November 2010

Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Games"

The Hunger Games is the first in a series of Young Adult books by Suzanne Collins.  I don't habitually read YA novels; only the best ones (like The Graveyard Book or the Golden Compass series).  But the buzz around this series was so great that I had to try it.  And I'm glad I did.

The Hunger Games takes place in a dystopian future where America has been divided into twelve districts.  The districts are ruled over by the totalitarian dictatorship of the Capitol.  (The setting reminds me of Firefly, with its contrast between the grubby, poverty-stricken outer worlds and the Core Planets with their clean, freshly-scrubbed, well-fed, but thoroughly subjugated and endlessly monitored populace.)

In order to emphasize its control, every year the Capitol demands a sacrifice.  Two children from each district are chosen at random to fight to the death in a televised bloody free-for-all, the eponymous Hunger Games.