Opening Line: “Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.”
Wow what a world Paolo Bacigalupi has created here...moreOpening Line: “Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.”
Wow what a world Paolo Bacigalupi has created here with Ship Breaker. I won’t say this is the best dystopian book I’ve read but it’s definitely up there as the freakiest in terms of a plausible or even inevitable future -should global warming cripple the earth, the ice caps melt and all of our natural resources disappear.
Initially I’d been drawn to this book because it reminded me of a documentary I’d seen about families in India who lived and worked on the beach, eking out a living by breaking down oil tankers for parts (which is the exact scenario here) The extreme poverty, danger, expendability and daily fight for survival stuck with me and I suppose that’s why for several chapters here I assumed this took place in a third world country, it does but that country is now on the US Gulf coast. For me this is where Ship Breaker shines; the world building here is simply awesome.
Anyways this was a great read, well written, unique and action filled. There are morality choices (love books that make me think, what would I do?) some romance (a hint of) pirates, hurricanes, knife fights, train chases, treasure hunting and a drug addicted antagonist who also just happens to be the hero’s father. Yeah he was a very bad man. Come to think of it there is quite a bit of violence in this story.
I also enjoyed the distinctions presented here in class discrepancy and fell in love with a character named Tool (a DNA altered or manufactured half man/dog/tiger who could really do with his own book. I struggled a bit with the weird names (reminding me of (The Hunger Games) in their anonymity) Pima, Bapi, Sloth, Tick-Tock. And lastly I just need to mention a scene that will haunt me for a long time –when our hero gets lost and stuck deep within the bowls of the tanker, its pitch dark and he’s fallen into an oil reservoir. This made me frantic, claustrophobic, terrified and a real fan of Bacigalupi.
Nailer works the “light crew” scavenging through the wrecks of ancient oil tankers that now litter the coast. His job is to crawl deep inside these iron beasts and strip them of their copper wire, turning it over to his violent crew boss. It’s very important the Nailer make quota as there are many other kids starving in the shanty town who would kill for his job. It’s a brutal existence but all he knows. The other problem that is fast approaching is that Nailer is quite simply getting too big for his work, struggling to fit into the rusty pipelines. And then what? With no way of earing his keep and only so many viable organs to sell how will he live?
As luck would have it a “city killer” hurricane strikes the coast and in its aftermath Nailer and his friend Pima stumble upon the wreck of a luxurious clipper ship. Smashed against the rocks the ship is filled with more valuables then either of them could dream about in a lifetime. Nailer has hit the “lucky strike” now if he can find a way to claim and cash in the bounty before the other scavengers discover them. He hadn’t counted on any survivors amidst the wreckage however and now he’s faced with the choice of killing this half drowned “swank” girl or saving her in the hopes that her wealthy family will reward him. Cheers 330jb4 (less)
Opening Line:"I'm shivering, and I can't tell it it's because something strange is going on or because of the dream I had or just because I'm in the k...moreOpening Line:"I'm shivering, and I can't tell it it's because something strange is going on or because of the dream I had or just because I'm in the kitchen, away from the warmth of the wood stove."(less)
Oh this was good, probably just as good as Life As We Knew It but the shock factor from that 1st book kind of knocks this one down a notch. This is a...moreOh this was good, probably just as good as Life As We Knew It but the shock factor from that 1st book kind of knocks this one down a notch. This is a companion book to LAWKI, that’s right the same exact events from a different perspective. Here instead of reading from the diary of a girl in rural Pennsylvania we get the POV of a 17 year old boy in New York City as he also deals with the aftermath of an asteroid hitting the moon and knocking it out of its orbit. The same apocalyptic events follow; Tsunamis claim the coasts, volcanoes erupt, ash fills the sky, arctic winter sets in followed by food shortages, killer flues and starvation.
THE DEAD & THE GONE is equally as realistic and bone chilling as the first book, maybe even more so and also just as fascinating and unlookawayable. Even knowing the turn of events I was going to face this book still managed to shock me and mess with my head. Yup, the OCD is back too, stockpiling food and supplies just in case.
