The Hunger Games

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Click for availability and more information The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
A solid, compelling YA science fiction novel, Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games (the first of a trilogy) keeps the reader's interest from start to finish. Set in an unspecified future where the United States has been replaced by the ruthless tyrannical nation of Panem, with the country divided into twelve "districts", Each year, as punishment for a failed revolt, the Capitol of Panem puts on the "Hunger Games", a competition between one boy and one girl ("tribunes") from each district between the ages of 12 -18, where they must fight to the death. Forced to substitute for her younger, less equipped sister, young sixteen year old Katniss, along with fellow District 12 tribune Peeta, must take part in the brutal contest, which is televised throughout the nation. But Katniss, who's a natural hunter, quickly proves to be a much smarter and formidable opponent, not just to her fellow contestants but also to Panem's rulers as well. Despite the fact that the "Games" plot device is an old science fiction standby (Frederic Brown's short story, Arena; various Star Trek episodes), author Collins manages to get a lot of mileage out of it. The resemblance to reality TV programs isn't a coincidence and Collins gets to both satirize and skewer the way citizens are made insensitive by such programming where kids not young enough to vote are forced to kill one another. Katniss has several tense episodes throughout the book, but thanks to the way Collins draws her character and background, we never once lose interest in her plight.

Now I'm ready to read the next book in the trilogy, Catching Fire, and I can't wait to see what happens next in the world of Panem.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on October 15, 2010 4:55 PM.

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