Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games gets mentioned so much on other blogs, I felt I had to see what all the fuss was about. The first book literally had me running out the door to get the rest of the trilogy (for some reason they're not available on the Kindle).


The first book, The Hunger Games, had me gripped. It might be marketed as young adult, but its content is certainly not just for teens. The world is violent and uncertain, where teenagers from each district must kill each other or be killed on live television. If you don't want to get invested in the whole trilogy, I think this works as a standalone novel and is definitely the high point.

Catching Fire seems to take a long time to get going. There's plenty of time to plant the seeds of rebellion in the readers' minds but then it all seems a bit rushed near the end when the real action takes place. However, the end is a cliff-hanger so make sure you have the final book ready to read back-to-back!

It would have been easy to make Mockingjay a repeat of either of the first two books but it does change direction. It feels much more like a war story however the plot seems to go on and on, like she can't quite work out what she wanted to include so she put everything in. I enjoyed the world and was attached to the characters enough to keep going but I felt it could have done with a good prune at the editing stage.

Still, I shed a few tears at the end and I did read all three books within 24 hours so those have to be signs of an enjoyable trilogy overall!

My edition of The Hunger Games had an author interview at the back. When asked what gave her the idea for the trilogy I was expecting a mention of The Running Man or other such sci-fi classics. Suzanne Collins does make it sound like it was an entirely original idea and that irks me. She's old enough to know about other works that are similar, it's great to be inspired but really you should mention your influences.

Many of you have been discussing the forthcoming film adaptation. Whilst I think the content does lend itself to the big screen, I feel like the studios are going to want to aim it at a younger audience and some of the horror is likely to be glossed over or completely removed. There are a lot of scenes that would give it an 18 rating if they stayed put. Also there's a lot going on inside Katniss's head that would be difficult to get across in a film, unless there's going to be a lot of use of a voice-over.

The Hunger Game 5/5
Catching Fire 4/5
Mockingjay 3/5

13 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved The Hunger Games and can't wait to get my greedy lil' hands on the other two books as well!

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  2. Glad you were able to read and review these books.. I finished all 3 within a weekend also. I think I gave the books similar reviews... Hunger Games is definitely incredible.

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  3. I had a similar reaction to you, but I think you enjoyed the second two more than I did. I LOVED Hunger Games, but found Catching Fire to be so similar to the first book that it started to annoy me. Mockingjay seemed to be very poorly written in comparison and I almost gave up, but as I wanted to know what happended I skimmed my way to the end. I was disappointed by the end of the trilogy and actually wish I'd only read the first book - such a shame :-(

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  4. Yes it does go downhill after a great start. I think if I hadn't read them all in one go, I might have not enjoyed the second two as much as I did. I got a bit caught up in the world so could forgive some of the flaws in the writing. I did start getting a bit bored in the second half of Mockingjay though.

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  5. I finally read these after my sister kept harassing me about it. I actually really liked the first two but was a little let down by the third. All in all, though, it was an interesting read.

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  6. Wow- I can't believe how quickly you've read through these! I loved this series but I agree that book 3 is the weakest in the series. I'm eager to see how they produce the story on film now.

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  7. I actually liked the second book too! Just a teeny bit less than the first one, but I didn't mind that the story took longer to pick up. I haven't read Mockingjay yet, but it's the next book I'm planning on reading, so I'll see for myself soon enough!

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  8. The first one was my favourite too. I think book three had a lot of great ideas but they just didn't sit well together. Plus the love triangle was beginning to get on my nerves by that point. The one thing I did like was that she didn't seem to mind killing off characters. Some authors these days seem to shy away from that.

    It would irk me that she didn't give similar stories a mention. It really isn't a new idea in general.

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  9. You read those three books in 24 hours? There are a LOT of pages though. There's something I'm not getting about The Hunger Games. I guess I'll have to read them.

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  10. They are pretty easy reading Ben, and I didn't have much else to do this weekend.

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  11. Great review. I loved the trilogy.
    I share your worries on the movie adaption. By staying true to the story it won't be likely to get a PG rating. I am expecting a watered down version :(

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  12. When I say unmotivated, I mean the author's inner dialogue for Katniss expaining her decisions is so muddled and unlogical that I don't think the author really had a good reason for it, other than "The readers won't expect that!" I know them is fightin' words, but I stand by them; and if you disagree with the predicable statement let me ask you this- did you really think that Katniss and Peeta wouldn't be in the Hunger Games again? If you did, then you need to read a lot more. becauseIknew from the moment they mentioned the quarter quell at the end of Book 1 that our protagonists would end up back in the arena somehow.

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    1. I don't think I implied that at all?! I read 176 books last year in a wide range of genres, I don't think liking one less than perfect book means I need to read more. OK it's a trilogy, it kind if suggests they'll be back or was it because i read them in one weekend? We all have different opinions, let's try and stay civil.

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