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I've always wanted to be a part of a book club but a couple of things have always worked against this. I'm a fast reader and prefer to read books that are part of my preferred reading list instead of trying to work through something that doesn't interest me. This time, there is a solution that could help all these little habits. This new feature on the blog will be called "The Big Bond Book Club".

I'm a huge James Bond fan. Currently have all the official movies on DVD and recently purchased a couple of Ian Fleming novels. That's why I've decided to start a reading list through all the books that have currently been made into a movie. After I have finished a book, I will re-watch the movie and make a comparison based on the storyline and my thoughts reflecting on the differences between reading the book and watching the story unfold on screen. 

I have made a note that some of the stories are actually short stories or novelizations of the film. It won't deter me from continuing the reading list but I won't let it become a bias from judging it compared to other "full" novels on the list or the ones that were written by Fleming himself. I will make an exception, however, on one book (License to Kill) because it's really hard to find the book in Canada due to it being out of print. If I am able to find it then I will write a review but until I can find it, I will have to move over it. 

Here are the guidelines: 
  • This is going to be a very casual book club for all you bloggers out there because I won't make you read all the books; books are expensive and we've all got our own things to do.
  • Even if I've finished a book and have moved on to another, continue reading the one you're on. It's not my fault I'm a fast reader on the subway. Whenever you're done, feel free to share your thoughts on that book/movie on that post. This is not a one-book per month list so work it at your own time!
  • I'm going to follow the publication list of the Fleming series (to the best I can). It's a different storyline compared to the movie so I want to read it from that perspective.
  • If you can't find the novelizations from the Pierce films then that's alright; enjoy the movies!
  • Read the short stories that aren't movies. I'll make an overall post talking about them; don't waste great stories without reading them.
  • If you don't feel like reading, then don't. Don't feel like watching the movie, then don't. Feel free to just sit back and follow the posts.

Once again, this is going to be casual so start when you want and get involved at whichever point you want. Here is the full book list according to the order of when I'll be reading them:

    1. Casino Royale
    2. Live and Let Die
    3. Moonraker
    4. Diamonds Are Forever
    5. From Russia, With Love
    6. Dr.No
    7. Goldfinger
    8. From A View To Kill (Short Story)
    9. For Your Eyes Only (Short Story)
    10. Quantum of Solace (Short Story)
    11. Thunderball
    12. The Spy Who Loved Me
    13. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    14. You Only Live Twice
    15. The Man With The Golden Gun
    16. Octopussy (Short Story)
    17. The Living Daylights (Short Story)
    18. License To Kill (If I can actually find the book!)
    19. Goldeneye
    20. Tomorrow Never Dies
    21. The World Is Not Enough
    22. Die Another Day

NOTE: I will read the other short stories as well then will create an overall post regarding them following the completion of the list.

I will try my best to read each book after the other but sometimes, I may need to change things up and read another book as an interval. I don't want to make it a chore having to read the next book so I'll make it a good pace working through the list.

Well I guess it's time to start with the first title on the list. The first book to read is Casino Royale so pick your place when you want to join in and I can't wait to hear your thoughts as well. Happy reading!
I am a reader. I am a gamer. I am everything in between. One of my guilty pleasures is reading books that are written about some of my favourite video game series. Book series that have been adapted from video game series include Resident Evil, Halo, Assassin's Creed, Alan Wake and Gears of War to name a few. Sometimes, I wish that a series could be written as a novel as well because the story could developed into more detail and putting the reader through the character's POV instead of a third-person perspective. 

The following below are five series that I think would make great novel series if it were to be adapted to a series. While there are many great series that I could choose from that ranged from fighting to adventure, I'm only going to highlight the five below because they present an interesting plot that would be something I would read right away. The five book series I'd like to see are:

1. Silent Hill

Silent Hill is a survival horror video game series that brings characters to the mysterious town of Silent Hill with creatures and a looming fog surrounding the town. I am completely aware that there are graphic novels based on Silent Hill and most likely, book(s) created in Japan. If there were novels specifically written that outlines a story that were to occur in Silent Hill, who knows the potential of the journey that the reader could go through while reading this novel. Besides the fact the games are really creepy, it could be a great horror novel to spook some people and really intrigue new fans as well as diehard fans of the series.

2. Clock Tower

As mentioned with Silent Hill above, Clock Tower is a survival horror game that features a group of teenaged girls trapped in a hilltop mansion/castle being chased by a scissor-wielding maniac. The sequels followed the same premise in different locales but still with the Scissorman chasing their prey at the most inconvenient moments. I think that even though the series didn't sustain as well, it would be a great series to read. There is a Japanese "choose-your-fate" type of book that focuses on the second game in the series but I would love to read a book that starts in the beginning with Jennifer arriving at the Barrows Mansion with Lotte, Laura and Anne and her experiences thereafter.

