'Double Or Die' reviewed by Devin Zydel
CBn Reviews Young Bond #3: 'Double Or Die'
Posted 16 May 2007 - 03:08 AM
Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:14 AM
Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:58 PM
(Also dig the special DoD/CBn icon.)
Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:25 PM
Long time, no post. I'll start here. Just finished reading "Double or Die" and am startled and delighted with how great it is. I echo everything that Qwerty said; this is a terrific read and a nice intro to the character of Bond. I think we can all withdraw our initial reluctance about a "Young Bond" series" being a repeat of "James Bond Jr." This is a straight-on, hard-edged narrative that sustains the conventions of Fleming's work, yet tailors it for a younger audience, an audience, we've all discovered, that can enjoy more involved and emotionally demanding stuff (such as the later Potter novels).
One thing I'd comment upon further, though, is the way in which Higson ratchets up the intensity in this book. "SilverFin" was, in a way, a gripping boys adventure of a sort. "Double or Die" actually begins to move the pieces of Bond's character around toward our more familiar view of him as an adult. And does it in a way that is plausible and satisfying. His Young Bond is not some Hardy Boy. We grow to understand the pressures and pains the young man has faced, the pressures and pains that will shape him as a man, for better or for worse.
And that's the balancing act that Higson is deftly performing. He's keeping the tone acceptible to a younger audience, but he is adding some definite -- and somewhat disturbing -- shadows to young master James. There are callouses forming over his heart, and we can see them, but they are woven into the tale so well that they just play as elements of the narrative, not as foreshadowing.
Higson is doing a brilliant job, and his books are getting better and better. I do wish one thing, though: that he would have James talk about his parents' deaths directly, maybe even show them in a flashback. (For those who haven't read my fan fiction story "A Life After This One," I humbly make a shocking supposition about their deaths, one that was just kind of lying there for anyone to make.) Does anyone remember from any of the books if James actually was THERE when they died? Did he see it happen?
Anyway, a ripping good read, if I may wax British. I concur with Sharpshooter. Bring on "Hurricane Gold"!
Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:30 PM
Posted 07 December 2007 - 09:21 AM
I love the dark mood and more realistic atmosphere that is more apparent than the other Young Bond novels so far.
I love them all, but this one has a beautiful claustrophobia and haunting aspect to it.
Posted 24 February 2009 - 06:41 PM
Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:41 PM
I'm still on the fence about this little epilogue. It was certainly great to see how Higson would handle such writing, but it still jars a little bit for me. That said, it fits in a lot better than I once thought it did.
While the ending of BF was definitely more Fleming than DoD's, I was pleased to see Higson pen a brief section featuringSpoiler.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 03:49 AM
Posted 25 February 2009 - 03:58 AM
Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:51 PM
Ditto. I think it disappointed me at the time because it wasn't an "epic Bond story" like the ridiculously brilliant Blood Fever. But it's probably the darkest and bleakest of the Young Bond stories. I need to re-evaluate it.
Double or Die has actually stood up well over time. Of all of them, I'm actually more interested in rereading that one that any of the others at this point. If I ever get a chance to do that, that is.
Posted 09 June 2009 - 03:24 AM
Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:25 AM
Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:43 PM
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