Sunday, June 19, 2011
CBR III Review #71-#73: The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
CBR III Review #72: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
CBR III Review #73: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
To save some time and energy I am just going to review these three novels as a whole. It feels like a disservice to keep reviewing these novels after so many more talented reviewers have reviewed them, but I figure I would just chime in with a few thoughts.
Probably my biggest pet peeve is people who refuse to read the series because they have read Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. I've read both The Hunger Game series and Battle Roayle. Besides the fact they both share the idea that children are forced to fight each other to the death the books couldn't be more different.
For those people out there claiming that Suzanne Collins ripped off Battle Royale maybe you should remember Takami claims that The Long Walk, The Running Man and Lord of the Flies influenced Battle Royale. Authors use other novels to help build and shape the world they want to create. I believe any great novelist has done it.
Battle Royale focuses mainly on the killing (and they are horrific) and the killing arena while The Hunger Game series creates and fleshes out a brand new society and governmental structure. In The Hunger Games the games were used a method of entertainment and punishment over their citizens while Battle Royale used it mainly as a method to curb and control the youth from uprising.
Some minor spoilers:
Getting back to The Hunger Game series obviously the first was my favorite of the trio. The second novel Catching Fire spends a bit too much rehashing the entire process of getting ready for the games. In the third novel Mockingjay you spend a lot of time wanting Kantiss to stand up and take action, but Kantiss is a beaten, drugged up, exhausted mess of a human. On the second reading of Mockingjay I appreciated Kantiss's position a bit more. I believe Collins wanted to show how the games shattered the spirit of even some of the strongest people. It doesn't matter how many times I read Mockingjay I still cry like a baby the entire last half of the novel.
I've read the whole series twice now and I know I'll be rereading it for a third time when the movie comes out.