Family again plays a key role within this story as does religion, courage and personal sacrifice and there are couple of scenes in that regard that are going to stick with me for a long time. Like when Alex enters Yankee Stadium in the (hopes?) of identifying the body of his missing mother. This scene is terrifying; right from the militant aspect of him boarding the bus to get to the stadium through to the sounds Susan Beth Pfeffer describes inside. I can still hear the wailing, the buzz. And then there’s “body shopping” with his friend Kevin -amazing what becomes normal in an apocalyptic world. I can’t honestly say I was pleased with the ending, it just sort of well, ends without any resolutions or even a feeling of this is a good place to stop for a cliff hanger. I kept turning the page looking for more. Huh did I miss something? Other than that a fantastic, absorbing read.
17 year old Alex Morales is a junior in high school when cataclysmic events alter his life forever. Within hours of the asteroid hitting the moon his home of New York becomes an unfamiliar city. Panic sets in as the power and phones go out and Alex quickly realizes that with his father in Puerto Rico attending a funeral and his mother unreachable at her job at a hospital in Queens he is in charge of the care and safety of his two younger sisters. With news of subway floodings and worldwide tsunamis he also has no way of knowing if his parents are dead or alive. Waiting to hear of their fate just added another level of suspense to this story.
As summer turns to arctic winter the rich and influential abandon the city, leaving the poor to fend for themselves. Disease and starvation threatens those left behind, food becomes scarce, money no longer has any value and the barter system takes over, what can he trade to feed his sisters for another week? How many tins of food can he get for this watch, this coat, these shoes, this bottle of vodka. How much is this 10,000 dollar winning lottery ticket worth? (A tin of pineapple as it turns out) When his pretty and spirited 12 year old sister becomes something of value Alex has to find a way to get them out of New York at any cost.
This was pretty freaking awesome, my very first graphic novel and what an introduction. Like many others I picked thi...moreOpening Line: “This is not good.”
This was pretty freaking awesome, my very first graphic novel and what an introduction. Like many others I picked this up because I’m obsessed with AMC’s The Walking Dead and wanted, well I just wanted more. I was also curious about the graphic novels, I’d heard they were good but I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting much, I mean they’re comics right, how engaging can they be?
However DAYS GONE BYE captured my attention from page one and managed to hold me hostage for the entire hour it took to read, giving me a real sense of sense of anticipation, anxiety and fear. I think what makes this so good (besides all the awesome zombie ass kicking) is that Kirkman has managed to capture the human story so well, which I didn’t expect. I found myself really caring about the outcome of the characters even the ones I didn’t know because they hadn’t made it into the TV series.
On that note probably the most fun for me here (and purists will hate this) was comparing the graphic novel to the TV series. What they used, what they changed, how the characters look etc. The outcome of this book is very different to the end of season 1 and surprised the hell out of me. And while the dialougue can be kinda corny the black and white artwork is awesome; detailed, -you can see their breathe when it gets cold, realistic(?) What I mean is they don’t look like superheroes all muscles, tiny waists and huge boobs. The zombies are seriously disgusting and the kill shots (on both sides) are amazing. Yup this was a great read and very, very addictive. Looks like I’ll be splurging on The Walking Dead Compendium after all. Cheers
Volume 1 follows officer Rick Grimes from pre apocalypse shootout through waking up alone in the abandoned hospital. We then trail him as he meets bicycle girl! the flat end of Morgan & Dwayne’s shovel and starts to adjust to life in his new zombie filled world, before setting off to Atlanta in search of his wife and son. No tank scene there but he rides that ill-fated horse and gets rescued by Glenn who takes him to the encampment and other survivors.
On the heels of my Walking Dead obsession, THE FIRST DAYS fit the bill perfectly and I would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of the zombie genre. F...moreOn the heels of my Walking Dead obsession, THE FIRST DAYS fit the bill perfectly and I would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of the zombie genre. From the very first page I was hooked, I mean how could you not be both intrigued and freaked out by passages like this …
“Tiny fingers. So small. So very, very small. The fingers pressed under the front door of her home were so very small. She couldn’t stop staring at those baby fingers straining frantically to reach her as she stood shivering on the porch.”
