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Double or Die (Young Bond #3)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,450 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
Kidnap. Violence. Explosions. Murder. No ordinary weekend. But then, James Bond is no ordinary boy…

In a North London cemetery a professor is kidnapped at gunpoint.

A suspicious letter crammed with cryptic clues arrives at Eton. To decipher the deadly mystery, James Bond must take a series of dangerous gambles.

Once the code is cracked, he has just 48 hours to save the profes
Paperback, 390 pages
Published January 4th 2007 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Admittedly, I'm not a huge James Bond fan. A guy who goes around killing people and sleeping with multitudes of beautiful women (many of whom conveniently die so James can move on to the next willing babe) well, let's just say there are a lot of vocabulary words that describe such men and none of them are flattering.

I picked up this book on a whim and was surprisingly impressed with it. The young James didn't sleep with anybody or purposely kill anyone either. He was almost likeable.

I didn't re
Jul 21, 2009 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even when I was just a wee lad, I was a big fan of James Bond. I think it is probably due to the high level of action and the sense of danger that is evident in the films. When I hit high school, I ended up reading most of the books, though, I quickly learned the pacing was quite a bit slower and the plots were a bit thinner.

A few years ago, Charlie Higson started coming out with a new series called Young Bond. The first book, SilverFin starts off with James first arriving at Eton as a new stude
May 18, 2011 Viktoria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2011
A teacher from Eton gets kidnapped and he writes a letter full of riddles and clues which James and his friends solve. So they found out what happened with the teacher. the boys, which means mainly James, get into a lot of trouble and danger.
A very exciting crime-adventure novel! I like the fact that those stories are set in the 1920/30s (or something around that time). It still is fast paced and you're not missing all the new technologies, like mobiles or the internet. This story works perfect
Lady Knight
Fantastic! My favorite in the series thus far! I loved how cryptic crossword clues, ciphers, and even Charles Babbage were crucial to the plot and ultimately helped solve the mystery. James Bond proves he is more than just brawn!

A strange letter arrives at Eton for Pritpal from Professor Alexis Fairburn, who also happens to be the head of the school's Crossword Society (of which Pritpal is a member), suppossedly regarding his resignation, but the boys soon figure out that the letter contains se
Mar 05, 2014 Trish rated it really liked it
I forgot to write this review when it was fresh... hmmm... things I liked were the explanations of codes and cryptic codes. It might help me with crossword puzzles someday. My grandmother loved them and filled volumes of crossword books. My mom likes them, too, but I confess that I do not have the talent for them.

James Bond isn't bad. He's not a genius at them like his Indian friend, but he does decode a fair amount of the puzzle. I like that his friends help out, too. I loved being brought into
Libby Ames
May 10, 2010 Libby Ames rated it really liked it
As usual, I love Nathaniel Parker as a reader. However, this book is one that I would actually recommend reading in the paper copy--at least the beginning. The story begins with James and his Eton friends struggling to decode a letter sent by one of their professors. It deals a lot with cryptic clues that are very interesting but hard to follow without seeing them on paper. One of the things I appreciate about Higson's writing is he always adds details about things in addition to the story. In t ...more
Mark Buxton
Feb 18, 2016 Mark Buxton rated it it was amazing
As with the previous books, the setting is in England during the early 1900's. A teacher at Eton disappeared, and a friend of James receives a cryptic letter from him. Most of the book is spent trying to decode the seven hidden clues in order to find out what has happened to the professor. It is discovered that three men were working on a project to create a machine that thinks 1,000 times faster than any man (an early computer?), and it will be sold to the Russians. One of the men has been murd ...more
Tyler Neff
Double or Die by Charlie Higson is an unbelievable book. There's so much that happens! This is the 3rd book in the "Young Bond" series. So far, this book is my favorite in the series. I expect more exciting and awesome books in the future.

In this book, James and his friend Pritipal receive a letter from an official at their school, Alex Fairburn. In this letter, he tells that he is leaving Eton on a certain date. At least that's what James and Pritipal think... Fairburn is crossword puzzle geniu
Holger Haase
Dec 12, 2014 Holger Haase rated it liked it
I love pretty much all the Ian Fleming Bonds. Some maybe more than others but all in all they are all memorable which is more than can be said of the majority of the non-Flemings that - apart from Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun - never seem to match the unique mood and feel of the originals.

This is my first time indulging in one of the Young Bond books. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they play in the 1930s. Somehow I had thought that they may have been updated adventures but it's good to kno
Jan 16, 2015 Carson rated it really liked it
Without giving any spoilers whatsoever: this book was really good, but the ending was an incredible, brief payoff... akin to the post-credits scene of a Marvel film or what they did with the ending of "Skyfall."

