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CBn Reviews Young Bond #4: 'Hurricane Gold'


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#1 Qwerty

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 07:23 AM

My CBn review of Hurricane Gold...



A CBn Review of 'Hurricane Gold' by Devin Zydel


#2 sharpshooter

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 03:13 PM

Interesting review. Well done Qwerty :D

#3 Sbott

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 03:22 AM

Great review QWERTY. It's interesting how you seem to almost imply that this book is about setting up the final book in the series where you ng bond will be getting closer to starting his career. Similar remarks were made about the 2nd last Harry Potter novel.

#4 zencat

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 03:27 PM

Good work Qwerto.

I remember having the same feelings that this book might be more in the "Boys Adventure" vein than a "Bond Adventure" vein, but after reading it, I do see that its very strongly rooted in the Bond world, maybe even more so than the other books. El Huracan killing the traitor at his table, a fictitious Caribbean Island, the rat run death maze...all very much Young Bond versions of classic Fleming Bond motifs.

#5 sharpshooter

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 03:53 PM

El Huracan killing the traitor at his table


Oh, hush zen. :D I have yet to read the book, but that is a good teaser.

#6 ACE

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 04:03 PM

Good review, Meester Devin Zydel (did I tell you already how much I love that name?)

I sort of agree with you in that the structure is a little bit more rambling than the previous YBs. I enjoyed it and loved the large scale imagination. It felt like a journey, a real adventure in the old sense of the word. Above all, different from its predecessors with echoes of Dr No. I really enjoyed it.

#7 Qwerty

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 05:56 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys. While by no means bad, it just didn't work as well as Blood Fever and Double or Die did for me. I suppose making it a bit different from the previous books in the series is ultimately a good thing.

Roll on #5. :D

#8 Jack Spang

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 07:01 PM

Haven't read HG yet but looking forward to it. Silverfin is still my favourite. It is more contained and slower paced. Bloodfever ranks second. DOD was good and suitably dark but to fast paced with to much action and some comedy I wasn't entirely happy with. For me, while the books are most enjoyable they are getting worse as they go along.

#9 Qwerty

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:17 AM

Haven't read HG yet but looking forward to it. Silverfin is still my favourite. It is more contained and slower paced. Bloodfever ranks second. DOD was good and suitably dark but to fast paced with to much action and some comedy I wasn't entirely happy with. For me, while the books are most enjoyable they are getting worse as they go along.


I'm not sure if you're going to love Hurricane Gold as it is (in my opinion) very fast-paced compared to the other novels in the series (probably closest to Double or Die). You'll have to let us know what you think of it.

#10 sharpshooter

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:35 PM

Hurricane Gold is one long continuous adventure. It begins as soon as the cover is opened, and ends when the book is completed. It is hard to put down and maintains the reader's interest.

Charlie Higson hits the ground running in volume 4 of Young Bond, literally. We begin the book with a traitor of El Hurrican, who he expertly manages to expose, running for his life in the avenue of death. Higson sets the mood and maintains this vibe throughout. Rarely is there a chase, crocodile, flood or gangster not on hand.

James is on leave. After his events in Double or Die, he is travelling to Mexico with his Aunt Charmain - who is to be in the jungle mostly, when Bond is lazing about the household of fighter ace Jack Stone. Ironically, it is very far from the truth. The man of action James is to be fighting for his life in a series of breathless escapades involving ancient ruins, bugs and native tribes.

Upon arriving at the Stone household, James is greeted by Precious Stone. A disgracefully disrepectful rude child that orders around her servants with glee. The torment that this novel puts Precious under dramatically changes this. She is able to see the error of her behaviour, resulting in some excellent character development.

The peace is soon broken because the sky itself cracks. Rain, wind and gangsters arrive for the contents of the Stone safe. Higson brilliantly manages to describe his novel. There is genuine thrill as the ferocity of the hurricane rips apart the Stone household with unspeakable fury.

The villain of Hurricane Gold is interesting. I find El Hurrican to be my favourite YB villain. His appearances are brief and scattered. The king of his own universe, having real power - living in total luxury and seclusion. You initially view the man as a cold brute, watching with glee as people are killed in his rat run. But, as the story reaches an end, you actually connect to the man and forget who and what he is.

He has a cool aura surrounding him, being calm and patient, a man of honour, superstition and rules. The aspect of Hurrican asking James to be his apprentice and take over one day is brilliant. El Hurrican can see that this boy is more than that. He has something special about him, something that reminds him of himself.

