I finally caved in to the amount of people telling me I should read this book and borrowed the trilogy from my mum. I already had some expectations from the few things people had told me. Mostly that although kids killed other kids it was about something deeper than that and much more character and humanity based than about killing. What can I say, I’m a sucker for character driven stories regardless of plot.
The book started off well. Katniss is a fairly loveable character and believable for her age, which is only sixteen. She has an older male friend and a younger sister and mother she looks after. She hunts, she’s confident and she’s my kind of main character.
The book doesn’t waste too much time getting to the point where she ends up knowing she’s going to be part of the next hunger games. Basically a massive gladatorial style games where the participants are teenagers but the viewers are typical roman elite style people, but in the future rather than thousands of years ago.
She then spends the next half of the book, getting to terms, training, being driven around the capitol (where the elite live) and generally trying to win over the hearts and minds of the people who are about to watch her kill or be killed.
As you’d expect, both her and the boy with her aren’t too happy about this. He isn’t as strong or as prepared as her so he thinks mostly of going out in a way that somehow shows the makers of the games that he wasn’t playing by their rules and mostly she can only think of surviving.
The games themselves are described well. You feel the pain and fear and although I expected some kind of display near the end that lets the game makers know they’ve not won I was actually taken by surprise by what happened right at the end.
The book felt very well thought through and I really liked where it went and what it focused on. Katniss was a brilliant character who’s emotional turmoil at what she had to go through was expertly told. My only slight complaint was her not being quite bright enough but to be fair for a sixteen year old in her circumstances it probably would have been less believable to have her as intelligent as I’d have liked. There would have been less supporting side characters then as well and I liked all those too.