Steve Cole, worth reading?

What’s the general consensus regarding his Young Bond continuations? I’m rereading the Higson novels at the moment and thought of getting Steve Cole’s also. From what I’ve researched so far it seems that Cole’s Bond was born in 1924, and Bond transferred to Fettes College in 1934/35, Somewhat overlapping what Charlie Higson had already established.

Are Cole’s books worth reading?

I’ve not read his Young Bond books, but he is a very good writer so I wouldn’t disregard them.

I think Steve Cole was pretty good, though I’d give the edge to Charlie Higson as a Young Bond author. And like with Higson, I find Cole’s first novel (Shoot To Kill) his worst and his second novel (Heads You Die) his best.

FYI, I didn’t find Cole overlapping Higson, I saw him as continuing on from Higson.

Additionally, and generally speaking, Strike Lightning is a steampunk Bond novel and Red Nemesis is like a scavenger hunt Bond novel. They’re different than the usual Bond stories with their own positives and negatives.

Anyway, I think you should give Steve Cole a try. Red Nemesis is also pretty good.

I’d rank them:

  1. Heads You Die
  2. Red Nemesis
  3. Strike Lightning
  4. Shoot To Kill

I only read Shoot to Kill, and didn’t check out the rest. I should get around to reading the others if I can get some physical copies.


I’ve read all of them, and they’re quite fun. As others have said, the Higson Young Bond novels are better, but I do quite enjoy Red Nemesis.