Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

By Royal Command

By Royal Command

Charlie Higson
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Hyperion, 2010   ISBN: 978-1423125266

Not long ago, James Bond was in the middle of a deadly adventure in Mexico, but now he is in Austria, once more in the company of boys his own age from Eton who are spending their Easter break in the mountains. The day after he arrives, James joins his friends on the mountains for his first skiing lesson, and it isn’t long before he is able to ski down a slope without falling down.

Then one day a storm blows in, and James and another boy almost die when they are buried in snow during an avalanche. While he is recovering from his ordeal in a hospital, James overhears the rambling words of a man who is a burn victim. Though they don’t make sense, the words still stick in James’ mind. He later finds out that the man he saw is Graf Von Schlick, an Austrian aristocrat who was badly burned when he was in a car accident.

Back at Eton, James does his best to get used to being a schoolboy again, and it is not an easy adjustment to make. He keeps his head down, trying to stay out of trouble, which is when he starts to notice that someone is following him. Something is going on around Eton, but James cannot put his finger on what it is. He is even more confused when he meets Graf Von Schlick at a party. Something about the man makes James feel very uncomfortable.

Soon after helping an Eton employee called Danny with an errand, the puzzle that has been bothering him starts to make sense. James discovers that Danny is a communist revolutionary who is planning to blow up the king, members of the royal family, and countless other people. James has no choice but to try to stop Danny before it is too late. It never occurs to him that this plot is just the tip of an enormous and deadly iceberg.

In this final Young Bond title, Charlie Higson gives his readers an adventure that is captivating and thought-provoking. Though this is a fictional story, there are factual elements in the narrative, which give the tale an interesting edge. Readers will see why James grew up to be the man who defeats so many villains in the original James Bond books that were written by Ian Fleming.