I am so geeky, that I was the first person to sign up for a Sci Fi Book readers club at my local library. I have read all the Dune books, and I had just finished Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow (by Caird, amazing) so I guess I am a sci fi fan. Not really knowing what was some of the best stuff out there since I’ve pretty much read all 18-19 Dune books out there, the club was a good first step.
The first book to be discussed by the club (which hasn’t met yet) is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I wasn’t able to take it out from the library because all the copies were out, so I put down $9 and bought the soft cover version, and began reading. I had heard it was good from a young girl who attends our church youth group, so I delved in – and read it in three days. That means its a good book.
So why did it pull me in?
The setting is very relevant. It takes place in North America after global warming has devastated the landscape. The remaining peoples settled into a capital city and 13 districts each with specialties that provided the nation with resources. Unfortunately war broke out against the capital, Panem, and panem employed technology to wipe out District 13, showing its power, and maim and control the remaining 12.
The problem is very dark, and very distopian. Each year, two children from each district (24 and all) are picked by lottery to fight in the Hunger Games, which are put on by the Capital as entertainment. The players are dropped into a landscape after being paraded as champions of each district on national media, and pitted against each other to the death. Only one winner is supposed to come out alive.
The characters are well developed, and lovable. The main character, a young girl from district 12, named Katniss Everdeen, is thrust into the spotlight because her younger sister is picked for the games, and she volunteers to take her place. Very heart wrenching, very real.
Every moment of this novel, I was wanting to know what happened next. A character named Rue, broke my heart while reading like I haven’t experienced since reading Catcher in the Rye, and the real life parallels are all over the place. I’m going to move onto the next book as soon as I can justify buying the next one. Truly well done Suzanne.