Review – Audiobook: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: Scholastic Audio Books
Publish Date: October 1, 2008
Format: Unabridged CD, 11 hours|14 minutes
Rating: 5 of 5
Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you’ve already read The Hunger Games or are at the very least familiar with the plot.
In the future, the dystopian world of Panem, formerly North America, is ruled by The Capitol, a wealthy district who’s residents live in luxury. At some point in the past, the twelve outlying districts rebelled against The Capitol and were defeated. They are now forced to live in poverty with barely enough food to survive and little hope for the future as punishment. Each year one boy and one girl from each district are chosen to compete in The Hunger Games, a fight to the death, where the winner receives food for their district and is honored as a hero.
A year and a half ago I was musing about how I thought perhaps it was time to read The Hunger Games since Mockingjay, the third book in the series, had just been released to rave reviews. I love science-fiction and this was just the type of book I would be standing in line to purchase when I was a teen. So what was I waiting for? I was waiting until the trilogy was complete, or at least the other books were in progress, before allowing myself to get hooked on a series as I’d been burned by uncompleted trilogies before.
And then I procrastinated and until recently, still hadn’t read the book. So, what prompted me to finally read it? The movie! It is opening today and I wanted to experience the book first. The publicity surrounding it will be huge. The second reason was the Magical March Challenge, to read and review works of Fantasy and Science-Fiction. It was just the nudge I needed.
The book lived up to its reputation. While the theme of a fight to the death is an old one, I found it to be timely, fresh and interesting. The competition is a live, televised event like today’s reality shows. Participants need to obtain sponsors who provide food and medical drops if they are to survive.
Our hero, Katniss Everdeen, is female, unlike most scifi stories which generally feature a male lead character. She’s a fighter and knows how to use a bow and arrow, hunt, and survive. Not only is she strong and smart, she’s a strategist and knows how to align herself with other player to get ahead in The Games. Katniss also has a tender side as we see the beginnings of a romance.
When I first read about this book I thought, oh no, another violent book aimed at teens. Instead I found Katniss to be a leader, a role model for young women and a story with enough action that the boys will enjoy it too. There’s action, adventure and excitement, enough to keep even non-readers reading.
I listened to audio book which was pleasantly read by Carolyn McCormick and was easy to listen to. I would recommend the audio to all audiences and this would be a good one to try for those new to the audio experience.
Source: Public library