|Official Space Nerd|
**** NO SPOILERS, please ****
So, I found Suzanne Collins' new book at a thrift store for $4.00. It was practically brand new, and I initially put it with the other 200 books I own but haven't read yet (not exaggerating). I'm doing a lot of reading to prepare me to write my Masters in History thesis, but I figured I needed some 'junk food' reading for a change. So, I sat down and read it over the course of 2 1/2 days. I was REALLY impressed.
It is a prequel book, taking place about 64 years before the first Hunger Games books, so there is no Katniss, Peeta, or Hamish. There IS a young Coriolanus Snow, though, who (as we should all know by now), ended up president of Panem (he was played by Donald Sutherland in the movies). It is the occasion of the 10th Hunger Games, and young Snow is 18 yrs old, getting ready to transition from High School to college. He is assigned to be a Mentor for a tribute from one of the districts. From there, any more information would probably get spoiler-y.
Suffice it to say, I am extremely impressed with this book. The 'bad guy' from the original trilogy is the main focus of the book, so it's sort of like seeing a young Adolf Hitler struggle with trying to make his way in the world while overcoming the various hurdles life sends his way. And, I generally do NOT like prequels, so I was surprised to see how much I enjoyed this book.
The story takes place 10 yrs after the Civil War, and it shows the Capitol still struggling to rebuild. Capital life is not so extravagant and excessively affluent as in the original books/movies, and it is easy to sympathize with Snow and his world view. His character development through the book is really well done, and I didn't think it hammy, heavy-handed, or un-credible in any way.
Also, the Hunger Games themselves start to undergo significant changes in this book, with Snow playing a role in the new changes (the games are nowhere near as sophisticated as they were in the trilogy/movies - the early games had all 24 tributes just basically dumped into an empty sports arena filled with weapons). I thoroughly enjoyed it and almost wish there could be more such books. If this one succeeds, Collins might be enticed to write more. I hope she does.
Anybody else read it?
No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
First I've heard of it. I did read the originals. I remember enjoying the first two and really disliking the third. The movies didn't help change my attitude about it. But knowing there's a new story in the universe, I'll check it out.
Thanks for the heads up.
"I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak!" - Calvin, "Calvin & Hobbes"
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