In which the schoolboy James Bond is introduced, and has his first big adventure.
Having recently finished and enjoyed Scorpia, I was expecting good things of this book: I expected it to be a similar sort of thing, but with better writing. But it was a bit disappointing; the writing style was not fantastically good, and the story wasn't as exciting as the Alex Rider ones. There was a lot of filler stuff to explain James' family background, and I got the feeling that they felt this was necessary as a means of setting the stage for a series of junior-James Bond stories. But I think that the technique used in the Rider books, where the adventure is the main thing, but you get to find out a bit more about the hero's personal background in each new book, makes for a better read.
The story was reasonably OK: the prologue was satisfyingly creepy, and the end-game with Alex - I mean James - being captured and having to escape from the castle with its gruesome laboratory was good enough. But overall it wasn't as good as I'd been anticipating. Probably worth reading the next one, but no point in rushing out and buying it.
Completed : 03-Dec-2005