Black Panther Reviews: Casino Royale (Novel)

Black Panther Reviews: Casino Royale (novel)
As summer began to wind down I found myself without the experience of partaking in any sort of summer reading. Knowing that I'd probably get shot by my English teacher, I decided to get down to it and actually read something. As I scrolled through a list of classics included with Kindle Unlimited I found that the entirety of the 007 series was available for free. I figured, "What the heck, I might as well just read this." To put it bluntly, I read it all in three days, much shorter than it usually takes to me to read a full length novel. Casino Royale is a masterpiece. I loved every second of it from the very beginning. Now, onto the actual review.
Rating: This book is James Bond. As such, it's going to contain some content that isn't suitable for children. The casino scenes have drinking and smoking, Bond swears on several occasions, but the scene that stands out to me is the extremely graphic torture. I won't spoil anything here, but it isn't for the faint of heart. I give this book a soft R, hard PG-13 rating.
Characters: Oddly enough, the flagship character of the series, James Bond, is not the character that stands out to me best. He is the perfect man, handsome, fit, and all around awesome, but there are few weaknesses that are shown in this book (though Live and Let Die does not suffer from this). The character that I felt was best was the villain, Le Chiffre. He is sinister and goes to desperate measures to get the fifty million francs he needs to pay back the communist organization SMERSH. Whenever he appears, the book crackles. The supporting cast isn't half bad, and Vesper Lynd is by far one of the best Bond girls.
Plot: Here be spoilers, so if you haven't read this book yet, read on with that knowledge.
The plot is probably the one thing that breaks this book and keeps it from being my favorite in the series. Bond is sent to the Casino Royale to out-gamble the books villain, the sinister Le Chiffre, who needs fifty million francs in order to pay off SMERSH. Along with the help of a CIA operative, an agent from the French Deuxieme Bereau, and the, um, very Bond-esque Vesper Lynd. After a few close calls, Bond manages to beat Le Chiffre at Baccarat. Hungry for revenge, Le Chiffre kidnaps Bond and the aforementioned torture scene ensues. Bond barely escapes with his life, and after he recovers vacations with Vesper, the 'love of his life'. In a plot twist stereotypical of the 007 series, Vesper turns out to be a double agent, and commits suicide. This keeps the series going: Bond is filled with so much hatred that he decides to not resign from MI5.
Overview: This book is a masterpiece unlike any other. It singlehandedly created the spy genre of novels. It's definitely worth at least a glimpse, if only for a look at the history of the spy genre. For a rating out of ten, I would give it an 8/10. I hope that you check this novel out, it's certainly one of the best.

3 Likes