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

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  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,119
    Largely thanks to Webster the dictionary guy who decided American English should have some distinct spellings. Sure not all him though.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    Bounine wrote: »
    Not sure if they do this with American writers in The UK. I'd be a bit surprised if they do.

    The British founded America. At what point did "organised" change to "organized", "colour" to "color" and "boot" to "trunk"? :)

    I'd say somewhere around the time when we won the Revolutionary War and earned the right to do whatever we pleased. ;)
  • Posts: 315
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    Thanks for all the childish American hate. Haven't heard one American yet making any derogatory remarks against our cousins. I have family in the UK and Texas love both countries ...but that's a huge sore spot with me.

    Case in point the bias against ever having an American director for Bond. Don't recall one American griping about a Brit directing Batman. Stop the hate.

    Texas is a state, not a country. Bet your UK family knows that.

  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    This book comes out in a couple of days, right? Really hoping we can get some reviews soon.
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,119
    FLeiter wrote: »
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    Thanks for all the childish American hate. Haven't heard one American yet making any derogatory remarks against our cousins. I have family in the UK and Texas love both countries ...but that's a huge sore spot with me.

    Case in point the bias against ever having an American director for Bond. Don't recall one American griping about a Brit directing Batman. Stop the hate.

    Texas is a state, not a country. Bet your UK family knows that.

    ...we all do. Thanks for your concern. Responding to you I can think of another word we spell differently... you can pick either spelling you choose.

  • edited November 2014 Posts: 2,237
    Below is the first review, presuming it's actually for real (I certainly have my suspicions [why haven't any official book reveiwers read it?] and if it is fake, apologies for the spam) and the guy actually has read the book. It is quite short.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22363629-shoot-to-kill

    "I can honestly say that it is not very often that I win any competitions, so thank you goodreads for my early release copy.

    It was with some trepidation that I started this book, as having read every Bond book prior to this one, including all of the Charlie Higson Young Bonds, which got better with every book, I was wondering whether Steve Cole could move the character on.

    I shouldn't have worried, as Steve Cole has continued where Charlie Higson left off, and has written a very good novel, which moves the character forwards from his Eton days, and has also delivered a more mature story to boot. The villains are very earthy and are never too over the top, and some of the scenes of violence are very grown up.

    Everybody knows when they pick these novels up that James will persevere, but it's the journey that he goes on, and how he endures the threats thrown at him that makes the books enjoyable.

    Along with James Bond, the series is growing up as well, and we are now entering the stage where we are starting to see him moving towards his 00 status and the adventures that we all know and love. And for me that makes the series more intriguing. "
  • edited November 2014 Posts: 7,106
    Bounine wrote: »
    Below is the first review, presuming it's actually for real (I certainly have my suspicions [why haven't any official book reveiwers read it?] and if it is fake, apologies for the spam) and the guy actually has read the book. It is quite short.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22363629-shoot-to-kill

    "I can honestly say that it is not very often that I win any competitions, so thank you goodreads for my early release copy.

    It was with some trepidation that I started this book, as having read every Bond book prior to this one, including all of the Charlie Higson Young Bonds, which got better with every book, I was wondering whether Steve Cole could move the character on.

    I shouldn't have worried, as Steve Cole has continued where Charlie Higson left off, and has written a very good novel, which moves the character forwards from his Eton days, and has also delivered a more mature story to boot. The villains are very earthy and are never too over the top, and some of the scenes of violence are very grown up.

    Everybody knows when they pick these novels up that James will persevere, but it's the journey that he goes on, and how he endures the threats thrown at him that makes the books enjoyable.

    Along with James Bond, the series is growing up as well, and we are now entering the stage where we are starting to see him moving towards his 00 status and the adventures that we all know and love. And for me that makes the series more intriguing. "

    with the release two days away the review just might be true. I will undoubtedly read this novel sooner than later. But to be honest I really look forward to Stephen Kings release the 11th this month.

    And both are pre-ordered, as well as Blue Labyrinth by messieurs Child & Preston being the new Pendergast novel.
  • Posts: 315
    Great! I've ordered my copies from Amazon U.K. Suspect they will arrive in Midland the middle of the month or later.

    Charlie Higson had told me he couldn't put Young Bond into more mature relationships because of his age. Will see if that progresses.
  • edited November 2014 Posts: 2,237
    I look forward to reading people's SPOILER FREE reviews :) prior to buying this! Well, I'll still buy it of course as it's Bond, but if the reviews aren't as great, then I'll wait for the paperback.

