09 June 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Well, to start with had I not known this was considered a Young Adult novel going into it, I'm not sure I would have realized it on my own.  And that speaks to the quality and depth of Suzanne Collins's writing.

Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a girl of 16 who lives in District 12; the coal mining region of Panem.  Oh, BTW, Panem is what remains of the United States, with District 12 in the Appalachia region.

Life is not the best for Katniss and her family.  Starvation is common place and to survive Katniss hunts, which is illegal.  Everything is controlled by the Capital.  See, apparently there was once 13 Districts, but a destructive rebellion by District 13 caused all other districts to be punished.

So, to show the Districts how much control they have over them, each year the Capital hosts The Hunger Games, a bloody, violent event which pits 2 kids (age 12-18 only please) from each District against each other for prizes and food for their home district.

The novel follows Katniss as she is chosen and heads to the Capital to participate in the Games.  We follow her as she sees the Capital for the first time, through her training and preparation and finally the Games themselves.

The Games are BRUTAL.  Alliances are formed and broken.  Minds and bodies are pushed to the limit, but in the end there can be only one.  Or can there?  Dun Dun Dun....

Overall, I was surprised at how much I like it.  The pacing was tight, and moved very quickly, especially once the games started.  I look forward to the movie, as well as the other two novels in the series.

Oh!  One more thing.   This book had elements of King's 'The Long Walk', which while I have read it 3 times, tends to piss me off.  That was a concern of mine for this book, one I am glad did not come to pass.

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