Jimmy Coates: Survival by Joe Craig

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Jimmy Coates: Survival by Joe Craig

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: The fifth adventure in the series about the genetically engineered government assassin who has bucked his programming. Great fun, high octane stuff with some worthwhile thematic depth.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 313 Date: April 2008
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 0007270992

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Jimmy Coates, the bio-engineered teenage assassin, continues his rather violent secession from the British secret service in this fifth instalment of his adventures. Jimmy is still only 38 percent human, and the other 62 percent is becoming more powerful and more insistent by the day. Due to kick in when he turned 18, Jimmy's early transformation has caused untold troubles for NR7 - the tool of an increasingly authoritarian and criminal UK administration. He hasn't become the obedient assassin they hoped for. He's become a very dangerous thorn in their sides.

In this adventure, Jimmy is operating in southern Europe and Africa, while his family are in London. And he's faced with a painful choice - does he save loved ones under threat, or does he foil the evil plans of the powerful and prevent a war? And what choice will be fellow assassin Marla be asked to make?

You know, you just have to love these books, even if you're not big on technological thrillers. I'm not big on technological thrillers. And I'll admit to skimming past the various descriptions of bombs and military aircraft in Survival. They just don't turn me on. But of course, they're undeniably popular with adrenalin-hungry children. I like books that take a leisurely stroll through their plots and Survival doesn't do this either. It hurtles through its narrative with a high octane buzz. And that's more popularity points with the children.

No. What I like about Jimmy Coates is much more universal. While the storylines follow a mix of The Bourne Identity, Bladerunner and the X-Men, the underlying message is all about growing up and free will. Jimmy might be a bio-engineered killing phenomenon, but he's also a confused little boy being asked to grow up far too quickly. His emotions mirror those felt by pre-teens up and down the country, whether or not their own coming-of-age stories are considerably more quotidian. Readers are also asked to think about to what extent external forces have impact on their choices and behaviour. Loyalty to family and friends and civil liberties are constant underlying themes.

It's fun, it's fantastic, it's full of gadgets. There are some serious messages too. Jimmy Coates 5-0 Alex Rider. Sorry. Couldn't resist!

My thanks to the nice people at Harper Collins for sending the book.

Those who prefer less technological thrills but still love a good chase would enjoy Crash by J A Henderson.

Buy Jimmy Coates: Survival by Joe Craig at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Jimmy Coates: Survival by Joe Craig at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Jimmy Coates: Survival by Joe Craig at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Jimmy Coates: Survival by Joe Craig at Amazon.com.


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