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Publisher's Summary

What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the James Bond series, readers meet a 13-year-old schoolboy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will one day take him all over the world, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals known to man.

When we're first introduced to young James, he's just started boarding school at Eton in the 1930s. His first adventure is set in the Highlands of Scotland, where James spends a holiday at a remote castle. Mysterious things start to happen, someone has disappeared; then James discovers that the dark waters around the castle contain a sinister secret, and he becomes aware that a very dangerous mind is at work. SilverFin is the story of Young Bond's first mission to thwart a deadly foe.

Acclaimed British writer Charlie Higson has written a brilliantly crafted tale that ingeniously uncovers the unknown story of a boy who became one of the most iconic figures of our time. Commissioned by the Ian Fleming estate, SilverFin is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will mesmerize listeners of all ages from the very first minute.

©2005 Ian Fleming Productions, Ltd.; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    87
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    57
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    27
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    7
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    5

Performance

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    60
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    22
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    5
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Pleasant Surprise

I've been told repeatedly by fellow 007 fans that I needed to read this series. I'm not really sure why I'd not done this before, but I'm glad I finally picked this one up. I am truly impressed with it! The best way to relate it to the Bond we know is to compare it to the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. It's the same kind of thing, where you can see the elements that would turn the kid into the man we know.

And in this case, the man we know is definitely Fleming's Bond. The setting is in the early 30s when Germany is only beginning its rise to power, and young Bond is still in school, learning to drive a car, and facing off against the local bullies. In this case, the local bully's father happens to be into eugenics. What are the odds?

There are plenty of nods to both Fleming and to Connery to make this enjoyable without going overboard with it. And as a bonus, the narration provided by Nathaniel Parker is a first class performance at all turns. Even when the story isn't so credible, Parker makes you believe it.

All in all, a solid beginning. I'm looking forward to more!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

looking forward to the sequel

My 12yo (and rabid Bond fan) son and I listened to this on a recent roadtrip. I have to say it was a hit with both of us... a good introduction for young Bond fans who may not be ready for the "Full-Flemming". We look forward to grabbing the sequel from Audible when it is available!

FYI - Another good 'starting Bond' is Thunderball - similar to the movie, straight forward, minimal graphic content.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Grandson Didn't Like -- He's the Audiance

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Narrator was pretty bad with his different voices. Grandson lost interest after1st chapter was over.

Given, I've been searching and searching for books he will listen too as he loves spy stuff, but he didn't like this...and he is the audience.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I actually liked the story line, but I'm not the audience.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nathaniel Parker?

I don't know...Grandson liked Stormbreaker and Nathaniel did that one too, so I'm not sure where that leaves me. I liked Nathaniel in Stormbreaker too, but not this one.

Do you think SilverFin needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I think most books in this genre need a series.

Any additional comments?

I'm sorry I'm so much trouble, but I'll keep trying until my Grandson is happy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book.

This is an excellent, thrilling story. And... what an incredible narrator. if you like Alex Rider, you will enjoy this!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

James Bond, the Hogwarts years j/k

So this takes place WAY before Bond was Bond. This is a school boy on an adventure who just happens to be James Bond. It's interesting though because as slow as it starts (why I didn't give it 5 stars) it really does develop into something nice.

I think the lessons, experiences, and mentoring moments in this story translates well into the foundation for James Bond. It's pretty fun, if a bit slow at the start. It wraps nicely and I'm interested to follow this to the next in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Awesome story!
Listening to Nathaniel Parker made the story sound British.
Always love a good Bond adventure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 08-22-13

Good story and pace

Would you consider the audio edition of SilverFin to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of SilverFin?

Being fed to
mosquitos!

Have you listened to any of Nathaniel Parker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Don't know

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No but it was entertaining for a long drive.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good beginning

What made the experience of listening to SilverFin the most enjoyable?

The narrator did an excellent job of not only passing on the curiosity of the Young Bond as well the danger he found himself in...

Who was your favorite character and why?

A young james bond of course

What does Nathaniel Parker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

a sense of danger in his voice

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

not quite but two sessions was good.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • david
  • Winston Salem, NC, United States
  • 06-12-11

Decent story about Bond as a boy

If you are a Bond fan you will enjoy this. Since the movies are on hiatus I needed a little 007 fix and this did the job. Although this book takes place when Bond is a boy it, it still hits the James Bond themes very well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • rage01aba
  • Belleville, IL, United States
  • 10-14-08

The Making of The Ultimate Spy

In truth, the Young Bond series had me more than nervous. When IFP announced that they had commissioned Charlie Higson a comedian to pen the series. However, he is an obvious 007 fan because he definitely stays true to the spirit of the character. Any Bond fan should definitely read this series because Higson very smartly throws in bits and pieces of the 007 legacy in the novels and gives us reasons why Bond is the way he is. Silverfin being the first of five novels (so far) must be read first. The characters are rich and feel like Ian Fleming himself could have pinned them. The Narrator's voices for each charater is amazing and the same narrator does all three in the series that are currently in audible. In my opinion, Silverfin is a page turner when I read it in book form I couldn't put it down and again when I listened to it I couldn't stop. The Young Bond series is the perfect way to introduce a child to the wonderful world of 007. May anyone who reads or listens to this book be shaken and stirred.