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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(2 star).show all reviews
on March 30, 2014
I read the trilogy, but the first book is the main one of interest. I was unable to seriously engage with the story – it comes across as an elaborate, unrealistic dating game - so I may be overly biased here. We know the theme: combatants in an arena who have drawn lots to win the right to avoid chronic hunger under an oppressive dictatorship in a futuristic dystopic America.

Collins shows that she can write, but can she tell a good story? I think not. There are too many problems with this trilogy to be considered a good piece of fiction. For starters, she has not given us enough backstory to show the relationship between Katniss (the main character) with her younger sister Prim, or with their father. And there are no descriptions on what it is like to be genuinely hungry – hence a motivation for risking life and limb in the deadly arena. This is crucial, but it is missing. Then there is the problem with Katniss and her arrows: they can, it seems, overcome anything in what is a high-technology holo-game setting. That's too much of a stretch. Collins, I think, simply loves playing with this odd mixture of swords and sorcery, in which archery and spears and outback wit are pitted against the malevolent desires of sadistic gamesters . There’s too much ‘Survivor’ showing here.

With more than 1,000 pages of narration in the trilogy, there are only about 40-50 pages of actual hunger game action. Those combat scenes work very good, of course, and there are some surprises. Yet this is a mashed-up tale of a young rebellious woman who can't make up her mind, who doesn't know who she cares about. Not surprising, as she is "a soldier who won't take orders". I found it difficult to sympathize with her. But Collins just drags it out, violating the prime directive of good drama: there must be continuing tension and building of conflict and some character development. Heaven help us, she has her protagonist Katniss tell us that she is not one for clothing or fancy food, and then she goes on and on at great boring lengths describing make-up, clothing and banquets. And why no revolution until 75 years have passed?

The most realistic character by far is Haymitch, and his story is the most interesting one. This is the Roman gladiator games with a touch of medieval-cum-modern battle and an unrealistic love triangle thrown in. I advise young female readers not to waste their valuable reading time here. On the other hand, the movie is decent.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
I had a really hard time rating this series overall. The first two books were enthralling and I enjoyed thoroughly. SPOILERS AHEAD: Then the third novel came along and Suzanne Collins ruins Katniss' relationship with almost every other major character over the course of the novel. Peeta is kidnapped and 'brainwashed' to hate her and want to kill her. Her sister is killed off (wasn't the entire point of the series to keep her alive?) Gail supposedly may or may not be indirectly responsible for her death, and Katniss expels him from her life by the end of the novel. For some reason the writing pace changes significantly in the third novel as well. Whereas the first two were fast paced, the third one seems to drag on with a lot of unnecessary waiting around stylistic delays, and then the end of the novel is basically crammed into 3 chapters which leave a LOT to be desired. The epilogue is a joke. Several plot threads are left completely unexplained or just solved with no explanation. ("Oh hey, Peeta actually DOESN'T hate me or want to kill me anymore and we have kids now!" - totally happens and isn't really explained in the 3 page epilogue). I would give the first two books a 4.5-5/5 star rating, and would rate the third 1/5 because at least the first few chapters of the novel were enjoyable.

Overall 2/5 because I liked the first two novels, but I suggest you stop reading there and make up your own ending to the series which will surely be better than what Suzanne Collins came up with.
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