The Hunger Games is a series that has received mass attention over the last year, so the little book snob in me shied away from them for as long as possible. I must admit, even when I did eventually begin to read the first one, I was prepared for the worst… and happily proven wrong.
Perhaps The Hunger Games don’t live up to their popular nickname ,”The Best Series Ever!” (followed by at least three exclamation marks usually), but what cycle of books could? So, maybe not the best-written books I’ve ever read, and with a very specific target audience, but none the less an interesting and thought-provoking series.
The books follow Katniss Everdeen and her travels through a dangerous dystopian future (see what I mean about specific target audience?). She enters herself in the extreme reality show that give the book its title, The Hunger Games, to save her younger sister. Only the winner gets out of the games alive, so this is really a verdict of certain death to Katniss.
However, Katniss underestimates the lengths another competitor, Peeta, is willing to go for her. Unsure whether Peeta’s behaviour is a malicious strategy or the truth, Katniss get’s sucked into the dark games of the wealthy Capitol. To them, the death of numerous poverty-stricken children is just a few weeks of entertainment.
I found the books lively and tense, but certainly not the best books I’ve read. I would definitely recommend them, but would give out a warning: the conclusion to the final book is a bitter-sweet ending, and not for the soft or faint of heart…
One thing I really admire about these books is the author’s ability to make big things happen. She is not afraid of killing off characters, of estranging friends, of destroying whole cities; no magical coincidence fixes everything in the end, and some things are left scarred and changed forever. This adds a realism to the dystopian world that lies not so far off in the figurative future.