When James defies history and completes the much feared avenue of death, El Hurrican even gives Bond a farewell dinner and they leave on good terms, with what James states was with a tinge of sadness - even after saying staying was to rot. This mutual respect and similarity in terms of thinking manages Bond to reason with El Hurrican, allowing him to hand over the US Navy documents.

Manny the girl is an interesting addition to Young Bond lore. Sent smashing out of a window, but according to James went outside for a breath of air, Manny re appears later in the novel. The difference? He has a cut in his head that exposes the rather grisly contents. This affects his memory, creating tense sequences in which he fades in and out of reality with James. Manny thinks that James is his brother and forgets his encounter, allowing Bond to use Manny to his advantage.

Although the jungle setting can occasionaly become repetitive at times, the location is perfect for Young James Bond to run amok, combining the natural world and man who wishes to control it.

The book involves the teachings of judo by a Japanese man by the name of Sakata. The teaching of skills are an important part of the Young Bond series. Skills that will become essential for his later life. It is also an insight to who this character is. Bond is a boy who wants to learn in order to be prepared and bettered personally.

When James decides to take on the avenue of death, it is telling. This boy would rather risk it all in an against all odds scenario (double or die - everything or nothing) than be controlled and rot. James sees to it to train for the avenue of death. Training and thinking of an exit, a way out.

Nothing is impossible for this boy if he wants it. This is a glorius mantra for young readers. Just because it has never been done, does not mean it can not be done. As James sais, there is a first time for everything. James eventually in the end comes out triumphant and takes the prize of freedom.

Hurricane Gold is a worthy addition to the series.

#11 Byron

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 05:57 AM

Just finished this one. Don't know how to rank it as it is very uneven and plausibility was once more stretched beyond breaking point.

First third was excellent, set the story and locations up really well. Hurricane very well done.

Second third where Bond and Precious are in tow with the gang, dragged too much. Too many characters, JJ and Sakata could have been written out all together, kind of useless to waste time with them. Too much travelling on the roads.

Final third was a little better although rushed. But Precious finding the plans to the rat race? Also El Huracan freely giving James the military documents really spoiled it for me. It would have been much better if El Huracan had kept them just as Bond and Precious kept their lives. Very soft / happy ending should have been a little harder edged.

And what happened to the croc? It would have landed very near to them.

I enjoyed it but it could have been a much tighter novel.

#12 [dark]

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:48 PM

Finally finished this last week.

As ever, superbly conceived and written. El Hurr

#13 K1Bond007

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 06:33 PM

I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Blood Fever, and I'm not sure if it quite outranks Double or Die.


That's pretty much my analysis too, though the more it settles in I know, at least for me, it's BF > DoD > HG > SF. Doesn't mean it's bad though, they're all good reads.

#14 Qwerty

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 06:10 AM

That's pretty much my analysis too, though the more it settles in I know, at least for me, it's BF > DoD > HG > SF. Doesn't mean it's bad though, they're all good reads.


That is my ranking as well. Still, SilverFin could use a re-read pretty soon. Kind of amazed it's been over two years since that one was released. I remember when we were all wondering how a Young Bond series would possibly work.

#15 Qwerty

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 04:28 AM

New (but tiny) little review at the New Zealand Herald as well: http://www.nzherald....jectid=10483085

#16 quantumofsolace

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:26 AM

My legs looked like Shirley Eatons after reading this . The gold fell everywhere yet I didn't notice until I'd finished!

Edited by quantumofsolace, 06 March 2008 - 04:35 AM.


#17 sharpshooter

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 05:12 AM

I take it you enjoyed it then. Splendid.

#18 quantumofsolace

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 05:17 AM

It is splendid.

#19 Matt_13

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:23 PM

I'm thinking of ordering this and By Royal Command off of amazon from sellers, which means I'll be getting the UK editions. Will there be any major differences between these versions and the US releases?

#20 Qwerty

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:58 PM

I'm thinking of ordering this and By Royal Command off of amazon from sellers, which means I'll be getting the UK editions. Will there be any major differences between these versions and the US releases?


The US edition comes out this April if you prefer that one: http://commanderbond.net/article/5942

...with that said, there's been no mention of there being any differences between the UK and US editions of this novel.

#21 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 07:16 AM

It was a good read but not as good as the previous two in my opinion.

I would rank Charlie Higson's books thus far as:

1. Blood Fever

2. Double Or Die

3. Hurricane Gold

4. SilverFin




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