3. Castlevania

Castlevania is an action-horror game that brings the main character to the depths of Castlevania to battle supernatural enemies in the castle of Count Dracula. I'm really into RPG games that has the main character involved into in a very developed storyline and complex ensemble of enemies/allies/storyline. Even though the series has just experienced a reboot to create a new storyline and setting, I think that the previous games really need a defining tool that can help shed some light on the the true canon of the games. Many people are even confused about the true timeline dealing with the characters and the novel series could help fix this problem.

4. Dead Rising

Dead Rising is a game that brings the main character in the heart of a zombie apocalypse. The user only have 72 hours to uncover the real mystery surrounding the cause of the zombies and help save any survivors if need be. I've played both games in the series and suffice it to say, I'm a huge fan. With the overwhelming storyline and enormous selection of characters, there could be a very interesting novel written from all the experiences from Frank and Chuck. Plus with all the survivors and psychopaths that you interact with, it would always make reading the next page more exciting than the last. Saving every survivor in the game you meet isn't necessarily canon so these books could define who really made and who didn't.

5. Final Fantasy

When you think of RPG games, you think of Final Fantasy. This series brings together a versatile group of fighters to combat against monsters and a looming threat that plans to destroy the world. There are currently 13 main games in the series; not including all the side games and companion products. There is so much in each game that a bevy of novels could be made that could provide more emotional development for the characters. Only till Final Fantasy X did characters really get a voice (only text boxes were used in previous games) so this book could really show what characters were thinking or feeling when they were fighting a boss or the death of a character.

Agree or Disagree with the list? Share your opinion below and say what you think!

Things must always come to an end and for those of you who are closest to me, you know that these past weeks were the last of me being a part of the Gap family. 

It was a seriously tough decision I had to make and it's really sad that I won't get to work with some of my closest friends. Life must always call to the next part in our adventure!

I just want to say that these past two years have been the best times, I met the greatest people who I will keep in touch with forever and I just want to say that I'll miss being around.
It's been a while since I've reviewed a video game for you all but the wait will not disappoint. I've been getting more time to play through story modes and complete games to write reviews. For this edition of "In My Console" on this blog, I will be reviewing the new re-imaging of the bloody-fighting series: Mortal Kombat!

The Premise: The years of Mortal Kombat have dealt a heavy blow against the battle of Good vs. Evil. With the events of Armageddon coming to its climax, only Raiden and Shao Khan are left fighting on top of the pyramid while hundreds of their allied fighters lay dead on the fields below. When Raiden is defeated and about to be dealt the final blow, he speaks a mystical incantation that delivers a series of images from key moments throughout the last few years and a defining message that says "He must win" to himself years prior.

Now reliving the events starting from the first game in the series, the visions have created an alternate time line where Raiden impacts decisions previously made with new options. Raiden's influence has spread throughout the first trilogy in the series by changing key events and slowly manipulating the thoughts of characters we have previously thought of as good or evil. With events ticking down to the ultimate conclusion of fighting Shao Kahn, what will the Earthrealm fighters do if they know that their decisions may lead them back to Armageddon?

Where To Play: Mortal Kombat has been ported to a variety of systems such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. For the basis of this review, I have played this game on the 360.

The Good: When dealing with a fighting video game series, many have deemed that they can be interchangeable with each other. The good points about the Mortal Kombat series is that it focuses on the raw and bloody appeal of fighting. The fatalities and new "neck-breaker" combinations deal heavy blows with great cinematics. The story mode definitely was a highlight for me because the first two games never really highlighted the story behind the characters and it was nice to get a real in-depth view of what the characters experienced in the first three tournaments. Also a favourite is the inclusion of new characters yet-to-be created such as Skarlett who started as a palette-swap glitch in the second game. You can see her in the background of story mode so I'm excited to read about her back-story and how she took part in the story mode.The Kombat Pass is a nifty idea that will be a hit or miss with this series. Multiplayer is a hot commodity to have so we'll see if people do end up purchasing the pass to play the game on friend's systems.

The Bad: There were only a couple of things that I didn't like about this game. The fighting movements were a little choppy at parts and some of the fighting stances with previously top-rated characters were noticeably weakened in this game (i.e., Sub-Zero). My biggest negative point is Liu Kang. He was surprisingly a pain to play as in this series and when you had to fight against Shao Kahn to progress the story line, Liu Kang is hands down one of the weakest characters. I'm not bashing him because he's one of my least favourite characters but he definitely caused some stress to play his matches.

The Results: 8.5/10!
While I absolutely love this series and thought this was a great addition especially as a re-imaging, they are a couple of issues that could have been looked at before releasing. The story mode was impeccable and I can't wait to see the sequel and how new characters are affected with the new time line such as Tanya and Shinook. The fighting combos bring a new essence to the game and I thought that each character was given depth and purpose whether they were a lead or supporting. The only thing I wish is that the story mode hadn't have finished too soon because they could have revealed so much more juicy details that we could have been shocked to find out. For the next couple of years, let's see the slight differences between the original time line and this new one. Start taking your bets to see which characters will make a reappearance in the newer games. Hmm... that gives me an idea for later!

Agree or Disagree with the review? Share your thoughts and post a comment with how you felt about the game.