Jeez, and it only gets better too. Fast paced, scary and gore filled, Rhiannon Frater has created an imaginative and haunting new world here and I wasn't ever entirely sure where she was going to go with it. She never lets the pace up either; every chapter has some form of chaos, action or horror involved. Probably because this was first written as an online serial (later self published and now released by Tor books) There’s also hints of humour (mostly in the absurd) romance, and a multitude of new and interesting Zombie personalities. Old granny zombie comes to mind, still clutching her very much alive cat as it tries to claw its way free from her arms.
Both the main characters are unique and interesting. Jenni is pretty screwed up and had a tendency to be all over the place (huh?) but I still found it refreshing to read about a zombie apocalypse from the female perspective. (Think Thelma and Louise meet George A Romero) All the secondary characters they contact along the way (living and dead) leave lasting impressions too and I can’t wait to continue on with this trilogy.
The story begins with those tiny fingers; they belong to Jennie’s baby who, along with her young son has just been eaten by her abusive husband. All three have risen, transformed forever into ravenous zombies. Just as her husband manages to break through the living room window a truck pulls up, the female driver yelling at her to get in. The driver is Katie, a former prosecutor who has just lost her wife but somehow in the mayhem managed to secure a truck, a weapon and a dog. The two form an instant bond and hit the road, trying to get out of the infested city.
With no real plan Jenni suddenly remembers that she has a stepson away at camp so they head out to rescue him. Throughout this read our characters kept having revelations; like sexual orientation or how many members are in the family. This was somewhat annoying but at least it kept me guessing. Before long Katie and Jenni discover the joys of watching zombie heads explode, how the rules (established in the movies) don’t necessarily apply and to what means their world has changed forever.
They eventually meet other survivors; a husband and wife team holed up in a gun store and a large group of refugees building a walled fort in a small Texas town -where the girls decide to settle. Here we meet Travis and Juan, the love interests and leaders who set about establishing a new safe community while the dead scratch endlessly at the outside walls and the survivors slowly begin to turn on each other. Cheers 287jb4(less)
Opening Line: "David and I became warriors in the zombie plague on the first day, but I don't think that means we were front line soldiers or somethin...moreOpening Line: "David and I became warriors in the zombie plague on the first day, but I don't think that means we were front line soldiers or something."
Touted as “romantic comedy with…brains.” this was a fantastic, super fun read that had me laughing from page 1 and just didn’t stop. Alongside all the gore and zombie mayhem there’s also a well written, action filled, story here which I think anyone who’s been in a long term relationship or seen Sean of the Dead will be able to relate to. Following average Seattle couple, Sarah and David as they try to save not only their crumbling marriage but struggle through the first few days of a zombie apocalypse. With only each other to rely on it becomes as much of a struggle not to kill the other as it does to battle the rising undead.
I loved the way this was written, I loved that Sarah and David live in the real world, they talk like we do, they bicker, they swear at each other, they drive a crappy car, they figure out how to kill zombies from plotlines they’ve seen in movies. And the chapter headings are hilarious too, consisting of *helpful relationship advice quotes*, altered to take into account the whole zombie issue. Married With Zombies takes a light hearted look at marriage while kicking major zombie ass and it was a blast.
Sarah and David are on the verge of divorce so it’s no wonder they don’t notice a few strange sightings on their way to couples counselling. However when they find Dr Kelly eating the previous clients it gets their attention. Suddenly which radio station to listen to, or how much time David spends playing video games is the least of their concerns. Which piece of office equipment best disables a zombie is the new normal. As it turns out a letter opener, high heeled shoe or even a well aimed Dr Phil book will work in a pinch.
Learning as they go Sarah and David return home only to find their undead neighbour in their bathroom, -turns out you can also kill a zombie by crushing his head with a toilet seat, however this does make things a little awkward when his girlfriend shows up. Luckily she’s got a stockpile of guns and ammunition (never can tell about ones neighbours can you) Because Sarah and David are about to leave the city, I mean things have got to better in the suburbs, right?
