I never expected until I started reading The Hunger Games that a young adult novel set in a post apocalyptic version of North America would be the first book I would finish and post on in 2012. The Hunger Games is the first work in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins It and the two subsequent books in the Mockingjay Trilogy are huge best sellers here in Manila and all over the world. I was lucky enough to win a Kindle edition of The Hunger Games a few days ago. I was very happy as I do like an occasional change of pace from my normal reading and I do have a fondness for books about dystopic alternative futures.
I was so captivated by the world that Collins created in The Hunger Games that I read it almost straight through. I did a Google book blog search on The Hunger Games and there are 100s of posts on it. Given this and the fact that I am late to the fair on this book I will not relate the plot. I will just talk briefly about what I liked about it and what I thought its weaknesses might be. To get this over with, it is not high art and does not pretend to be. It is entertainment that can make you think. I think the intended audience are young bookish teens on up to older readers. Young adult books are just a huge part of the book blog world.
I think what I liked best about this book was the very believable world that Collins has created. She sort of sets out the basic outlines, gives us some details and lets us run with it. I really liked the idea of the evil Capital Provence creating genetically engineered "war wasps" who leave marks as big as a ping pong ball when they sting you. Three or four stings can kill. After the war was over and the Capital area was totally dominate so they left the wasps out in the other provinces just to show who won. I liked the account of the day to day lives of the ordinary people in District 12, the coal mining district in what used to be the Appalachia area of the USA.
I did not find the characters that well developed and I will say I think I have read stories very like the games that are so central to the plot in some Japanese novels.
I was kept interested because I wanted to see what would happen next. Maybe the fact that the people in the story did not grab me that much was due to the fact that I am way out of the demographics of the audience this book is probably meant for. Given that I liked it a lot and now I have been kindly loaned a Kindle edition of the third book in the trilogy Mockingjay I will read it soon though I am hoping to find a loaner of book two, Catching Fire first. If I do not, I will read the last book soon as I only have two weeks to read it under the rules of Kindle loaning.
I endorse this book for sure for young adult readers of cliffhangers (book one for sure leaves you hanging) and those who like books about alternative futures. There is some violence but no sex.
I hope to see the movie version which I think is do out in May.