Sienna's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, kindle
Read in December, 2011

One of my favorite episodes of BBC sci-fi series Blake's 7 is "Death-Watch" (1980), which presents a new kind of warfare: rather than risk mass bloodshed, destruction and oppression, two interplanetary consortia solve disagreements with an old-fashioned duel to the death — dual, as well, because there are only two participants. They are professional killers, their weapons and battleground chosen by a computer. When only one (wo)man is left standing, the losing side cedes a few planets to the victors, and everyone's happy (or what passes for happy in the grim B7 universe) until the next skirmish. What makes this particular storyline such a highlight for me is the role of the audience in these battles. Through a charmingly awkward expository sequence, we learn that, by wearing what appears to be a snazzy felt circle third eye, each spectator becomes aware of everything his or her champion sees, hears, even thinks and feels. This way, we're told, everyone shares in the war. Like main character Tarrant, who gets to experience the death of his brother Deeta firsthand in one of the show's most moving moments.

Needless to say, I've been looking forward to exploring how Suzanne Collins looks askance at war through the lens of young adulthood. For a dystopian pageturner, The Hunger Games is held together by a surprising amount of love, simple kindnesses, togetherness as much as horrifying solitude. There are some predictable plot devices and easy outs, and characters who are little more than names. But it succeeded for me. I cared deeply for Katniss, for her family, for Gale and Peeta, for Rue, for hunters and healers alike, and believed in the world Collins had built. Each missing detail felt appropriate: Katniss, as storyteller, offered only her perspective, her experiences as they happened, and, strangely, if the ubiquitous third-person omniscient narrator — the video footage all the districts watch — had stepped in, I suspect we'd have known both more and less about the 74th Hunger Games. Mostly less. Can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy...

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lawrence I loved this book, although I felt the returns diminished with the other two books. Nice shout out to Blake's 7.

Sienna I've just finished the second and can see what you mean — though that won't stop me from reading the third. :) Blake's 7 deserves all the shout-outs it can get!

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