Young Bond

Young Bond is a series of young adult spy novels featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent James Bond as a young teenage boy attending school at Eton College in the 1930s. The series, written by Charlie Higson, was originally planned to include only five novels; however, after the release of the fifth novel, Higson considered the possibility of a second series. In October 2013 it was confirmed that a second series of four novels was in development, with the first novel due for release in Q3 2014, but it would be penned by Steve Cole while Higson continued work on his young adult zombie series, The Enemy.
Since the release of the first novel, SilverFin, in 2005, the series has become very successful and has led to further works including games, a graphic novel and a supplemental travel guide.
English-language versions of the books are published by Puffin Books in the United Kingdom and Hyperion Books For Children in the United States.

Charlie Higson's books

According to Charlie Higson, Ian Fleming Publications initially planned for him to only write one novel and that every subsequent novel would be written by a rotating author. This plan fell apart and Higson agreed to author future books in the series. However, comments made by Higson in an interview could suggest that after Higson's five books are completed, the series may be continued by another author.

Main series

An original Young Bond short story by Charlie Higson titled "A Hard Man to Kill" was published in the companion book on 29 October 2009. The story is set between the books Hurricane Gold and By Royal Command and involves Young Bond travelling back to London aboard the French ocean liner SS Colombie. An extract from the story appeared in the paperback edition of By Royal Command. It is the longest James Bond short story yet written.

Steve Cole's books

On 9 October 2013 Ian Fleming Publications announced that a new series of four Young Bond books were in development, written by Astrosaurs creator, Steve Cole. Cole's novels will follow on from Higson's last entry, By Royal Command and the aftermath of Bond's expulsion from Eton. The first novel will be published in the UK by Random House in the autumn of 2014. A lifelong fan of the original Bond novels, Cole described the task as "a thrilling privilege and an exciting challenge".
In an interview with the Bucks Herald, Cole confirmed that Bond would be 14–15 years old in his novels and that the books would show how the adult Bond was formed. As part of the process for securing the position, Cole was tasked with creating a pitch for a story arc that would stretch across all four books. In May 2014, it was announced that Cole's book, titled Shoot to Kill, and was released on 6 November 2014.
In October 2015 at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in England, Cole revealed the cover art for his second novel in the series, titled Heads You Die, which will be published by an imprint of Random House called Red Fox and the book will be released on 5 May 2016.
In May 2016, Cole's third book in the series is revealed to be titled Strike Lightning, scheduled to come out sometime during Fall later in the year.
In September 2016, the title of Cole's fourth and final Young Bond novel was revealed to be Red Nemesis.

Main series

Pre-release criticism

Prior to the release of SilverFin, the idea of a Young Bond series had not gone over too well with the fans of the more traditional Bond literature and had come under heavy fire, with some fans comparing it to an unsuccessful 1960s attempt by Bond's publishers to launch a youth-oriented line of fiction that resulted in only one book: The Adventures of James Bond Junior 003½ written by the pseudonymous R. D. Mascott. There was also a moderately successful James Bond Jr. television series in the early 1990s aimed at children that dealt with Bond's supposed nephew.
John Gardner, who had written fourteen original novels and two novelisations featuring the adult Bond, was also critical of the series prior to the release of the first book. He stated:
It's just the last desperate attempt to draw in a new audience. The films have little to do with the Bond we used to know, and now the books are going the same way.

Higson, for his part, has been on record as stating that he intends to stay true to the backstory Ian Fleming created for Bond, though this in many ways contradicts the popular by John Pearson.

Post-release reaction

When SilverFin was published in March 2005, reviews of the novel were good. This, in addition to a large marketing campaign in the United Kingdom, elevated SilverFin to the number eight spot on the Booksellers list of best-selling children's books in the UK. By November 2005, SilverFin had already sold 500,000 copies worldwide.
A second book in the Young Bond series, Blood Fever, was released on 5 January 2006 in the UK having been delayed from an initial release in October 2005. The book reached the number one spot on the Booksellers list of best-selling children's books in the UK in its second week of release and held the spot for eleven weeks.
Double or Die, the third book in the series, was released in the UK on 4 January 2007, having had its title announced the day before. The title was voted on in a national poll on the official Young Bond website; the other two titles to choose from were N.E.M.E.S.I.S. and The Deadlock Cipher. After the first three days of Double or Die's release it took the number two spot on the Booksellers list of best-selling children's books in the UK and number fourteen in the overall UK Top 50 list. A week later it had climbed to number one on the children's list and the number twelve spot overall.
As of March 2009 the Young Bond novels have sold over 5 million copies and have been translated into 25 languages.
In December 2010 all five Young Bond books were released as eBooks by Ian Fleming Publications.
On 5 May 2011 Puffin Books released two special editions of SilverFin
The five book Young Bond series will be re-released in the UK on 5 April 2012 with all new cover art by Hyperion Books.

US publication

In June 2004 it was announced that the Young Bond series would be published by Miramax Books, then still a part of Disney. The acquisition was announced by Miramax co-chair Harvey Weinstein and Miramax Books president & editor in chief Jonathan Burnham. The deal's price tag was not disclosed, but was understood to be in the six-figure range. Miramax, in conjunction with Disney's Hyperion Books for Children label, published SilverFin in 2005 and Blood Fever in 2006. Following Miramax's split from Disney, Ian Fleming Publications struck a new deal for the remaining books with Hyperion Books for Children. This created a gap between publication of the books in the UK and US, with the third book, Double or Die not appearing in the US until April 2008. Book Four, Hurricane Gold, was published by Disney-Hyperion in April 2009. Also in 2009, Disney-Hyperion re-released SilverFin and Blood Fever with new cover art by artist Kev Walker. By Royal Command and SilverFin: The Graphic Novel were released in the US on 18 May 2010.

Other media


With the release of the Hurricane Gold book TAMBA and Fleming media released the game which is based on one of the chapters in the book.
On 11 August 2008 Puffin Books announced the first Young Bond alternate reality game, . The online game started on 23 August, when Charlie Higson set the first mission during his appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. In the game, players around the world use a range of media, including the Young Bond books themselves and the World Wide Web, to complete the missions and influence the outcome of the game. Charlie Higson took part in a live online event that concluded the game on 8 October 2008.


On 23 April 2005, Ian Fleming Publications released the first illustration of the thirteen-year-old James Bond drawn by Kev Walker. Walker illustrations have also been used on the covers of the U.S. hardback editions of Blood Fever and Double or Die. Walker also illustrated the SilverFin graphic novel released in the UK on 2 October 2008.

Graphic novels

In 2008, SilverFin: The Graphic Novel, was released as a graphic novel on 2 October 2008 by Puffin Books. The book was written by Charlie Higson and illustrated by renowned comic book artist Kev Walker. It was released by Disney Publishing in the US as both a hardcover and paperback in 2010 and was awarded the 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award the following year.


Due to the success of SilverFin and Blood Fever, Hollywood has been interested in adapting these novels to film; however, Ian Fleming Publications and Charlie Higson have said they hope to release a few more books before possibly considering it. Today, it is believed the film rights to James Bond on film reside exclusively with Danjaq, LLC, the parent company of Eon Productions, however, according to Charlie Higson this is not exactly the case.