Monday, 30 April 2012

Suzanne Collin's: "The Hunger Games", "Catching Fire", "Mockingjay"

My thirteen year old daughter recommended that I read Collin's blockbuster young adult trilogy about a despotic future world where children are forced to fight to the death in an arena. This shocking premise has already been explored in Koushin Takami's Japanese novel "Battle Royale" but the "Hugner Games" has an enthralling story  all of its own.

First book: "The HungerGames": Much more enjoyable than I expected and very well written. This sucked me in and kept me reading.

Second book: "Catching Fire": A worthy successor that broadens out knowledge of the society that spawned the games. Probably my favourite book of the trilogy.

Third book: "Mockingjay": The final volume was a bit of a dissapointment to me. In a nutshell there was too much emotional angst and not enough shooting bad guys. Nevertheless the story is resolved reasonably and Collin's characters develop in a credible way.

All in all the series is very good even though I was a bit dissapointed by the ending. Collin's has becpome the best selling author on Kindle so obviously a lot of other readers like this series too.

George R. R. Martin "A Dance with Dragons"

The paperback edition of the latest installment of Martin's Ice and Fire sage is split into two volumes but each has more than 700 pages so I didn't feel too cheated at having to shell out for both.

Ice and Fire continues to enthrall me, even though Martin shares the late Robert Jordan's view that you should never tell a tale in 10 words when you could use 10,000. Martin's characterisation remains strong as always. The main protagonists of Dragons are Daenerys Targaryen, John Snow and Tyrion Lannister. Daenerys's fledgling empire in the East seems to be coming apart due to her unwillingness to act despotically. John Snow is desperately trying to strengthen the Night's Watch and enlist any allies he can get for the forthcoming battle against the terifying ceatures (the "Others") who live beyond he wall. Tyrion contiues to be my favourite character in the series even though his fortunes are much diminished.  Now he is heading for a meeting with Daenerys in the East and his cunning would be the perfect foil for her compassion but knowing Martin he will kill off one or other of them before they even get to meet. 

Sadly I have yet to see any episodes of the Game of Thrones televisd series because Sky have an exclusive license and I use a different cable provider.