Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset (The Hunger Games, #1-3)The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As many know, I don’t readily give out 5-star reviews. In this case I’m compelled to do so. Why, when this isn’t a literary series of books, but rather genre fiction? Because Suzanne Collins clearly demonstrates mastery of her craft, and by virtue of that talent she deserves high accolades.

If I had to use one word to summarize The Hunger Games trilogy it would be riveting. It isn’t often a writer creates plot and characters so real, so compelling, I am haunted by them throughout both waking and dreaming hours.

Although the premise is simple: evil overlord/government reigns through tyranny, oppression and manipulation, it’s this latter, Collins weaves so deftly through her story and thereby creates screaming tension and sense of outrage.

The language throughout is simple, conversational, written in first person present tense, not an easy feat, but certainly one done so deftly as a reader this literary device slides by almost unnoticed. And yet it is the use of first person, present tense which enhances the immediacy of the story. Like the children who are forced to participate in the killing-field of the Hunger Games, the reader is held suspended in the now, aware of the horror of the past, and the promise of only more horror to come. And although Collins periodically weaves in a moment of hope, they are so fleeting as to be like sunlight through storm clouds, and because of that poignant.

Simple moments become moments of import, both terrible and glorious. She has a way of setting up her reader, and then not only pulling out the rug, but the floor, collapsing the walls, leaving you wounded in rubble.

If you haven’t already found yourself caught up in the hype around The Hunger Games I can assure you the trilogy is well worth the time and emotion you will expend.

I have every confidence this series will be studied in classrooms alongside other SF greats like The Lord of the Flies, 1984, and Brave New World.

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