When James stumbles upon a horrific sight, he knows things are not what they seem. His school is determined to make him believe what happened was an accident, but James believes what he saw was murder.
The significance of the events at school only come to light in the course of an adventure that takes James across Europe and puts him within range of a warmongering villain. Has James got what it takes to triumph over this man, the worst kind of enemy, who boasts a new kind of weapon?
Reviewed on 13th November 2016
The third book in Steve Cole's Young Bond series (which itself is a continuation of Charlie Higson's five-book series) sees the teenage James Bond take up a place at Fettes - a traditional Scottish public school. Idyllic school life doesn't last long though - when Bond encounters a suspicious teacher and his assistant, and one of his schoolfriends is struck by lightning.
It's another really great adventure in this series that paints a good picture of its locations and time in the 1930s. I've read a number of historical young adult novels recently and it's really great how authors are telling thrilling but authentic stories from this time.
There is a touch of science fiction to the story, and I'm in two minds as to whether or not this works. It is a staple of Bond fiction and film to depict technology that's a step ahead of reality, but that's easier to consume when it's in a contemporary setting than in the past.
Overall an enjoyable read that adds another view of the era that shapes the character that we see in the later, original novels, as well as being an entertaining and age-appropriate adventure for younger readers.