Spoiler Alert: I’ve tried to avoid giving away info crucial to the plot of this series, but I can’t guarantee I didn’t include some spoilers. If you are reading The Hunger Games and don’t want to risk it, please stop reading here. Otherwise, keep on reading….
If you haven’t heard of The Hunger Games, here what Wikipedia has to say:
Clearly many people like The Hunger Games. The series has sold several million copies—I (or any author) should hope to have a book series as successful. Multiple people recommended the books to me before I read them. One of my fellow Scribblerati loaned me the last two books (Thanks, Lisa). Over all they were a quick read. Are they the best books ever? No. Are they the worst? No. I guess for my reading tastes I give them a solid “C.” I liked them enough to read them all over a short period of time. Yet, do I feel the need to ever read them again? No.
Things That Bugged Me About The Hunger Games Trilogy
- No Shields. In the first two books it seems to occur to none of the characters in a life/death struggle that having something to block an incoming blade or arrow might be a good idea.
- Archers shooting down a bomber. (Book 3). Stealth Bombers come to mind—but in general most planes dropping bombs travel at such a height that their targets probably don’t know the bombers are there until they are blown to bits. Yes, in this instance they are special bows, and yes, exactly what the bombers are and what height they travel at is unknown, but I still had trouble buying it.
- The name Peeta (pita) for a bread maker’s son. Really?
- At times vague descriptions of settings and technology. For example, the bombers mentioned in my second example above. Were they planes? Something else? I had trouble picturing them from the material on the page.
- A lot of really good action happens “off camera.” In particular, many “tributes” die in the arena, but we never see the battles that happen and when some characters die we never, ever get to find out exactly what happened to them.
- We know a little about Panem, but how big is it? And what about the rest of the world? How did things get to this point? We just don’t know.
- The Mockingjay (Book 3) really dragged for me. It seemed to take forever for a rescue attempt to try to save Peeta (which to me seemed like the logical place to start the 3rd book). In the final book in the series the main character Katniss often seems removed from the main, exciting action until almost 300 pages into the book.
- The Rebel Forces/District 13. Could there be a less desirable rebel-alliance to be sided with? I’m sure that was the author’s point, but I could have used a more likeable counterpart to the Capital.
- In The Hunger Games (Book 1) why don’t Peeta and Katniss try to align together immediately? If one of my pals and I are going to be thrown into a life and death arena I’m pretty sure we’ll decide from the get-go to align against the people we don’t know (who seem to have no problem making alliances before the game begins).
- No sex. These are teenagers we’re dealing with, right?
- Never trying to find a way out of the Arena (or even finding its dimensions) in Book 1. Many people when put in a life or death scenario might choose a plan to escape vs. trying to fight your way to victory. To have the main characters never seek or even see the edges of the arena bothered me as a reader.
- The “pregnancy” lie. The Capitol has fabulous technology: hovercrafts, mutations, force fields. Yet, they don’t have any means to immediately disprove the claim from a Tribute who claims to be pregnant?
- The love triangle/teen angst. Sheesh.
- Gale: for being part of the love triangle in many parts of these books he seemed like a non-entity. Because we are in Katniss’s head, a lot of action with Gale, as well as many other characters, happens “off screen.”
OK, Some Things I Liked About the Hunger Games
- I did, over-all, like Katniss and her ability as a hunter/archer. Some pretty fun moments with her and her bow. Believable that she is a survivor.
- The “Mutts.” Creepy/scary.
- Many of the secondary characters: Haymitch, Cinna, and even Buttercup
- My favorite book was probably the first in the series. The whole concept of the Hunger Games and the all the jeopardy Katniss, her sister and Peeta are put in really kept me reading.
- The last section of The Mockingjay (Book 3) from the point when Boggs gets his legs blown off was hard for me to put down. Non-stop action from there to the end of the book, mostly.
- President Snow was plenty creepy, but I always pictured him a bit like “Larry Bud Melman”
- Katniss’s last arrow fired. Had she not shot the person she had, I would have hated the whole series.
- The children at the end of Book 3. Nicely done.
So that’s my opinion.
If you’ve read The Hunger Games I encourage you to comment here about what you liked/disliked about the series and why you think it has been such a hit.
Thanks for reading.