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The Panem Companion (The Hunger Games Companions)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  262 ratings  ·  86 reviews
-What does Panem look like?
-How does Panem define race?
-How do Panem’s districts reflect the major themes of the trilogy?
-What allusions to our world are found in Panem names like Finnick, Johanna, Beetee, Cinna, Everdeen, and Mellark?

Go deeper into the home of the Hunger Games with the creator of the best-known fan map of Panem.

The Panem Companion gives fresh insight into
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Smart Pop
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsI Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan BradleyThe Help by Kathryn StockettMockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Books I Read in 2012
142nd out of 503 books — 50 voters
Dreaming My Animal Selves/Le Songe de Mes Ames Animales by Helene CardonaGone Girl by Gillian FlynnThe Captive Queen by Alison WeirEvergreen by Belva PlainThe Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Erickson
Books I have read from 2012-2013
56th out of 102 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,880)
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Cait Grace
I'm going to go ahead and give a very definitive NOPE to this book. The key here is "unofficial" Panem Companion. IT IS JUST A BUCH OF BLATHER OF FAN THEORIES. And half the time I didn't know if the author was for the series, or critiquing it. Which is confusing. Least to say this book has no imput by Suzanne Collins. Ergo...what's the difference between reading this and tumblr fan theories? Nada. Except this has a cover and permission to use the same Hunger Games font I suppose.

I love The Hunge
Ashley (yAdult Review)
Originally posted at Nose in a Book (blog)

This is the type of book you read and then want to go re-read the main books over again because you missed some major points. This blog is a huge fan of The Hunger Games Trilogy so I was quite excited when I heard that this book was coming out. I love and adore books that go deeper into books I have read. Now, yes, I understand all books I read don’t need background and research, but certain books, such as The Hunger Games do.

Arrow goes on the path of lo

I'm a huge fan of the Hunger Games Trilogy. Huge.

So when my request (thanks, NetGalley!) of the companion novel was accepted, you can imagine how ecstatic I was. I excitedly pressed the download button and within 1.5 hours had finished the novel.

There were a lot of things I liked about this book. It was consistently intriguing and factual and I liked that the author had a lot of evidence from Suzanne Collins.

My favorite chapters were:
"Truly, My Name is Cinna"
"Gender Roles and Sexuality in Panem"
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Thanks to Netgalley and BenBella Books, Inc. for giving me this book to review.

The Panem Companion is an (unofficial) critical look at the world of Panem, as written in the Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins. This book looks at the social dynamics of Panem, and how Panem has evolved from the world we know today.

This book is quite interesting, and looks at how modern day America could possibly transform into Colli
Dec 20, 2012 Kate added it
Shelves: ebook, 2012
This book is the stupid kind of fun. Read it for the insane fan theories ("Mags is Mexican!" "Prim...fathered by Mr. Mellark?!") and overlook the fact that if this had gone through professional copyediting it would have emerged riddled with queries (and would have given said copy editor an explosive aneurysm).

To be fair, I also thought the section about Katniss's racial heritage was pretty thought-provoking, with some background info on the Melungeons of Appalachia of which I was largely unawar
Certain popular books just cry out for deeper analysis. What does the United States’ obsession with the Twilight series mean for our perceptions of women and of healthy relationships, for example? Why have the Harry Potter books held such a grip on not just children, but adults, for literally a decade?

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy is perfectly deserving of critical analysis–its statements on race, justice, economics, war, and media are thoughtful without being preachy. Written by V.
Can it even count as reading if I skim read the whole thing, and missed out all the boring bits... namely most of it? I don't know what I was expecting for The Panem Companion, but I didn't get much. As the unofficial guide to the acclaimed Hunger Games series, it was chock full of opinions that either didn't make sense or were supported by ridiculous pieces of evidence.

It was like reading one very, very long, boring essay on little details that didn't really concern me. Don't get me wrong, I'm
Seen at my blog, Scott Reads It
I expected The Panem Companion to be a quick, short fun analysis about Panem and The Hunger Games. I had already read The Girl On Fire and I was looking for something Hunger Games related to pass the time. Unfortunately The Panem Companion wasn't exactly a great book to read in my free time and it soon became a chore to read. If it wasn't so short, I would have DNFed faster than you can say Mississippi.
There is spoilers for The Hunger Games in this review!

