Hi, my name is Bill Corder and I am the relatively new youth services manager at the Beaufort library.
Today I would like to talk about a really great juvenile series book, "Hurricane Gold," by Charlie Higson. This book is part of the "Young Bond" series of which there are five books. These books tell the story of James Bond, yes THE Bond created by Ian Fleming and made into a massive movie franchise, as a young teenager.
James is orphaned at a young age, going to school at Eton Boarding School and is being raised by his Aunt Charmian while not in school. He is far from the best student at the school but is smart enough to get by and is a great athlete. In this fourth novel he is supposed to be relaxing in Mexico, while his aunt -- with the assistance of a renowned aviator named Jack Stone -- goes off to investigate an ancient Mayan tribe living in a rain forest. James is left with Stone's children Precious, who is around his own age, and her younger brother, J.J., in a small Mexican city. After Charmian and Jack are gone, everything goes badly, very quickly.
First, a hurricane hits the small town and surrounding areas. At the same time, a number of thieves and cutthroats have broken into Mr. Stone's home. James, Precious and J.J. escape by the skin of their teeth, but are soon captured by the gang, who are looking for something very valuable that Jack Stone has hidden. The trio is taken hostage while the thugs try to open the treasure chest. Along the way, James fights to help Precious and her brother escape without getting killed by their new acquaintances. The gang is taken down to just one as James gets J.J. to safety, but he winds up with the gang leader and Precious on Lagrimas Negras, an island ruled by a very powerful and dangerous man known as El Huracan, who takes in criminals for a price.
There is one catch: They can never leave, under penalty of death. The island is a secret, and El Huracan will not let its existence become common knowledge under any circumstances. Those who are caught trying to escape must, in order to live and be let go, travel through the deadly maze known as "La Avenida de le Muerte" (The Avenue of Death). No one has ever survived the maze and all are terrified of it. However, for James to get Precious and himself back to their lives off the island, they must brave the maze and do what no one else has accomplished: Live.
This is an exciting book full of adventure and intrigue. The stakes are high and nothing is safe. This is an awesome read for those in the age range of 10 years old.