Charlie Higson continues to write an impeccable Young Bond; our young hero dabbles with the likes of trying his luck in gambling, being tempted by his first drinks and doting females. However, this is still a thinking-man's Bond that Fleming would be proud of. Even more than the previous
Auburn Waves
Feb 25, 2015 Auburn Waves rated it it was ok
I gave this series a fair try, I really did. This book even had good old cryptic clues in it and probably the most interesting story line so far. So why am I leaving the series here?
Although the mysteries were fairly interesting, the book was not enough to keep attention, but the pacing has always been a little off. I have read the two others and I'm afraid the series has lost me now.
I had hoped that the writer would distance themselves from the traditional Bond, because of the young adult title
Mark Jone
Dec 11, 2014 Mark Jone rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from my nephew being a big James Bond fan and was pleasantly surprised at how well written it was. I was expecting a watered down children's version of the character but this was full blooded almost vintage Bond. Charlie Higson can write perfectly in the style of Fleming and I can't see why he hasn't been selected to contribute to the on-going literary series. In my opinion he has captured the style and inventiveness of the original books far better than any of the guest wri ...more
Henry Tynes
Apr 10, 2015 Henry Tynes rated it it was amazing
I gave Double or Die 5 stars because it was a really good mystery, with a lot of action packed chapters. If you are thinking about reading this book I advise you to read the first two books (Silverfin and Blood Fever) before you read this one. I love how the point of view changed occasionally between James Bond (the detective) and his enemies (the Russians and their army). This gives a good advantage point for the reader, allowing the reader to know what the Russians are doing. It also allows th ...more
Peter Yesayan
May 20, 2014 Peter Yesayan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
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Hank Keefer
May 03, 2015 Hank Keefer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Double or Nothing
Charlie Higson

James Bond a teenager in London, England going to Eton finds himself looking for a kidnapped Professor who leaves clues to find him along the way. After getting mixed up in a race to build the world’s first computer James is put into a world of violence that he has never seen before. He is put up to the test of saving his professor and helping his friends.

This book has a very dark side to it including when James his saving the professor the russians in the race to
Fahad Nasir
Aug 05, 2015 Fahad Nasir rated it it was ok
I believe this was a better than expected book for me. Would really recommend to Bond fans. But the book lacked tricky twists which didn't leave me awe-strucked. 3 from my side
Connor Seeman
May 09, 2014 Connor Seeman rated it really liked it
Double or Die is an awesome book to read through. The high intensity of the story with the kidnapping of one of Eton's beaks increases when James and his friends sister discover something even more high-stakes than the killers that had already kidnapped the Eton professor and killed another professor with valuable information James and his friend could have used who worked at Cambridge. The dramatic irony seen in the book is insane; like when you can tell the killer is in the room behind James a ...more
May 02, 2009 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Not as compelling as the other 2. The main mystery involves some over-the-top complicated type of word clues that I found very distracting.
Chent Higson
Mar 31, 2015 Chent Higson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I'll be honest, it wasn't as good as Blood Fever, which is slightly disappointing as Charlie's books tend to get better and better as they go one.
(view spoiler)
Alan Turning being a background character was also quite interesting, particularly as his story has been in the media in the past
Jack Lugo
Apr 17, 2015 Jack Lugo rated it it was amazing
Charlie Higson's 3rd Young Bond book was a delight to read. It all takes place before Christmas 1933 after the events of book 2. When an Eton teacher suddenly goes missing leaving behind clues to his wherabouts in a mysterious letter for Bond's messmate in the Crossword Society to solve, James Bond finds himself ensnared in another dangerous plot pitting him against 2 deadly henchmen, a traitor intent on supplying the Russians with a valuable tactical advantage, and a female Russian Colonel dubb ...more
Deroo Vasghanian
Mar 07, 2013 Deroo Vasghanian rated it liked it
Double or Die by Charlie Higson is an adventurous tale about the young James Bond as he proceeds to track down the kidnapper of one of the professors at Eton. Those who may not like Bond as a young teen, fear not. For young Bond is wise, skilled, and an expert in pretty much everything such as his older self. Before I can say anything about the story, I must get this out of the way: The story is excruciatingly slow. I am not joking when I say the first one-hundred pages of this book are merely u ...more
Jan 04, 2013 Robbie rated it it was amazing
Murder. Blood. You have 48 hours until time runs out. Young James Bond: Double or Die by Charlie Higson is a must read book! The protagonists in this story are James Bond, The Kelly’s, Professor Alexi Fairburn, Perry Mandeville, and all of his friends at his school, Eton. The Antagonists in the story are Felix Charnage, Ludwig Smith, and Wolfgang Smith. The main conflict is that Charnage captures Alexi because Alexi built a machine that he can only run. Alexi sends a letter to James and his frie ...more
Jeremy Klein
May 24, 2012 Jeremy Klein rated it it was amazing
My book is Double or Die by Charlie Higson. The book has 320 pages.

