here in France. Many people put their savings into the building of this line, and were quite screwed later on.

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emprunt_russe
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