You’ll be cheering this dysfunctional couple along as they stumble across plagues of the undead, religious cults, a visit to a zombie casino, looting (another new normal) first drives in luxury cars, broken limbs and a visit to the country fair (zombies on ferris wheel anyone) Through all the arguing, when it comes right down to it theres no one else Sarah or David would rather go through a zombie apocalypse with than each other. Cheers
Thankfully this is only the first instalment from the Living With The Dead Series, Flip this Zombie is next.
*Men are from mars zombies are from hell. *Balance the workload in your relationship. No one person should be responsible for killing all the zombies. *Make requests, not demands “please” kill that zombie honey, I’m out of bullets. *Support your partner in their interests. You never know when batting practice, kung fu movies or even poker night might come in handy during a zombie infestation. *Never go to bed angry, terrified is okay. *Give each other compliments every day. Even when the undead attack, its nice to feel pretty or badass. *Address one issue at a time. You can’t load gasoline, pick up food and kill 15 zombies all at once.
"I should have know that having "end of the world" sex wouldn't solve our problems. Though it was pretty great and I highly recommend it. Its one of the big benefits of an apocalypse that no one tells you about. It just makes everything...better, because you know it might be the last time every time."
"Have you ever wanted to smash a car? or break a television? Or maybe burn a big fire in the middle of a city square? If the answer is yes, then you'd have some fun during a zombie infestation. Its the little moments, you know?"(less)
Opening Line: "January 1st 0358 hrs. Happy New Year to me"
Wow, this was a surprise! Before I begin I should tell you that I’ve never read a Zombie boo...moreOpening Line: "January 1st 0358 hrs. Happy New Year to me"
Wow, this was a surprise! Before I begin I should tell you that I’ve never read a Zombie book in my life and I’m not a fan of the genre (although I did think Shawn Of The Dead was hilarious.) I generally read romance novels with the occasional biography thrown in. So you can imagine my surprise when I became absolutely engrossed in a book about surviving a plague of walking dead.
Day By Day Armageddon was unputdownable and had me alternating between being really freaked out,(checking doors and windows) despairing for the future of mankind (also afraid of the dark) and getting my personal survival kit (weapons, food, Band-Aids, Gin) ready for “that day” -Could I really kill my undead friends and neighbours?
Simply put this is more then just a zombie novel and this romance reader loved every minute of it.
DBDA has been written from the first person and in the form of a journal which for me increased the suspense factor. Because our unnamed hero sometimes starts out an entry with things like “0430 hrs- I’m still weak from blood loss” before going back and explaining. As the reader you’re like, holy shit what happened last night?
The narrator is a US Navel officer who begins his journal as a New Years resolution. It all starts out rather mundanely with day to day life stuff and a few ominous mentions like this one "It seems that something is going on in China; the local news reported some type of influenza virus sweeping them over there.”
The flu is of course the Zombie virus and it spreads to apocalyptic proportions within months. I found these parts really interesting; how the author saw the realistic(?) breakdown of society, media blackouts and the extents the US government ultimately took to eradicate the disease. In the early entries our hero spends a great deal of time describing (in a very calm manner) how he safe guards his home; locating and stockpiling weapons and ammunition, collecting food and water and having an alternate power/communication plan in action. He’s a super smart guy and although the military jargon and descriptions of guns got to be a bit much I’d definitely want him on my side.
With swarms of undead now parading through the streets our barricaded hero eventually teams up with his neighbour John and with no options left the pair flees the city, picking up other survivors along the way and dealing with a multitude of post apocalyptic problems. The futility of it all really got to me here as they struggle to stay alive under ridiculous odds. I had a hard time seeing a point to it all. (Good bet I wouldn’t survive)
This book is full of action and also a ton of well written suspense although it wasn’t as gory as I was I expecting. Don’t get me wrong though, it has its moments but its not gore for gores sake, all the kills are warranted. (Can’t believe I just said that) As silly as this sounds this book really made me think; what would I do? How could I prepare myself? Could I survive? I should also warn you that this is addictive reading and that the ending is well… more than a cliff-hanger. Just make sure you have book 2 Beyond Exile: Day by Day Armageddon on hand because the war on Zombies isn’t over yet.
