BOOK REVIEW By George G: Young Bond – Double or Die by Charlie Higson

Double or Die is the third book in the Young Bond series of books which are about James Bond when he is growing up. Whilst at Eaton School, a ‘suspicious letter crammed with cryptic clues arrives’. He has to decipher the codes and look for clues to work out the meaning of the letter and eventually works out that someone has been kidnapped and needs help. He goes on a dangerous mission to save them, but only has 48 hours until the person is murdered. One of the things that I liked about the book was that you could try and solve some of the clues yourself as you go along. It is written in a way that you can think about it yourself instead of having everything solved straight away for you; one clue isn’t solved until the very end.

Another thing I like is that there are frequent changes of scenery and you never stay in one place for too long. It starts at Eaton but by going through the clues James ends up going to Cambridge (where he meets a young Alan Turing), to London and even onto a ship that is about to set off to Russia.

I also like the fact that there is lots of action which you can easily imagine and see in your head thanks to the good description. One of my favourite moments is towards the end where there is a gun fight on the deck of the ship and you can really imagine the wet, slippery floor, the strong wind and thick fog. There is a car chase scene that I also like because you get a sense of excitement that you don’t often get in books.

If there was something that I didn’t like about the book, it would be that, although I like the fact that you have time to think about the clues yourself, it does take a while to get going and there is a lot of trial and error at the start until it starts to get to the main action.

My favourite character is Alexis Fairburn, who is the person who sends the cryptic letter, because you start off by knowing absolutely nothing about him but gradually start to learn little pieces of information as the book goes on until you get to meet him towards the end.

I think the book is aimed at older children and teenagers because some of the scenes that I described above could possibly be a little bit complicated or tense and scary for younger children. Even though it is aimed at children, I think that adults who like James Bond would enjoy this book because it isn’t written in a really simple way like some other children’s books are.

Even though I preferred the second book in the series, I still really enjoyed this book, would recommend it to other people and I look forward to reading the rest of the books.


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