In the book James has to decipher messages. He has to solve 7 clues to figure out where one of his teachers went. He is getting help from his friends Perry and Pritapal. Pritipal is in the Crossword society at Eton. While trying to figure out these clues, James is taken to many mysterious places like a cemetery.

This book is similar to other stories. Some things that make it similar are how people have to solve puzzles everyda
Justin Litke
Jan 15, 2015 Justin Litke rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: James Bond fans of course!
Charlie Higson once again delights with the third Young Bond novel in the series. I find it very neat how there are little bits of minutiae scattered throughout that only fans of 007 or people who've read the original novels by Ian Fleming would realize. This adventure finds James in a race against time as Eton Professor Alexis Fairburn is kidnapped. He leaves a series of cryptic clues for James to solve. But its not only Fairburn's life at stake... its the world's!
Ben Gant
Mar 19, 2014 Ben Gant rated it it was amazing
The Young James Bond Series is a great, fast-paced, action-packed young adult series. It is exactly what it sounds like: adventures of James Bond when he was young.
When a mysterious letter arrives at Eton from a missing teacher, James is plunged into a mystery involving a lifetime friendship, twin assassins, gambling, crossword puzzles, and a century-old idea. Can James rescue brilliant Professor Fairburn from the clutches of the Russians before he is shipped to the USSR?
Feb 12, 2016 Gary rated it really liked it
Each book in this series of Higson's is better than the last and the plausible way that he retroactively explains things established in Fleming's original books in this earlier phase of Bond's life is terrific fun. The additional dimension to this book is the introduction of brains to the schoolboy brawn in the form of a puzzle solving dimension to the plot. It's a nice tribute too, to feature real life wartime cryptologist and Father of modern computing, Alan Turing in a small supporting role. ...more
Mariam Abood
A lot of people seem to like this book, it was never really my cup of tea. If I had to rate my favourite books in the series it would be:
1:Blood Fever
and then I'm not really fussed about the rest of the books. I think my issue was the fact that I thought Blood Fever was genuinely superb and one of the best books I have ever read, so this book had to be exceptionally better as I now had really high standards. Unfortunately it wasn't exceptionally better, not even a bit better so it jus
Carmen D
Sep 12, 2013 Carmen D rated it really liked it
Double or Die, by Charlie Higson, is about adventure and mystery. The book takes place in England, in the 1930’s. It is about a young boy named James Bond, a boy just trying to make his way in the world without getting into too much trouble. However, when a mysterious letter appears he must go on the ride of his life to rescue his teacher, and save the world. This is a great and exciting book; you never want to put it down. Every chapter is laced with action packed suspense, discovering the plo ...more
Jul 09, 2013 Mackenzie rated it liked it
Since reading every Ian Fleming novel. Hearing about young Bond I seemed quite skeptical. Though they are quite good. Almost all of the books have to do with the other Bond novel.
Silverfin: Octopussy or Hildebrand Rarity
Double or Die: You Only Live Twice
Hurricane Gold: Goldfinger there's in odd job reference in this one.
By Royal Command: On her majesty's secret service. I really do like the author and these are written very well. I honestly wish they would make them into movies. In the books
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UWCSEA Middle Sch...: Terrific book 1 23 Nov 27, 2012 02:18AM  
  • The Man With the Red Tattoo (Raymond Benson's Bond, #6)
  • Shoot to Kill
  • The Escape (Henderson's Boys, #1)
  • Death Is Forever (John Gardner's Bond, #12)
  • Jimmy Coates: Target
  • James Bond and Moonraker (Film-Script Adaptation)
  • James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007
Higson was educated at Sevenoaks School and at the University of East Anglia (where his brother has taught since 1986 and is now a professor of film studies) where he met Paul Whitehouse, David Cummings and Terry Edwards. Higson, Cummings and Edwards formed the band The Higsons of which Higson was the lead singer from 1980 to 1986. They released two singles on the Specials' 2-Tone label. Higson th ...more
More about Charlie Higson...

Other Books in the Series

Young Bond (8 books)
  • SilverFin
  • Blood Fever
  • Hurricane Gold
  • By Royal Command
  • Shoot to Kill
  • Heads You Die
  • Strike Lightning

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