Basic Plot: Katniss competes in the Hunger Games: an all-out deathmatch forced upon the districts of a dystopian version of a fallen United States asBasic Plot: Katniss competes in the Hunger Games: an all-out deathmatch forced upon the districts of a dystopian version of a fallen United States as a reminder of a past rebellion.
Ok, I've read all the hype, and generally I try to keep my head about me when people start gushing over whatever happens to be the current rage. Considering the amount of teenage gushing I heard, I put this book on my "wait" list. After all, teenagers are the reason Twilight became popular, so I naturally don't always trust their instincts. Well, color me impressed. This book was pretty darned awesome.
I'm going to try not to overdo it here, as the book has been so often reviewed and I don't want to get overly repetitive. The writing grabbed me quickly and completely with clean prose and Katniss's very matter-of-fact style of narration. If she seemed a bit thickheaded at times (thus driving many readers to insanity, especially the ones who like a little more romance in their teen novels), at least she was consistent. The pacing was excellent, especially considering the length of the competition and the amount of "down time" the characters had. Hunting and gathering for basic necessities as a part of the survival nature of the competition had the potential for lots of long, dull passages, but the author dealt with these issues without interrupting the reader's sense of urgency and anticipation. Almost from moment one I had problems putting the book down, as I wanted to find out what would happen next, but around the last 75 pages I completely tuned out everything and ended up staying up until midnight to finish the book because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep unless I knew how it ended.
The author's portrayal of the dystopia involved a lot of tantalizing teases. There were hints as to deeper plotting and a possible rebellion. There were violent punishments doled out with little explanation. There were hints of disinformation campaigns and situations that made the society very complex. The issue of children murdering each other for other people's entertainment was portrayed very clearly as barbaric. It is a punishment for a past transgression, and everyone in the Districts knows it.
I wavered a bit on the final rating, just because my usual requirement for a 5-star book is that I either laughed out loud or actually cried while reading it. Neither of those happened, but the up-til-midnight-reading factor can't be ignored. I care about these characters. I want to know more about the society the author created. I'm fully planning to raid my library to grab BOTH of the other books so I can devour them as quickly as possible. These factors add up to a book well worth reading....more
Fisk gets called home to deal with a mystery, and Sir Michael has been declared unredeemed, causing the duo a host of problems outside their sleuthingFisk gets called home to deal with a mystery, and Sir Michael has been declared unredeemed, causing the duo a host of problems outside their sleuthing.
I love the back-and-forth method of telling the story, going from one chapter of Michael's perspective to one of Fisk's. They have such distinct voices and attitudes that the reader can easily tell who is who. This novel seemed more focused than the first one, and thus held together excellently well during a quick read. I look forward to more books in this series, and hope they're coming soon....more
This book really surprised me. A friend loaned it to me along with a few others that... were slow going... so it took me awhile to decide to read thisThis book really surprised me. A friend loaned it to me along with a few others that... were slow going... so it took me awhile to decide to read this book. I'm glad I did. This was a fun fantasy romp in a new world. A YA book that lacks sex or angst was what I needed after the others the friend loaned. This one was refreshingly free of all that *oh, the pain of existence* crap.
One of the aspects of this book that I really liked was the constant switching of perspective from chapter to chapter. The two main characters alternate narration, and each one has a VERY distinct outlook on the world and voice to speak. The superstition/mythology/magic of this world was also interesting and unique. I don't know that I've ever read anything quite like it, and I've read a lot of fantasy. This is a very low-magic world, but the magic that is there is both necessary and dangerous. This led to some interesting plot points. The plot was well-tied-together, and had a lot more complexity than I really expected from a YA novel. A good read, all in all. I've noted that there is a sequel, and I plan to hunt it down in short order....more