Dear science fiction horror fans,
I have a review of the first book in the explosive series, by author Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games.
The novel begins on a cold November morning on the day of reaping. Primrose Everdeen wakes after having a bad dream. Due to her fears, she was sleeping with her mom and her muddy yellow, male cat named, Buttercup. She is terrified because this year she is twelve. Her name is put in the drawing at the reaping.
On a normal morning, in the district twelve town called Seam, in the country called Panem, coal miners would be scurrying to their jobs. Not this morning. It’s the day of reaping. The black cinder streets are empty. Shutters on the squat gray houses are closed. By law, everyone is to report to the town square at two o’clock.
Katniss Everdeen is running to the Meadow. After checking for electrical current and not hearing anything, she struggles through the opening in the high chain-link electric fence with barbed wire on top. The fence encompasses District 12.
She runs to her hidden bow, sheath, and arrows. After retrieving them from the hollow log, she hunts. She learned her hunting skills from her father before he was blown to bits in a mining accident when she was eleven. He also made her weapons – a violation of the law that if caught would have resulted in a public execution. The rulers of Panem, who make their laws, live in Capital – a day’s journey by high-speed railway.
In the meadow, she meets Gale, her friend and hunting partner. They enjoy a meal together and discuss the reaping. Gale sarcastically monks Effie Trinker as she always says, “Happy Hunger games! And may the odds –”
Katniss finishes, “be ever in your favor!”
After hunting, they sell their fresh meat, berries, and greens to the Pease Keepers and at the Hob, the black market in an abandoned warehouse. The old, bony lady named Greasy Sae barters for their items.
Later that day, everyone is preparing for the reaping. At age twelve, a child becomes eligible for the drawing. At twelve their name is placed into the reaping once. At thirteen, twice. Up to age eighteen, the final year of eligibility, when the name is entered seven times. This is the law for every citizen in the entire country of Panem.
A youth can opt to purchase food for their starving family by putting their name in the reaper more times. Under this law, at the age of sixteen, Katniss’ name is in the reaper twenty times for food. Gale, at age eighteen, is in the glass bowl forty two times due to purchasing food for his starving family. Starvation is very common in District 12.
At 1:00 o’clock people start to file into the town square. Anyone who attempts to skip the reaping ceremony under the law is imprisoned.
People slowly and silently file into the town square. Twelve to eighteen year olds are herded into roped areas. The oldest are in the front, while the youngest are in the back. Prim is in the back.
People in the crowd begin to place bets on who will be drawn.
They face the temporary stage at the Justice Building.
At 2:00 o’clock, Mayor Undersee steps up to the podium and begins the reaping with his usual, annual story. “Panem, the country that rose from the ashes of the country that was once called North America…
…The Treaty of Treason gave us The Hunger Games…
…each of the twelve districts will provide one boy tribute and one girl tribute. The 24 tributes battle to the death in an enclosed outdoor arena. The last living tribute wins the Hunger Games…
Mayor Undersee sits down and Effie Trinker trots to the podium. “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!” Effie Trinker draws the first name. “Primrose Everdeen!”
In horror, Katniss Everdeen runs to her sister. “I volunteer!” she screams, “I volunteer as tribute!”
“Lovely!” says Effie Trinker, “But I believe there’s a small matter of the rules!”
“What does it matter?” proclaims Mayor Undersee.
“Well bravo!” gushes Effie Trinker, “That’s the spirit of the Games! What’s your name?”
“Katniss Everdeen,” she said sadly.
The entire town gave Katniss the symbol of admiration and love.
Effie Trinker reads the boy’s name. “Peeta Mellark!”
Katniss and Peeta are marched into the Justice Building where their family and friends have an hour to say goodbye. Katniss tells Prim, “Don’t accept any food! They’ll put your name in more times.”
Katniss tells Gale. “Don’t let my family starve!”
Gale replies, “I won’t! You know I won’t!”
Katniss and Peeta are driven to the train station. There are reporters everywhere.
They travel by high-speed train to Capital. Due to speeds in excess of 250 miles an hour, the entire journey will take less than a day.
Capital is in a place that used to be called the Rockie Mountains. District 12 is a region known as Appalachia.
While they are on the deluxe high-speed rail, they receive meals. They also watch the country wide broadcast of the reaping ceremony. The Panem wide broadcast also shows the past Hunger Games as innocent children are killed and froze to death in the mountains.
At Capital, they each receive a complete makeover as well as a special costume that represents their District for the opening ceremony. Katniss and Peeta are both given an orange, yellow, and red costume that will be set ablaze at the opening ceremony to represent District 12, the coal-mining town.
The Opening Ceremony Begins. The tributes from each District line up in their horse pulled chariots in front of President Snow’s balcony. The national anthem is played.
Afterwards, the tributes reside in the Training Center for several days as they wait for the Hunger Games to begin. During this time, they receive three days of combat and survival training that is scored. Katniss receives the highest score of all the tributes.
The training is followed by live interviews conducted on a stage with a live audience. This event is hosted by Caesar Flickerman and televised live all over Panem. Caesar has hosted this event for forty years. .
During the interview with Peeta, Caesar exposes his feelings for Katniss. He likes her.
Two days later: In Cornucopia, what used to be called the Rockie Mountains;
The legendary announcer, Claudius Templesmith says over the loudspeaker, “Ladies and gentlemen, let the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin!”
What will happen in these cruel, harsh games as the winter in the mountains begins?
What are the cannons and hovercraft used for?
Who are the Careers?
What will happen to Katniss and Peeta? Will they be killed?
Read; The Hunger Games by author, Suzanne Collins and discover what happens.
The Hunger Games is a horrific futuristic story. The author, Suzanne Collins, makes the reader feel the horror that Katniss and Peeta feel during these murderous, survival games in the mountains during winter.
I hope you have enjoyed my review of this mega-hit novel.
Until we talk again.
“May good fortune guide your path,”
J. A. Ireland