    More stuff to wet your appetite:

    http://www.thebookbond.com/

    I don't know if I like the image of Bond in a tuxedo holding a gun. That's adult Bond. Bond's still only 14. Maybe he had to wear a tuxedo to some swanky event but did Bond use a gun (obviously someone else's gun) in the Higson books? Maybe he did. I can't remember.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache ~ Defender of the Continuation.
    Posts: 12,699
    Bounine wrote: »
    Below is the first review, presuming it's actually for real (I certainly have my suspicions [why haven't any official book reveiwers read it?] and if it is fake, apologies for the spam) and the guy actually has read the book. It is quite short.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22363629-shoot-to-kill

    "I can honestly say that it is not very often that I win any competitions, so thank you goodreads for my early release copy.

    It was with some trepidation that I started this book, as having read every Bond book prior to this one, including all of the Charlie Higson Young Bonds, which got better with every book, I was wondering whether Steve Cole could move the character on.

    I shouldn't have worried, as Steve Cole has continued where Charlie Higson left off, and has written a very good novel, which moves the character forwards from his Eton days, and has also delivered a more mature story to boot. The villains are very earthy and are never too over the top, and some of the scenes of violence are very grown up.

    Everybody knows when they pick these novels up that James will persevere, but it's the journey that he goes on, and how he endures the threats thrown at him that makes the books enjoyable.

    Along with James Bond, the series is growing up as well, and we are now entering the stage where we are starting to see him moving towards his 00 status and the adventures that we all know and love. And for me that makes the series more intriguing. "

    Sounds rather generic in nature, but thanks for sharing anyhow. I think Steve Cole's new book will be a step up nearer to the adult Bond we all know and love here.
  • edited November 2014 Posts: 2,237
    Well, today's the day. Looking forward to people's (NON SPOILER :) ) reviews. Hopefully it'll be a good book and I hope Cole, who seems like a nice guy, reaps the benefits for his hard work. Fingers crossed for Cole, fingers crossed for us!
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    Bounine wrote: »
    I look forward to reading people's SPOILER FREE reviews :) prior to buying this! Well, I'll still buy it of course as it's Bond, but if the reviews aren't as great, then I'll wait for the paperback.

    More stuff to wet your appetite:

    http://www.thebookbond.com/

    I don't know if I like the image of Bond in a tuxedo holding a gun. That's adult Bond. Bond's still only 14. Maybe he had to wear a tuxedo to some swanky event but did Bond use a gun (obviously someone else's gun) in the Higson books? Maybe he did. I can't remember.

    Given the era and circumstances that the book is set in and not to mention boys his age today, in certain circles of a particular background, the dinner suit is by no means a problem at all. The only disastrous thing about it is, the wing - tip collar of the shirt; which is a cosmetically superficial peeve of mine of one isn't hired help.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    Just picked up my copy from waterstones!
  • Posts: 10,503
    Although I've read all the Bond novels, I can't get into the young Bond books. I tried Hurricane Gold and didn't really like it much so haven't tried the others.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache ~ Defender of the Continuation.
    Posts: 12,699
    doubleoego wrote: »
    Just picked up my copy from waterstones!

    Couldn't find a copy in my branch.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    Did you ask? They had to go rummaging in the stock room to get me my copy.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache ~ Defender of the Continuation.
    edited November 2014 Posts: 12,699
    doubleoego wrote: »
    Did you ask? They had to go rummaging in the stock room to get me my copy.

    Didn't like to ask.
  • edited November 2014 Posts: 4,622
    DrGorner wrote: »
    Although I've read all the Bond novels, I can't get into the young Bond books. I tried Hurricane Gold and didn't really like it much so haven't tried the others.
    I've read all the Young Bonds. I find them all rather meh. Readable, but rather pointless, in that I don't find this period of his life to be that interesting.
    Bond as young agent might be more interesting.
  • edited November 2014 Posts: 2,237
    A review:

    http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=Young_Bond:_Shoot_to_Kill_by_Steve_Cole

    Sounds promising. It has a few very minor spoilers but nothing major. It only tells you what kinds of action scenes we can expect.

    Interestingly, MI6 have given it 3 out of 5 stars but there isn't a review there. Maybe one will follow shortly.

  • Posts: 10,503
    I agree timmer, To read about Bond's adventures as a young agent, or perhaps his war years would be great. Perhaps the new A Horowitz will have that feel as from what I've read about it, it's set in the early 50s.
  • edited November 2014 Posts: 4,622
    I won't say Charlie Higson didn't pen entertaining Young Bond yarns, because he did, but in the overall scheme of things, I could do without them.
    His general premise, that Bond had all these wild adventures, worthy of the adult Bond from age 13 and onwards is outrageous.
    The poor guy would have been exhausted by 21.
    In "reality" Bond is a seasoned 00 agent that we are introduced to by Fleming at roughly age 30.
    How long he has had the 00 agent designation, we don't know, although in the first film, the 31 year old Sean Connery Bond tells us that his Beretta has served him well for lo 10 years, suggesting he's been an armed agent provocateur type for some time.

