Monday, March 14, 2011

Read Lately: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

  • When my wife first suggested that I read The Hunger Games trilogy, I misunderstood her reason for doing so. I assumed that she thought I would enjoy the series, and I did to an extent. What I did not understand was that her true purpose for getting me to read it was so that I could validate her interpretation of the end of the trilogy. The fact that she patiently waited throughout the months it took me to finish the books is a testament to her saintliness.

  • The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian future where humanity has nearly been obliterated from the face of the earth. The nation of Panem is the last bastion of civilization, divided into twelve districts and controlled by the Capitol. While life in the districts is quite miserable, the Capitol is a lush, highly technological stronghold. The series draws its name from the gladitorial games run by the Capitol as punishment for the failed rebellion by the districts 75 years previously. Now two teens from each district are sent to the Hunger Games each year to fight to the death.

  • The world itself is fascinating as are many of the characters. The issue I have with the book is the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. Following her through the series is much like watching a feral cat. It actually makes her the least interesting character in the series.

  • I don't regret reading the books. I was genuinely hooked by the plot and I wanted to see what happened next. And Collins' writing was fluid and easily readible. But its flaws are substantial enough to sour the experience.

© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. Yeah, I love the first book but don't particularly like how the trilogy ended. You can actually see the number of stars I give the books decrease as you go from 1 to 3 on goodreads.

    I didn't like or particularly understand the direction the author took the main character, and she was very harsh to the boys in her life and it almost felt like she ended up with Peeta because, oh, he was there.

  2. It seems that just generally it must be a lot harder to write a good first book than a good series. So many fantasy series I've read start off really good and then peter out.

  3. I'm glad to hear that my personal opinion is in line with the general consensus -- that the first was the best, and it went down hill.

    But, the million dollar question -- what was your wife's interpretation?

  4. @ MMOGC - I feel quite similarly. The whole love triangle drove me crazy.

    @ Yeebo - Series are notorious difficult. Some books get sequels they don't need. Plus authors work on a first book for years, and then they are required to turn around the next book in 12 months or less.

    @ AH - Evidently (and I don't really know because I don't follow her book groups) whoever she was discussing the series with online thought that it was out of character for Katniss to agree to continue the Hunger Games at the end of the book, but she wanted to know what I thought. My interpretation was that Katniss had already decided to kill Coin after Prim's death and she would have said anything to make sure she would have the opportunity, which matched my wife's thought.