Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (2008)
Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is the first book of Suzanne Collins's dark trilogy. I was glad, when I started, to note this series was already complete because I hoped to get through the next two books fairly quickly, lucky me. For a young adult novel, there is a surprising underlying brutality to this story about mere children forced to compete in a battle to the death in which there are 24 contestants called tributes and only one winner. The idea, which can almost seem plausible, is the scheme of the North American postapocalyptic government of Panem in its tyrannical attempt to keep the twelve formerly rebellious Districts subjugated and in their place. Oh, my!

The theme is a disturbing one about an institution that calls itself a game yet embodies profound evil. The pacing is handled very well and the book is often difficult to put down. There is frequently a keen sense of dread here; the game, and hence the plot, is constructed to force an expanding pool of dead children, and while this isn't nearly as awful as it might sound, there are bound to be at least a few devastating moments along the way.


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