    I like to think that when we first meet Bond in Fleming's Casino Royale his core 00 years are just beginning.
    He's now hitting his prime young-adult mature years, ie 30-plus, in which he can function in the world to maxium impact.
    Fleming rightly suggested that by age 45 such agents should be looking at retirement or downscaling their blunt instrument activities- activities better suited to younger men.

    I find Young Bond outrageous. It would make far more sense that Bond had a normal adolescent life, doing what young guys do, until such time as he was recruited into intelligence work.
    The pre-Fleming stories don't get interesting IMO until he goes up against the Nazis in WWII, presumabley as a brash, young, but highly skilled operative.
    John Pearson provided a very succint general overview of Bond's war and post-war activities prior to the events of Royale-les-eaux.
    Fleshing out Pearson's broader outline would make for great Bond storytelling.
    Personally, I would have Bond killing enemies by WWII. That's what the war was about, killling and destroying Axis personnel and operations - in Bond's case mainly Nazi's operating in the Euro theatre, although he could travel beyond the continent too.
    It was a war of global scale.

    The writer could later expand on the post-war secret service activities that warranted a 00 license.
    Bond could be shown to have peacetime lethal skills in the execution of some of his post-war adventures, ultimately leading to full conferring of 00 status as licensed assassin, for her Majesty's Secret Service.

    In the meantime, I find all these pre-war adolescent grand adventures, to be outlandish fantasy existing in a fantasy Bond universe.
    The real storytelling IMO begins when Bond finds his way into the WWII action at even say age 16, if you allow that Bond was born in 1924, which was the year of birth that William Boyd settled on for Solo.

    So, I'll will read Cole's book for posterity and dutifully shelve it along with all the other continuation efforts.
    But what I am really waiting for, along with more adult 00 Bond adventures, is Bond's wartime adventures and beyond, leading up to the life-changing events of Royale-les-eaux.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 2,131
    @timmer I 100% agree with your post. The fact that a young boy lived all those adventures (and each time it was purely by chance) is ridicolous.
  • I'm having difficulty working up enthusiasm for this one. For me, Higson did a great job but the next logical move was not to milk the YB franchise but rather to move on to Bond's war and pre CR events but somewhat unbelievabley, this is the gig that IFP have farmed out to a comic book outfit!
    Herein lies the problem. IFP's complete lack of strategy continues to exemplify how not to do things and it is little wonder that eon have chosen to create their own stories rather than to buy any of the film rights pertaining to the continuation novels.
    Doubtless I'll read it in due course but there seems to be a lack of media excitement so maybe the sausage has lost its sizzle?
  • Posts: 10,503
    +1, Villiers53.
  • edited November 2014 Posts: 2,237
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    I'm having difficulty working up enthusiasm for this one. For me, Higson did a great job but the next logical move was not to milk the YB franchise but rather to move on to Bond's war and pre CR events but somewhat unbelievabley, this is the gig that IFP have farmed out to a comic book outfit!
    Herein lies the problem. IFP's complete lack of strategy continues to exemplify how not to do things and it is little wonder that eon have chosen to create their own stories rather than to buy any of the film rights pertaining to the continuation novels.
    Doubtless I'll read it in due course but there seems to be a lack of media excitement so maybe the sausage has lost its sizzle?

    The fact that they did have Young Bond novels written means that I really don't care now that they are exploring James's Fettes days with a few more books. As I've said before, I would have preferred not to have had any books written about Bond in his early teen years. Now that they have, then they can go nuts as far as I'm concerned.

    Even though I did very much enjoy Higson's books, as others have said before, including myself, to think that a young Bond could get caught up in all these adventures is just ridiculous. I would have much preferred to have had them stick to Pearson's version of events. He did a great job. Bond's childhood days were realistic but not without romanticism, excitement and drama, albeit more subtle, which is I feel, completely appropriate. Pearson nailed it.

    In a perfect world, IFP would have started at Bond's WW2 days and had a series of books written covering this time, right up until CR. They also wouldn't have gone down the comic book route. Comics should be written based on a set of already written novels.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    Bounine wrote: »
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    I'm having difficulty working up enthusiasm for this one. For me, Higson did a great job but the next logical move was not to milk the YB franchise but rather to move on to Bond's war and pre CR events but somewhat unbelievabley, this is the gig that IFP have farmed out to a comic book outfit!
    Herein lies the problem. IFP's complete lack of strategy continues to exemplify how not to do things and it is little wonder that eon have chosen to create their own stories rather than to buy any of the film rights pertaining to the continuation novels.
    Doubtless I'll read it in due course but there seems to be a lack of media excitement so maybe the sausage has lost its sizzle?

    The fact that they did have Young Bond novels written means that I really don't care now that they are exploring James's Fettes days with a few more books. As I've said before, I would have preferred not to have had any books written about Bond in his early teen years. Now that they have, then they can go nuts as far as I'm concerned.

