Hunger Games

July 16, 2008 at 1:10 am (Science Fiction, Teen) (, , )

 Release date – October 2008

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Review by Elizabeth Simmons

Title: The future is Retrograde.



Hunger Games is a futuristic novel with a cool retrograde twist.  Rather than being a space odyssey full of overused science fiction clichés such as evil aliens, intergalactic technology, and characters whose names one can never pronounce.


Some time in the not so near future, all that is left after the fall of the United States is a small nation called Panem.  It has twelve districts that function like small rural towns.  Its citizens are peaceful. Crime and violent behavior do not exist in their daily lives.  Only on TV can Panemindians experience violence. Controlled by a big brother type of government known as The Capitol, reminiscent of 1984, they are obligated to watch the “Games.”


Each household is required to have a television set.  There is only one channel, and it broadcasts The Games repeatedly.  Nothing else is reported on the air. 


The Games itself is a reality TV series. It takes places annually and each district must select one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 to 18 to represent them in a live fight. It’s a blood bath with children thrown into the wilderness forced to battle it out with each other. More gruesome then any UFC fight currently on TV, and there can only be one survivor.


One of things I found interesting about the concept of the book is that the culture of Pandem is far less technologically advanced then ours. With exception of the aforementioned television set, and one train that runs through the districts.


The people of Panem are a tribal hunter society that is clearly a regression. In this respect it resembles Ayn Rand’s Anthem.  In terms of theme it attempts to emulate the power of Rand as well. Hunger Games deals with a multitude of issues, among them violence versus compassion. Remember this is about children killing each other.


In the aspect of the promotion of the Games by the government media it also resembles THX1138. It continues in the tradition of futuristic novels that deal with issues reflecting our own times.


Told powerfully from the first person point of view of sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, Suzanne Collins gracefully carves out a strong female protagonist.


Katniss is faced with the challenge of saving herself and a boy named Peeta, while fending off boys and girls from other districts who are dead set on murdering them.


Artemis Fowl and Red Jericho fans will love the fast ward action pace of the book because there’s never a dull moment. Plus, one can easily become emotionally attached to Katniss, and the decisions she has to make in order to survive as she evolves as a unique tribal emissary and becomes the custodian of her district’s future, as well as the emblem of its humanity.


Buy it here


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