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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Hunger Games (mild spoilers)

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

The Hunger Games is a trilogy quite unlike anything else I've read. It's written in first person, present tense, so I really found myself catching the emotion of each of the books.

The first book, The Hunger Games, makes you see the way the Capitol is controlling Panem. The Hunger Games are an annual competition between the districts; a reminder that the Capitol is in full control. Two teens, one boy and one girl, between the ages of twelve and eighteen are chosen from each district through a mandatory drawing, and are forced to fight to the death. Out of the twenty-four that go into the arena, only one can return home alive.
The story is told through the eyes of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who steps up to take her sister Prim's place in the Hunger Games. She has pretty much accepted that she will die as she leaves, but is fully unprepared for what awaits her.
Seeing the Hunger Games through Katniss's eyes was really interesting. I really appreciated the way the author was able to portray the injustice of a government with such control, and of the way they reminded the districts of it.

In Catching Fire, the power of the Capitol becomes more personal. Katniss survived the Hunger Games along with the tribute from her district, Peeta Mellark, in the previous book, and now she has to face the consequences. President Snow personally has it out for her, and because this is the 75th Hunger Games, a Quarter Quell, he announces that this year's competitors will be chosen from previous tributes. Being the only female tribute from her district, Katniss is forced to return to the arena.
The Capitol doesn't seem to be a distant force in Catching Fire. It asserts it's power even more, showing the people of Panem that "not even the strongest are safe".

Mockingjay completes the story, as Katniss defies the Capitol in an attempt to save the people of Panem from tyranny. District 13, which was annihilated before the Hunger Games began, is alive and well, and there Katniss is forced to go. While there, she is told she will be the face of the rebellion; the rebellion she started when she first defied the Capitol during her first Hunger Games, and continued by escaping the second.
The deaths in Mockingjay were so portrayed that they were almost too much. Not that they were described in detail, but in that the author did an excellent job in showing how Katniss feels about it all. After characters grow on you, then die, it's extremely sad. Through this viewpoint it's amazing what you feel about mere words.

I'm having a terrible time writing this, having to try to describe exactly how the viewpoint affects the story, but I did thoroughly enjoy this trilogy. It's a sad tale, but one I would definitely be willing to read over again.