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Review: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

These are some belated notes on The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, which I made back in April, but am just posting now.

I was very underwhelmed by the story and the series got worse as it went on.

  • I didn’t buy the main plot point of using children for the games and glorifying their deaths.  I could buy something closer to The Running Man with criminals, but not children.
  • I did think it was a good move to have some breaks in time between the books — it doesn’t have to be a continuous narrative
  • I appreciated the fact that not all characters are going to make it through alive (although I’m not sure there were any characters that I cared enough about)
  • The world building, for me, was too light. A bit of mystery left to the imagination is good but I would have liked to have seen a few more glimpses into how things got to be how they were.
  • The second book was essentially a rehash of the first, just worse.  The plot for book three was messy, chaotic (not in a good way) and seemed to just fizzle out as if the author ran out of ideas and just decided to stop.
  • The love triangle was weak.  It went on so long and so angst-y, that I didn’t care anymore.
  • For me, it’s easier to read first person narratives with the main character being male, which may be one reason that female readers (including those that may not typically read in the genre) may find it appealing.
  • So many of the characters had little depth to them.
  • I liked the idea of some of the Machiavellian politics and intrigue, but thought it was underdeveloped in the books
  • I think the author needed to introduce a bit of humor from time to time
  • What might be interesting is if the author wrote a few additional books or short stories from another point of view — perhaps President Snow, one of the gamemasters, or just someone else in the know — and find out that much of what Katniss though was going on is actually wrong à la the Ender books (Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow are prime examples) by Orson Scott Card.

I haven’t seen the movies yet and might watch the first one if it shows up on Netflix Instant.

Average 2 out of 5 stars (finished April 2011)

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