Highly Recommended for lovers of apocalyptic fiction, Zombie fiction, horror, adventure, disaster stories, military buffs, survivalist fiction and the occasional romance reader. Cheers! (less)
This was very good, and had I read it a (few?) years ago when I was a teenager I know that I would have absolutely loved it. Back in the day this woul...moreThis was very good, and had I read it a (few?) years ago when I was a teenager I know that I would have absolutely loved it. Back in the day this would have been comparable to The Outsiders or the movie Red Dawn *sigh* young Patrick Swayze. I’ve actually heard this compared to Red Dawn quite a bit but other than a couple of major plot points it’s a very different story.
I loved that this takes place in rural Australia (including all the Aussie slang) and the Australian bush almost becomes a character of its own here. I loved the magic of the teens ascending “Satan’s steps” and finding “Hell” Their own private world in all its secluded beauty, far away from civilization, parents and rules. The excitement of their camping trip and the discovery of this hidden place along with the mystery of the hermit were my favourite parts. These are the things I would have loved as a teen reader- well that and all the sneaking around evading the bad guys, driving heavy equipment and blowing shit up -the action scenes are really quite awesome. There’s a bit of awkward romance here but for the most part this is just one great action adventure, I just wish I’d read it 20 (yeah, okay 25) years ago.
TWTWB is the first book from the “Tomorrow” series and the author obviously knew from the onset that this was going to be a series because the ending is left wide open without any real conclusion, in fact the reader is left hanging. I just mention this because you might want to have book 2 (The Dead of Night) handy when you start.
This is written from Ellie’s POV and in the first chapter she explains why she and her friends felt it important to start writing everything down. For them it means that one day they might be remembered because their world has already changed forever. Then she takes us back to the beginning of their story.
It’s the Christmas holidays in an undisclosed rural area of Australia. Ellie and her six friends have decided to go camping for a week instead of attending the annual fair at the showgrounds in Wirrawee. Most of the group was raised on farms, which is important here because they are a tougher breed; able to use a rifle, drive trucks and motorcycles, move stock, deal with a snake bite etc. Anyways, after a lazy week in the bush our group return to Ellie’s family property, which is the closest and soon realize that something is terribly wrong. The first things they notice are the dead animals and that the power is out, the radio is only picking up static. Where are her parents?
Heading to the other teens homes they find more of the same, everyone is just gone. Could it have anything to do with the V-shaped lines of jets that flew overhead for what seemed like hours the other night? Gradually they come to learn that their country has been invaded and soldiers are holding everyone from the district POW style at the fairgrounds in town. Our group then faces a startling decision, they can flee to their oasis in the mountains or they can fight back.
The author cleverly never gives a nationality to the enemy. They are just nondescript soldiers, wearing unremarkable uniforms, speaking a foreign language. This I liked very much. Cheers.
Opening Line:“Lisa is pregnant. Dad called around 11 o’clock to let us know.”
I loved this, easily one of my top reads this year; although maybe love i...moreOpening Line:“Lisa is pregnant. Dad called around 11 o’clock to let us know.”
I loved this, easily one of my top reads this year; although maybe love isn’t the right word because this book scared the crap out of me. It also depressed me, made me very cold and gave me OCD about stockpiling food. I mean just how long could I survive on what’s in my cupboards? Not very. Three boxes of Kraft Dinner and a jar of spaghetti sauce are hardly going to see me through a wintery apocalypse now are they? (Although that bottle of gin will come in handy)
As much as this book messed with my head, I also couldn’t stop reading it, fascinated in a morbid sort of way. I’ve heard it compared to a car accident and that’s true, once you start this you won’t be able to look away.
Life As We Knew It is written in diary form, from the POV of 16year old Miranda. The entries start just prior to a meteor hitting the moon and initially her accounts are self-absorbed, and annoying in fact she comes off kind of spoiled, which let’s face it, is realistic for a high school girl. I think the author probably did this on purpose to show us what her life and thoughts were like ‘before’ and how much she grows as a person by the end of this harrowing story.