The P
Even having been involved in the Hunger Games fandom for the past year, The Panem Companion still brought up new and interesting ideas, and that, I think, is what made it great.

Now that I’ve started with the conclusion, here are some slightly-more specific thoughts:

- The new map of Panem, the one that gets the two pages, is GORGEOUS.
- The commentary on the relationship of the Games to modern reality TV was, quite frankly, terrifying. Those are real contracts? They air this stuff on TV? I always
I truly wanted this to be the first book I read in 2013, yet Amazon couldn't deliver it in time in Brazil, so I bought the Kindle version. Now I'm just sad, because I want to hug and smell this book and maybe sleep with it under my pillow.

Just to add a bit of context, it is important to say that my major is International Relations, my research focus is social control and I had just finished reading David Galula and his laws for counterinsurgency when I first read The Hunger Games. Obviously, my
I only have a few things to add to the other reviews of this terrible book. The boasted "map" of Panem is the worst one out there. Just because you throw a bunch of scientific, political, and sociological theories at it doesn't make it great or accurate. Unfortunately the whole book is like this. There is a big difference between a critical analysis of a book and wild speculation. Just because you use big words doesn't mean it's an educated critique. This "book" is full of nothing but crazy gues ...more
A combination of facts and opinions, this book reads more like a thesis than a companion book.

I found this book to be equal parts fascinating and difficult to read. I admire the author for their meticulous research and attention to detail, but at the same time I'm not sure if Collins really put THAT much thought into every little detail of the Hunger Games Series when she wrote it.

Some parts of the book riveting, some seem far fetched, but they are all interesting in their own way.
Angie Hardy
I had never read a companion book before but I loved this series and was very interested in reading this one. I found it to be very interesting and brought up a lot of ideas that I had thought about as well as many others that I had not. It made me want to read the whole series again.

I received a copy of this book free on GoodReads.
Neil Plakcy
Very intriguing look at the background behind the three book series. Lots of political insight as well as the etymology of all the names.
So far I am loving this book! It's very interesting. :)
V. Arrow is the Fangirl on Fire!

Witty, insightful, passionate, engaging, highly readable and with keen attention to detail: V. Arrow’s The Panem Companion is all of this and more. I usually enjoy the stuff that Smart Pop puts out, but they’ve really outdone themselves this time! Arrow approaches The Hunger Games trilogy with the unabashed enthusiasm of a true fan and the critical eye of an academic, resulting in a guide that’s everything I wanted – and more.

In fifteen chapters, Arrow covers a w
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

For whatever reason, I've been super into reading books about The Hunger Games. Earlier this year, I reviewed The Girl Who Was On Fire and loved it so I was thrilled to check out another release from the same publisher looking at some different aspects of this beloved trilogy.

The weird thing for me is how interested I've been in reading unofficial guides and analysis about the books. I've been a huge Harry Potter fan, Star
Aug 31, 2014 Kait rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: arcs
Originally posted on Victor's Village

Companion books are a tricky subject. Most of them come from professional companion book creators who look to make a quick buck by tossing together a weak analysis of other people’s work and pissing us of by claiming all their ideas are original. Or the books are aimed at the casual fan, thus feel totally predictable and bland to anyone who’s taken part in our online community. Either way, there’s a huge disconnect between the writers and the fandom.

The only
Jun 02, 2014 Morgan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
The author, Arrow, is trying to write a scholarly, academic book on the Hunger Games trilogy, but her first misstep is openly admitting to fangirling while writing this book. You can't have it both ways--be scholarly and fangirl at the same time. Arrow focuses a lot on things that, to this reader, are inconsequential and had me wondering, "Who cares?"--things like the racial breakdown of Panem, what present-day states each district would be in, and the number of Panem residents who would be on g ...more
Lori Spier
Most fans of book series jump at the "companion" pieces that eventually appear. They want to *see* the world that the author has created, perhaps get a bit more background, insider information on what is happening.

