I didn't like it. I didn't like it at all. Steve Cole is NO Charlie Higson. I couldn't believe how blandly written this tale was. So superficial. There is absolutely nothing that kept me glued to the page. This book just had no life to it. And for a book aimed at young readers it was far too violent and gory. I understand that Higson's books had the odd grisly moment here and there but I don't remember them being anything like this. Overall I found this a very dissapointing reading experience. I literally can't think of any one thing to recommend it.
ChickenStu on "Shoot To Kill"
Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:48 PM
Can't say that I'm all that surprised. The literary franchise is in a bad place right now in terms of quality. Hopefully Horowitz's book will revitalize the franchise, but that seems like something hoped for for quite some time now without it having happened.
Posted 17 November 2014 - 04:32 PM
Exactly, tdalton. The literary franchise (adult Bond franchise) has been in a bad place ever since some genius at IFP decieded, that every next novel should be penned by a different author. I'm not saying that Raymond Benson was a particulary talented writer, but at least he had a vision of his James Bond (I enjoyed most of his books, though, especially for some really good ideas). Right now there is no follow-up, continuity. It's like a road to nowhere.
Posted 19 November 2014 - 05:11 AM
My copy arrived today. I'll start reading later. I'm going in with an open mind, but Cole sure does have a tough act to follow in Charlie.
Posted 13 December 2014 - 07:11 PM
I enjoyed it and thought Cole a worthy successor to Higson, though, as Zencat notes in his review, the period detail isn't sufficiently evocative. (And by the way, as best I can figure, the term "paramedic" (chapter 14) wasn't coined until 1969; worse, by no stretch of the imagination can Chicago be considered to be located in northwest Illinois.) My biggest criticism relates to the concluding battle inside the film studio, where James avoided the villains too easily. I'm looking forward to the next one.
Posted 28 December 2014 - 06:07 AM
I loved the reference to Hoagy Charmichael and Cole's nods to Higson throughout. I really think Cole will come into his own in his next novel. Shoot To Kill may not have been SilverFin but it is always good to have 007 back regardless. If Cole also has a 5 book arc like Higson did than I can see why he chose Bond to go to Hollywood. He just needed Bond to have an adventure before going to Fettes. Higson took a few adventures away from school, like Bloodfever and Hurricane Gold. I'll expect Mr. Cole to have Bond in Fettes and run into trouble in his next novel as the SIS continues to eye Bond as a potential recruit. So, regardless of how well the writing is I'm really enjoying seeing the journey leading up to, eventually, Bond as we know him.
Posted 31 December 2014 - 08:15 PM
I really enjoyed Shoot To Kill, I'm not American, so didn't notice the anachronisms that others have mentioned - and, tbh, I doubt many of the target audience (Young Adult) would notice them either.
The plot had a good mix of Bondian action, and it didn't water down the violence in a patronising way just because it's a "childrens' book"
I look forward to seeing what he brings out in the future.
Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:57 AM
It took me some time, but finally I've finished reading it.
It's really hard not to compare Cole's work with Higson's. And such a comparison is not in favor of Steve Cole. "Shoot to Kill" doesn't have a certain verve, spirit of Higson's novels. Plot is not as engaging (the novel has a promising opening, after which the pace slows a bit to much. And that's strange since there's a lot of action in the book).
Nevertheless, the biggest drawback are characters - rather shallow, lifeless.
However it does have some climatic elements, some good ideas, really interesting and promising character of Adam Elmhirst who, I presume, will be one of the main characters in Cole's forthcoming novels.
Anyway, Cole must be given a credit of trust. After all, Higson's "SilverFin" was not as good as its sequels.
By the way. Is it just me or the book was.. kind of oddly written? Some unusual vocabulary, perhaps? Native speakers of English surely won't even notice it, but for me parts of it were difficult to read (I know my English is far from perfect, but I have no problems with novels.. usually).
Posted 12 October 2015 - 02:29 AM
I am not encouraged by what I have read in reviews. It appears the writing is not compelling, the plot and villain are ridiculous and the writing and editing (did anyone bother ?) are terribly sloppy. "Paramedic" " Really ? I have read that reference is made to the Chevrolet Corvette, the first of which was sold in 1953, though the story is set in the 1930s. Outrageous ! How could anyone editing miss this ? Did anyone at IFP review it before publication ? Not to mention, of course -- what was the AUTHOR thinking ?
And now, the same author has another one coming. Here's hoping he took note of the criticisms !