Miranda lives with her mother and younger brother (with another brother away at college). Her father has remarried and is expecting a baby with his new wife. Nobody is paying much attention to the astronomers or the moon. I mean at 16 it’s all about you, everything else is just an annoyance. In May the meteor knocks the moon out of its orbit and everything changes.
Miranda’s mother is the real hero of this story, having the foresight to begin amassing food and winter clothes, (candles, batteries, water) while the rest of the world watches and waits. The power is the first to go, then Tsunamis take out anyone on the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents and volcanic ash quickly blocks out the sun. We the readers remain mostly naïve about world events because we only know what Miranda writes in her diary and she’s stopped listening to the news only occasionally giving us tidbit from rare radio broadcast that now mostly consist of death lists but soon even the radio stops.
As summer turns to arctic winter and disease threatens those left alive Miranda’s world grows smaller and smaller. School is cancelled, her friends have either moved or died and gathering firewood and water takes up most of her day. She has little strength left because she is starving and her family has moved into one room to conserve the small amount of heat the wood stove is putting out. It is cold, blinding snow storms and ash fill the sky, the food is almost gone, the food is almost gone! When she thinks about last week she wonders why she ever complained because she had it so much better, last week she was eating one meal a day, now she’s eating every second day and wondering just how much longer her family can survive. She hopes she goes first.
Opening Line:"I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather."
Real or not real; I finally finished Mockingjay?...moreOpening Line:"I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather."
Real or not real; I finally finished Mockingjay? Thankfully real, because this just didn’t hold my attention like the fantastic and innovative The Hunger Games or leave me gasping as Catching Fire did. In the end though I still loved Suzanne Collins violent, bloody and utterly defeated conclusion to this series, it just took a bit (lot) of effort to get through to it. We aren’t left hanging where the love triangle is concerned though, with Collins giving us a realistic and satisfactory glimpse twenty years into Katniss’s future and who she finds herself there with.
All told Mockingjay is a brutal and despairing ride as Katniss, Peeta, Gale and just about every other character we’ve met so far wages war on the Capital and its President Snow. Yes a lot of people die here and I’ll be honest at times Mockingjay lost me. In fact I actually put it down more than once with no real ambition to pick it up again, as it just seemed to drag with endless battles, hospital visits and politics and if it hadn’t been for my curiosity about who Katniss ends up with I probably wouldn’t have bothered finishing it at all.
This is due in no small part to the fact that our heroine spends most of the book either waking up in hospital after being injured or recovering in a drug induced haze from one thing or another. This became monotonous, stalling the story. And while I appreciated Katniss’s battered state of body and mind -especially in the closing chapters I also found it overkill and wondered where that strong, take control girl from previous books had gone. On the other hand after what she’d been through its a wonder she didn’t just keep hiding in the closet, taking 'morphling' and shutting out a world gone mad where no one is who they seem anymore.
I was also very let down by the final climactic battle which for the most part we are told not shown because Katniss is again unconscious, even Snow became rather a non-issue here. And one if my biggest personal disappointments would have to be that we didn’t get to see Gale’s character fleshed out more. I had really been hoping that this would be his book, his time to shine and show us why Katniss loves him. Instead he remaines frustratingly vague.
I believe Suzanne Collins probably had the outcome to this series in her mind from the very first page of Hunger Games, unfortunately with this book she just wasn’t sure how to get us there and fumbled along with her conclusion. The ending chapters and epilogue are amazing though and almost make up for the bumpy, tiring ride that is Mockingjay, almost. And after all was said and done it was Buttercup the cat that had me crying and I'm not even a cat person. (less)
~SO THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT~ THE HUNGER GAMES is a fantastic, breathless and somewhat brutal read that once you start you simply can’t put d...more~SO THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT~ THE HUNGER GAMES is a fantastic, breathless and somewhat brutal read that once you start you simply can’t put down again. Initially I had no idea what this book was about or what to expect in terms of YA writing, it had just been recommended to me by so many people and had such a buzz surrounding it that I had to find out for myself why. Well let me say I was not disappointed and have now joined the legions of Suzanne Collins fans in awaiting her next instalment.
