Review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Here is the review I did on Goodreads:

Because of a great plot idea, interesting characters, and a well written story, I blew through the book in 2 days. Compared to third-person past-tense stories, there are fewer first-person present-tense stories out there, and I have not read many. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did. And so I was on high-alert when I started the book. Would the author do it right? I must say, after a page or two, I completely forgot about the person/tense being used because the author did such a good job with it. And I don’t recall being distracted during the read. Just my opinion . . . one of the best parts about the book: It was clean.

After I finished the book, I found myself thinking about it several times during the next two days. Even though the book itself was worthy of additional thought cycles, there was something else about it which intrigued me. Something outside the story. Something which made me think about other stories. Other movies. Similar plots.

When my thoughts were gathered and molded, I decided that I wanted to write about this “something else” which had gone through my mind. But I realize there are those people out there which won’t give a hoot about the contrast I am about to highlight (especially since it is a religious concept), so I will take that conversation to my blog. If you are interested in the idea, you can find me on:

http://lachish-letters.blogspot.com

Otherwise, I will end here with a solid recommendation: Great book. I look forward to reading the sequel.

And now my continuation:

Because I wanted to do something quite unique with this review, I read a few other reviews on The Hunger Games to get a feel for what people were saying. For the most part, reviews are very positive. I did find that some reviewers detested the book, saying it was a plagiarized plot line, or world, or concept. Several of them also claimed that other authors did the story-line so much better. But since I have not read any of the books cited, similarities to other works didn’t bother me at all. After all, most books written these days bear some resemblance to other works which are already out there. Plots and characters are similar because they all come from the human experience we share.

So just like the other reviewers, this book also reminded me of many books and movies which I have already read or seen. Certainly not exactly the same. Just similar. Rather than name those which I have experienced, I want you to think about some general themes. Which ones do you recognize? Which have you read or seen?

Post-apocalyptic survival. Degenerate peoples. Governments or organizations which think they have arrived at the highest pinnacle of progress and civility, but in reality are corrupt and depraved. Peoples who are oppressed by those governments/organizations. People who want to escape because they are prisoners of the system. Futuristic places which are described so well and in such a way the reader wonders if that is exactly where we are headed. Stories which are placed in a setting of planet-wide calamity, typically the kind of destruction that mankind brought upon itself.

Do you see the themes? These are themes within The Hunger Games. Already done. And yet I loved the story.

But here is the contrast . . .

I am here to tell you, no matter how bad it gets, The Hunger Games (or any other popular post-apocalyptic title you wish to insert here) is not the way the story ends. Children will not be forced to kill each other for sport under the watchful eye of a post-American government after a widespread calamity.

I am not saying the calamity won’t happen. What I am saying is that after the calamity, there will NOT arise a corrupt government to torment people from a gleaming Capital which outwardly looks like heaven on earth.

It ain’t going to happen.

Take a look at this:

Isaiah 54:11-14
11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

Ah, yes. Do you see the foundations? For more description of the capital city, go read the chapter 21 in the book of Revelation. It will truly be a beautiful city. And instead of an arena for child gladiators, “great shall be the peace of thy children”. And this is what we will find:

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Don’t you love that? PEACE. TRUTH. NO FEAR. NO TERROR. NO PAIN. NO TEARS. And all of those thoughts about the total destruction of the human race: Those ideas will “pass away”.

That is the contrast. That is the way it will really happen.

So, although I enjoyed the book immensely, it is just a story. I know how it will really end.

And this ending will be so much better.

Let me know what you think.

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Comments

Review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — 5 Comments

  1. I have to say, I hear a lot about Hunger Games and I’m lookin’ for a copy. Great review and insights!

  2. Wow! I just finished The Hunger Games and, like you, couldn’t put it down. Thank you for tying in the comforting religious side. I never thought of that, and really like looking at it from that perspective better.

    ps– I have a “tag” aversion. Hope you don’t mind if I don’t participate.

  3. Isn’t it comforting? I have read many “end of the world” books and have enjoyed many of them. But it is nice to know what the real end will be like.

  4. Ain't that a barn-burner of a book? I like your take on it, with the scriptures. It is just a story.

    One of the common claims is that she "ripped off" some Japanese dude who wrote 'Battle Royale'. I've read a ton of reviews of that book and I'm already pretty sure THG is the better of the two, but I'll read BR later this year just to be sure.

    Keep up the good work, Daron.

  5. I love your thoughts! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to read this for book club this month and I'm excited because I've heard such good things about it. And isn't it awesome that it's just a story? 😀

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