    Even though I did very much enjoy Higson's books, as others have said before, including myself, to think that a young Bond could get caught up in all these adventures is just ridiculous. I would have much preferred to have had them stick to Pearson's version of events. He did a great job. Bond's childhood days were realistic but not without romanticism, excitement and drama, albeit more subtle, which is I feel, completely appropriate. Pearson nailed it.

    In a perfect world, IFP would have started at Bond's WW2 days and had a series of books written covering this time, right up until CR. They also wouldn't have gone down the comic book route. Comics should be written based on a set of already written novels.

    Well, they are doing comic adaptions of the Fleming novels themselves as well, so there you go. I'm quite excited for the graphic novels myself.
  • Posts: 4,622
    Bounine wrote: »
    The fact that they did have Young Bond novels written means that I really don't care now that they are exploring James's Fettes days with a few more books. As I've said before, I would have preferred not to have had any books written about Bond in his early teen years. Now that they have, then they can go nuts as far as I'm concerned.

    Even though I did very much enjoy Higson's books, as others have said before, including myself, to think that a young Bond could get caught up in all these adventures is just ridiculous. I would have much preferred to have had them stick to Pearson's version of events. He did a great job. Bond's childhood days were realistic but not without romanticism, excitement and drama, albeit more subtle, which is I feel, completely appropriate. Pearson nailed it.

    In a perfect world, IFP would have started at Bond's WW2 days and had a series of books written covering this time, right up until CR. They also wouldn't have gone down the comic book route. Comics should be written based on a set of already written novels.
    I think you and I are on the same page. YB is a waste of space. Again, if Bond was born 1924, I can see him joining the war effort circa 1940, age 16, or whatever ie an adult late teens Bond, joining the war effort.
    As for the graphic novels, just more to read I guess, but they will become canon re. Bonds adult formative years. Maybe actual novels can be transcribed from the graphic novel stories at some point.

  • edited November 2014 Posts: 2,237
    timmer wrote: »
    Bounine wrote: »
    The fact that they did have Young Bond novels written means that I really don't care now that they are exploring James's Fettes days with a few more books. As I've said before, I would have preferred not to have had any books written about Bond in his early teen years. Now that they have, then they can go nuts as far as I'm concerned.

    Even though I did very much enjoy Higson's books, as others have said before, including myself, to think that a young Bond could get caught up in all these adventures is just ridiculous. I would have much preferred to have had them stick to Pearson's version of events. He did a great job. Bond's childhood days were realistic but not without romanticism, excitement and drama, albeit more subtle, which is I feel, completely appropriate. Pearson nailed it.

    In a perfect world, IFP would have started at Bond's WW2 days and had a series of books written covering this time, right up until CR. They also wouldn't have gone down the comic book route. Comics should be written based on a set of already written novels.
    I think you and I are on the same page. YB is a waste of space. Again, if Bond was born 1924, I can see him joining the war effort circa 1940, age 16, or whatever ie an adult late teens Bond, joining the war effort.
    As for the graphic novels, just more to read I guess, but they will become canon re. Bonds adult formative years. Maybe actual novels can be transcribed from the graphic novel stories at some point.

    I wonder if Pearson used 1920 because he thought Bond should have been around the age of 19/20, when he joined the war. Armistice Day and Bond's birthday is tomorrow! :)

    Maybe novels will be transcribed from the comics. If novels are never written covering these exciting years - WW2/pre CR, then what an incredible disappointment this would be. It'd be surprising too, seeing IFP seem to want to milk old Fleming's creation as much as possible (they probably swim in bullion on their days off). I wonder what they'd be doing for work if Bond was never created. ;) Nah, they've done good things too and I would rather keep reading continuation books then no Bond books at all. Let's just hope we get some good continuation books in the future.

    Comics are beautiful things but they can't convey as much as novels can which is why I feel that novels should be written first covering the WW2 and pre CR era. Still, there should be some beautiful war pictures of canons firing etc.

    At some point, novels must be written! If the comics have good stories, then maybe some or all of the novels will be based on these. IFP are obviously eager to do all this now. Why not I suppose. Life is short. Maybe they thought that with adult and Young Bond books being written, that more novels would have been too much, hence their choice to go down the comic book route.
  • Posts: 4,622
    btw there is a Bond birthday thread....its around here somewhere. just recently started by someone, wondering about the birthday.
    Would be a good thread to extend birthday greetings. Still,two days away for me, in my time zone.
    Pearson wrote his book in 1973 so Bond I guess would only have been 53 at that time, if born in 1920.
    I can't remember, but Pearson was probably selectively working with some of the Fleming continuity.
    But I do think Boyd made a good case for Bond being 45 in his Solo, circa 1969.
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