User Submitted Review: Casino Royale Audiobook

Review by Richard Welsh

In Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s most successful franchise gets rebooted, establishing a new timeline and narrative that are not meant to precede or follow any previous Bond film. That’s why Casino Royale features a Bond that is less experienced and more vulnerable to enemy traps and conspiracies. It is also in this film where Bond gets his title as Agent 007, meaning the start of his license to kill.

In this Bond audiobook that is narrated by Dan Stevens, Agent 007 is dispatched to a French Casino in Royale-les-Eaux, and his mission is to defeat a deadly Russian Agent named Le Chiffre at the Baccarat tables. Baccarat has always been “a game that is associated with the elite class,” according to international casino gaming provider InterCasino, and perhaps it is this particular reason why the film used it instead of Pai Gow or Craps. Le Chiffre has been a high-profile target of the British Secret Service for years, and he would be terminated by his bosses in Moscow if Bond can bankrupt him. Le Chiffre is as shrewd as a snake and Bond must never lose this chance or else M16 would have to wait for years for another opportunity.

Of course, Baccarat is a game of luck and Bond isn’t exactly an expert who participates in the World Series of Baccarat. After his first round against Le Chiffre, Bond finds himself evading assassins, escaping brutal tortures, and surviving poisoned drinks. He also finds himself in a pinch after the lovely treasury agent that was sent to provide the money he needs to get a seat at the Baccarat tournament, Vesper Lynd, got abducted by the enemy.

Intense, action-packed, but effortlessly trendy, James Bond’s Casino Royale has all the traits that made Ian Fleming’s most popular novel a benchmark for all the books under the spy genre.

The audio version of Casino Royale is available at Amazon for $15.57.

Disclaimer: This is a user-submitted review. The contents of the following review are not my own, but I think you’ll enjoy regardless. If you’d like to submit your own review or article for consideration, you can contact me at MichaelBergonzi@AudioDramaReviews.com. Simply use “USR Submission” in the subject line.

The 33: Episode 1 Pramantha (Part 1 of 4)

Author J.C. Hutchins has a new story out there in the world and, damn it, can it be February 28, please? This is a serialized story released in both ebook and audiobook. The only way to get the audio is via his website: jchutchins.net.

HTML links aside, this series promises to be a great read or listen (or, in my case, both). The introductory scene was confusing at first, but that’s probably the point. The scene goes to a dark place rather suddenly, and from the scene’s conclusion it was smooth sailing until … well, the end of the episode.

The author’s narration is faster than most professional audiobooks and that’s a good thing. Actually it has more to do with pacing, but there was never a moment where my eyes wandered several paragraphs ahead to find out what was going to happen next. J.C. narrates at a similar speed in which we [sentient beings] read.

There’s not much to review in terms of story. From what is in the episode, there was never a moment where it seemed to drag on. The beginning may have been a bit slow, but it ramped up quickly and efficiently all the way to the end. And by the time it reached the end, I was completely caught off guard. Time really does fly by when your having fun.