Reviews arrive for Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing, Kim Sherwood’s novel that expands the James Bond literary universe of 00-agents, is officially published Sept. 1 in the U.K. Reviews already are coming in

What follows are non-spoiler excerpts. James Bond is missing. Sherwood introduces a new cast of agents. They are directly overseen by Moneypenny. After a trilogy of Anthony Horwitz Bond continuation novels in the Ian Fleming timeline, the new Sherwood book timeshifts to the present day (or near future) with a plot related to climate change.

ROBERT CRAMPTON, THE TIMES: “The problem I had with Double or Nothing isn’t Kim Sherwood’s cultural update, it’s that James Bond, missing presumed dead, isn’t in it. So we get a Bond book without Bond. Which means we get a decent but nothing special spy thriller, better than Fleming in one way (because Fleming was a mediocre writer), but far inferior in the only way that matters. Because Fleming had one stroke of genius, namely creating this one fabulous character, the premier fictional star of the late 20th century. And Sherwood chooses to place this star, this legend, this 101-year-old king of cars and costume, coitus and cloak and dagger, not to mention luxury travel, off stage. Weird one.”

DAVID LEIGH, THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER: “The author, Kim Sherwood, is someone I was unfamiliar with but her writing is fast paced and she throws you right into the action from the start. While James Bond is MIA he looms in the background and there are many familiar elements and characters throughout the book…There are a whole host of characters, both from previous Bond books and new Double-O agents. Reflecting the modern world these characters are a much more diverse bunch than those appearing in Ian Fleming’s works. Most of the time they work perfectly well, at times it feels a little forced.”

SAM TYLER, SFBOOK.COM: “This is a thoroughly modern Bond book that brings (Ian) Fleming’s voice into 2022 and promises the future…The young agents also feel fresh, diverse, and deadly…Sherwood plays up the duplicitous nature of the agents. There are few people less trustworthy than someone who lies for a living…Rather than disturbing the legacy of Bond, (Double or Nothing) gives the franchise some new legs.”

In the United States, Double or Nothing won’t be published until April 2023. That follows the pattern of recent Bond continuation novels from Ian Fleming Publications.