Written along the lines of Stephen King’s The Long Walk or Orwell’s 1984 (I may be aging myself here) this story still feels very original and sucked me in completely with its modern day Survivor-esque retelling. The Hunger Games is the ultimate in reality TV, suspense, scripted realism, romance and survival that you should not miss.
Set in a post apocalyptic future (although we frustratingly never learn the why's, how’s or even when of this future.) This new communist-type America known as Panem has been divided into a Capital and its 12 districts. We follow 16 year old Katniss as she struggles to keep her starving family alive, hunting and gathering with her best friend Gale. Unbeknownst to her these are valuable skills as the annual hunger games are about to begin.
Each year these games require two children from each district who are chosen based on a lottery system for compulsory participation. These televised games are then broadcast throughout Panem (with mandatory viewing) as the 24 contestants fight each other to the death, leaving just one victor at its violent conclusion. It’s kind of like Survivor but instead of being voted off the island you have to kill your competitors. When Katniss’s younger sister is chosen as the female contestant from their district Katniss volunteers to take her place. Then together with Peeta the other lottery winner they travel to the capital and begin preparations for the opening ceremonies and ultimately their death in The Hunger Games.
Oddly this has been written without paragraph breaks and I have to admit the first part of it dragged for me, as Katniss is groomed, clothed, and schooled by her entourage within the capital. However as soon as the games begin, lookout! By this point in the story you have become attached to several key characters and its then that you realize things can’t end well as there will be only one winner. Over a period of about 2 weeks and against overwhelming odds we watch 24 victims dwindle as they struggle to survive. Simultaneously avoiding and hunting each other they form alliances, face hunger and mind numbing thirst, mutant animal attacks, friendship, love and ultimately a distrust of everyone as Big Brother raises the stakes to keep the audience interested.
This is an exciting book that will keep you up late into the night and resonate with you long after you’ve finished. Cheers(less)
Opening Line:"I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air."
At the conclusion of...moreOpening Line:"I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air."
At the conclusion of CATCHING FIRE two words entered my head “Wow” and “Really!?” Then I caught my breath, checked my heart and re-read the final chapter because I’d been so engrossed in finding out how Suzanne Collins was going to end this unpredictable ride that I’d really only scanned the words the first time through. Not many books have the ability to leave me breathless and on that note not many books surprise me anymore either. Catching Fire managed to do both and what a fantastic time I had.
Starting soon after Katniss’s victory in the Hunger Games we re-join her back in district 12. Now a reluctant celebrity of sorts Katniss no longer has to worry about money or feeding her family however things are far from perfect. At odds with both Gale and Peeta there is unrest and change brewing in Panem, old rules are being reinforced amid rampant rumours of a rebellion against the capital. A revolt Katniss and Peeta may have unwittingly started but are certainly being accredited for. As the pair make plans for the upcoming Victory Tour and the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games a visit from President Snow contains a grave warning, forcing Katniss to publicly reaffirm her love for Peeta as well as trying to find a way to stop the desired but deadly and growing civil unrest.
Of course this is just the first half of the book (and the boring half too) Once the President decides on his form of revenge you simply won’t believe what happens and then you won’t be able to put the book down. I wondered how Collins was going to be able to trump the excitement of The Hunger Games, well she does ten-fold and I never knew what was going to happen next. Full of surprises, innovative themes and fantastical creatures, we also get violence, heartbreak, page tearing suspense and a healthy dose of politics. The pace never lets up, making up for the weak and wandering part 1 where I felt like Collins was never really sure of where to take her story, giving us one possible direction before heading off in another. Silly me this was undoubtedly her intention all along letting me think I knew where she was going before she finally gives us…Wow.
Events have now been set up brilliantly for the third and final instalment; Mockingjaydue Aug 2010 and I can’t wait. Cheers(less)