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Blood Fever  
Puffin Books 2006 British paperback edition.
Author Charlie Higson
Cover artist Kev Walker (U.S. 1st hardback ed.)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series James Bond / Young Bond
Genre(s) Spy novel
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication date 5 January 2006
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 384 pp (first edition, paperback)
ISBN ISBN 0-14-131860-0 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC Number 62132226
Preceded by SilverFin
Followed by Double or Die

Blood Fever is the second novel in the Young Bond series depicting Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond as a teenager in the 1930s. The novel, written by Charlie Higson, was released in the UK on January 5, 2006 by Puffin Books and in the U.S. by Miramax Books/Hyperion on June 1, 2006.

Unlike the previous Young Bond novel, SilverFin, which had its U.S. edition edited to remove descriptions that were considered too racy for younger readers, Blood Fever's U.S. edition was unedited.[1] The cover of the U.S. edition also features entirely different artwork by Kev Walker who is currently working on a graphic novel adaptation of SilverFin.[2]


Plot summary

Blood Fever begins with a prologue during which a young girl named Amy Goodenough is aboard her father's yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean when she becomes witness to a band of pirates under the command of Zoltan the Magyar who board the yacht. Zoltan's men ransack the vessel and in the process murder Amy's father who was unwilling to part with his priceless possessions. When Amy fails to get revenge by stabbing Zoltan, she is taken prisoner, but swears she will one day to succeed in achieving vengeance.

Following the adventure SilverFin, James Bond is back at Eton where he is now a member of a secret risk-taking club known as the Danger Society. As summer vacation looms, James is given the opportunity to go to Sardinia on a field trip with one of his professors, Peter Haight and a colleague, Cooper-ffrench. While there Bond would also be able to visit his cousin, Victor Delacroix (a relation of Monique Delacroix, James deceased mother).

Prior to leaving, Bond learns of the tragedy that took place on the Goodenough's yacht from his friend, Mark Goodenough, Amy's brother who attends Eton. Bond is also witness to a mysterious group whose followers are marked on both of their hands with an 'M' (double M), which James eventually learns is the mark of the Millenaria, a defunct secret Italian society that has had plans throughout history to restore the Roman Empire.

Once arriving in Sardinia, James and his classmates begin a tour of the country to learn its history, during which Bond is poisoned (though the reader is not aware of it at the time) and almost killed. To get away and relax, Bond departs from his classmates to spend time with his Cousin Victor, his artist friend Poliponi, and his teenage servant Mauro. While there Victor is host to the Count Ugo Carnifex, a man who is later identified as the leader of the reorganized Millenaria that plans once again to restore the glory of the Roman Empire. Carnifex achieves the funding for such a task, as well as for his palace located high in the mountains of Sardinia, and his lavish lifestyle, by hiring pirates such as Zoltan the Magyar to plunder valuable items; however, Carnifex is a fraud who cannot actually afford to compensate his "employees". Additionally, when Zoltan arrives at Carnifex's palace, Carnifex declares ownership over Amy Goodenough, much to the great annoyance of Zoltan, whom during his travels to Sardinia had formed a unique and strange bond with Amy.

Later Bond is once again reunited with his classmates who are now in a town near Carnifex's palace. During one night, Bond sneaks into the palace and finds Amy's cell, but is unable to rescue her and instead informs Peter Haight. Things go bad, however, when Haight reveals himself to be a loyal servant of Carnifex and had earlier attempted to poison and kill James for asking too many questions about the Millenaria. Carnifex subsequently tortures James by allowing the mosquitoes to have a field day (Carnifex betting that at some point one of them will be a carrier of malaria) while James is stripped of his shirt and strapped down, thus preventing him from escaping, killing any mosquitoes feeding and scratching itches, bringing the pain to a maximum. Bond is later rescued by Mauro's sister, Vendetta, who kisses him consistently.

Having put up with Carnifex for as long as he could bear, Zoltan turns against Carnifex by flooding his palace leaving it in ruins. Carnifex's sea plane is swept away by the water and flies straight into the count, killing him. Just prior, Bond sneaks into the palace with the help of Vendetta, much to her dismay, to rescue Amy. Vendetta is reluctant to let Bond go and attacks him. Bond convinces her not to follow and, for good measure, he gives her a tongue kiss of his own. After the destruction of the palace, Bond and Amy return to Victor Delacroix's villa, but are ambushed on the way by Peter Haight. Bond and Amy are saved, however, by Zoltan the Magyar who gives his life for their protection in the process. The grief-stricken Amy hugs Bond for comfort.

Amy and Bond arrive at Victor's villa. After skinny dipping and lying on the beach, they go up together. However, Jana Carnifex, Ugo's sister, is waiting for them. Bond tricks her, however, by jumping off the rock, with Victor to distract her. She slips and falls into a bed of sea urchins, where she finally dies from the pain and poison. As Bond and Amy wade to the surface, Amy suddenly steps on a sea urchin. Bond knows exactly how to remove it (and the text implies they share a kiss due to what happened earlier in the book).


  • Blood Fever's working title according to Charlie Higson was Double M. Other rejected titles were Blood Sport, Blood Sisters, Death Sting, The Zodiac Web, Dance Before You Die, and Vendetta.[3]
  • In Chapter 17 the villain hosts a dinner party where among the attendees is "Armando Lippe from Lisbon." This is the father of Count Lippe from the Ian Fleming novel Thunder ball. Oddly, the last name "Lippe" only appears in the UK edition. In the U.S. edition the line has been changed to "Count Armando from Lisbon."[4]
  • The German edition is titled "Zurück kommt nur der Tod" (Only Death Returns).
  • Amy Goodenough's name is word play on Am I Good Enough?
  • Amy would later make a brief re-appearance in By Royal Command. During this appearance, it is revealed that, due to their experiences in Sardinia, she and James have developed a genuine affection for each other.

Publication history

  • January 5, 2006, Puffin Books, paperback, first British edition
  • January 5, 2006, Penguin Children's Audio books, abridged audio book, first British edition
    • Narrated by Charlie Higson.
  • June 1, 2006, Miramax Books, hardcover, first American edition
  • October 13, 2006, Puffin Books, hardcover, first British edition
    • Limited edition. 999 copies numbered and signed by Charlie Higson.
  • April 1, 2007, Miramax Books, paperback, first American edition
  • April 10, 2007, Listening Library, Random House, unabridged audio book, first American edition
    • Narrated by Nathaniel Parker.

Awards and nominations


External links



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