The Panem Companion is not that sort of book. Rather than drawing maps of "this is the section of the Capitol that Katniss escaped from", this is a anthropologic and socio-economic analysis of what created Panem, how the Districts were divided, who was the true architect of the rebelli
Da buona amante di Hunger Games e delle distopie in generale, quando mi è stata data l’opportunità di leggere in anteprima (purtroppo attualmente solo in inglese) The Panem Companion, non mi sono lasciata sfuggire la cosa.

V. Arrow ci trasporta nel magico mondo di Panem, narrato da Suzanne Collins nella sua trilogia composta da Hunger Games, La ragazza di fuoco e Il canto della rivolta. Ogni singolo aspetto dei libri è preso in esame esattamente come se fosse una sorta di Terra di Mezzo e troviam
If you're a Hunger Games fan with a habit of intensely overanalyzing your favorite fiction, you will love The Panem Companion! This is an in-depth look at every level of the Hunger Games universe. It begins with musings on how Panem could have evolved from our current society (including maps and graphs), and goes on to examine the social, economic, and political structures of Panem, as exhibited both in the society as a whole and in the individual lives of the characters. Some of the topics I fo ...more
Athena Nagel
I am definitely part of the Hunger Games fan base. Did I like the movie? About as much as I like any movies that I have read as books first. But the books?! Awesome. The Panem Companion is unlike other Hunger Games companion type books. This one deals more with the Panem world and environment rather than the games themselves. District cultures, society, gender roles, characters, and families are elaborated upon. This is a must have book for anyone who is a fan of the Hunger Games. Here you can l ...more
I liked the book. Sometimes I found that it had lot more detail than I expected. I didn't expect that the author had put so much effort to actually write these three books. It made me want to read the books again for the fourth time. Everyone blamed Collins for stealing the idea of the story from some Japanese book which was later made into a movie (can't remember the name..but I've watched it). This companion gives enough proof to show you that it was not a copy but an original piece of work wh ...more
Olivia (Bookcomet)
I loved this book. A LOT. If you are a Hunger Games fan, a you NEED to read this. It is probably one of the best things you can do to rekindle your feelings for the trilogy if you're feeling a bit washed out or just like the series, because it reminds you of the genius that is Suzanne Collins.

The author has obviously put a lot of effort into their research. I had no idea that all the names had meanings and weren't just...chosen. It's just so clever! Plus there is a prediction of when (what year)
This book of essays compiles everything I enjoy about fandom analysis of my current favorite series into one compact, thought-provoking and thrilling read. While providing plenty of intriguing Hunger Games-specific analysis, Arrow strongly defends the importance of fandom and stresses fandom's importance to a new generation of media consumers/thinkers. From the introduction: "The Hunger Games is a story about public interaction with mainstream media."
It was extremely refreshing to read this boo
Great book for any dedicated "Hunger Games" fan. The author ran with some ideas that were in the back of readers' minds while reading the series (also with some that didn't cross your mind at all). Best part: the section on Panem names; part that could use a little work: maps at the beginning. The author stays away from elitist wordiness, which makes it more enjoyable for a larger audience.
Improved maps or not, this is a fun must-read for anyone who loved the trilogy.

Dec 14, 2012 Kasey rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
usually i am very interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the books i have read. this book however did not give me any extra insight to the hunger games trilogy, which is saying something. this book picked up on details that seemed to have almost no relevance, and the few topics that were discussed that were worth reading were poorly supported. the book could have been easily cut in half because the author kept repeating the same things throughout each chapter and used big words that rea ...more
Quite good. Very well thought-out, and backed with relevant sources. If you want to actually *think* about what you're reading, you could do far worse than this book.

One quibble: the author seems to have missed one fairly obvious explanation. In a chapter about Prim's possible parentage, she seems to have forgotten about or ignored one possible explanation for "merchant" genes to be hiding in the Seam population, despite the lack of intermarriage: you don't need marriage to make a baby, and ther
It was definitely an interesting read. I read it in a couple days because just like with the series it kind of draws you into Katniss' world, it gives you things to ponder on. The lexicon in the back was probably the most interesting part in my opinion so many of the names make so much sense when you understand their origins and meanings. There is a lot that links our world to that of the hunger games that I never picked up on. I'd recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the series.

~Also the fa
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The Hunger Games Companions (1 - 10 of 11 books)
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  • The Hunger Games Tribute Guide
  • The World of the Hunger Games
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