Monday, February 6, 2012

The SteamWorks: The Hungers Games [Book] Review

Hey Gang,

So remember back in my review on Chronicle when I said I wouldn't post another review until I had posted an update on how my life's been? Well, ya see, I started reading The Hunger Games Thursday night, and I was about 2/3rds into the book when I wrote the review, so I didn't think I would finish the book until today, which would have given me time to fit an update in. Well, guess what happened last night? If it makes the people that care feel better, I shouldn't have anything to review by Wednesday, when I next post, so an update should be up by then...

With that out of the way, let's get started:

Well, let's see; I started the book around 5:00 P.M. EST on Thursday, February 2nd. By the time an hour had past, I was 50 pages in, which is fast for me. See, I like to read slow so I can picture everything that's going on in a story, and often times this leads to distraction, boredom, drowsiness, and simply not finishing the book in a timely manner. While I read this book at a decent pace, it kept me interested, entertained, and hooked throughout my whole reading experience.

I brought the book with me on a class field trip to Washington D.C. for the day on Friday and reached around page 230-240. With no reading on Saturday, I decided that my goal would be to finish the book by 10:00 P.M. EST yesterday. I'd like to proudly announce that I finished the book at 9:59. No joke.

So with that in mind, let's take a look at this book. Again, as I usually do, I will try not to spoil the ending for anyone wishing to actually read the book. The setting is Panem, a new nation that rose from the wreckage of a place once known as North America. Panem was separated into 13 Districts (kinda like states or counties in the U.S.), however, due to the imperialistic and cruel control of the Capitol, obviously the central hub of Panem, the Districts rebelled and went to war. Eventually, the Capitol won the war, and as a result, not only did they become more strict and cruel on the Districts, District 13 was also destroyed.

One of the consequences laid down by the Capitol upon the Districts for the rebellion was called The Hunger Games. Each District was to send two tributes, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18, to compete in a tournament. Each year a child successfully dodges being randomly drawn from a pile of contestants, the Capitol adds their name in another time for next year's selection (so by the time you're 18, you should have at least 7 entries in the random drawing). The Hunger Games, at their basis, is really a gladiator fight to the death. The tributes are forced into an area shaped after a certain terrain (ex: tundra, forest, jungle, etc.), where they will not only be forced to survive on practically nothing, but they will also be forced to brutally murder each other until there's only one survivor, or in the Capitol's eyes, one victor.

We first get a glimpse of Panem through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen, a young girl around 16 years of age. Katniss lives in District 12, the area that supplies coal to the Capitol (each District has a specific product that is their main export to the Capitol). Katniss, a natural-born hunter, illegally and consistently sneeks out of the fence that circles District 12 to hunt in the woods along with her friend Gale. She does this because it's the only way for her to survive and support her mother and younger sister, Primrose.

Now although the movie trailer may have spoiled what happens from here, I intend on not doing so. If you've seen the movie trailer, that's great, you know how Katniss becomes involved in The Hunger Games. However, if you've yet to read this book OR seen the trailer, let's just say something interesting happens at the reaping, the name given to the day where tributes are drawn. I'd like to point out that I'm a sucker for anything that requires dwelling on, such as post-apocalyptic scenarios, using magic, or even using powers such as the force. These back-stories simply never fail to astound me. That being said, my opinion of this book may be a bitter higher than another reader's who simply does not like these kinds of thought-up worlds.

So let's take a look at the way this book is written now that we have a background on the story. In case you were unaware, which is completely understandable if you haven't picked the books up yet, the book is written in the first person present form. This means that the story is told by Katniss Everdeen, however instead of saying something like, "I shot the rabbit with my arrow," she'll say, "I shoot the rabbit with my arrow." Notice how one occurred in the past (the more traditional form of writing a first person story and simply any type of story in general) where as the latter occurred as if it were happening now. At first this form of writing seems a bit strange, however it was easy for me to get over in a mere matter of pages.

Other than the nontraditional use of the first person, the story is pretty much written in your average young adult format; Action, Suspense, and Romance, to captivate a broad variety of audience. I also like to disclaim that the book is written for teen girls; I know many adults AND teen guys that love the series (I'm proof since I'm a teen guy). I'd also like to disclaim that since this book is assigned by teachers, it is boring. I read this book for fun in a matter of hours. I really wish my teacher gave me fun stories like this to read.

Quite honestly, I'm surprised I enjoy it so much. Gabby suggested I read it last summer and forced me to borrow her book, but I refused to read it as I was and still am extremely attached to Harry Potter. See, I'm not really one for change, and the fact that Harry Potter was leaving the movies around that time, and I felt that The Hunger Games were replacing the story I've grown up with. I saw a trailer for the movie coming out in a month and said to myself, "Well, might as well see what all the fuss is about. Besides, if it so popular, it's probably decent... although that's not the case for Twilight..." So I sat down, pulled the book out, and immediately became addicted to the world of Panem.

If you feel attached or loyal to another book series such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc, don't be afraid to try this book out. Chances are if you like even one of the series I've mentioned above you'll love this book. Also, if you're trying to be a hipster by refusing to read it *cough* me *cough*, I suggest you stop bitching and try it out. It's one thing to ignore something because it's legitimately accepted to be horrific by society, but there's no reason to ignore something you haven't exposed yourself to simply because it's mainstream.

Can't wait to see the movie!


Peter, The SteamWorks

1 comment:

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