alexandral: (Powerful opponents - hard day)
[personal profile] alexandral
"Hunger Games" is a big disappointment of 2011, something I expected to like following almost universal praise this series receive in Lj land.. This disappointment goes quite deep covering many different levels and I feel compelled to write this down while I remember, even though I am probably re-capping some of the things I said previously:

- Borrowing: I am still giving Collins a side-eye for her statements that she "have never heard of Battle Royale". But I am going to give her the benefit of a doubt in the specific case of "Battle Royale" because this doesn’t really matter. Even if Collins has never heard of "Battle Royale", there is also "Running man", "The Long Walk", and many other books and authors from whom Collins "has borrowed" many scenes, characters and ideas. Even Narnia. We re-watched "The Lion, The witch and The wardrobe" during the Christmas holidays and I was stricken with how similar Katniss is to Susan (arrows included).

- The first book is the best in the series: standing alone, "Hunger Games" is a good book. But! At the same time this is a book that is very similar to "Battle Royale" which fact spoiled my enjoyment of it. The last two books are exponentially weaker than the first.

- Repetitive nature: I know the series are called "Hunger Games", but I honestly didn’t expect the author to repeat the same plot device (survival games and arena) four times in a row. By the third time I was getting tired of it, and by the fourth time I was "sick and tired" of it, especially considering that survival games wasn't even the author's own idea.

- World building: The world of Hunger Games is something I have the most problems with in the series. It feels as some kind of decorations that the author never gave too much thought to. I have so many unanswered questions about the world in Hunger Games I don’t even know where to start.

- One anecdote from "Mockingjay" that made me laugh quite a bit: The moment when Katniss was shooting arrows at planes during the bombing of the District 13 and managed to bring down the planes with her arrows. I immediately imagined that all the planes in the Hunger Games universe are made of paper.. or cheese.. or something else. It is clear that Collins is not someone technically-minded, but still.. shooting planes with arrows? How can this be possible?

- The character development of Katniss: is the worst character development I have encountered in the last year. I remembered what this character development reminds me of: Jandi in the Korean version of "Boys over Flowers". Katniss starts as an interesting gender reversal and ends as the usual "emotional female" trope. To clarify this so that no misunderstanding arises: I think Katniss’ feelings and emotions are valuable and people of both genders can suffer PSTD… But, unfortunately the overly emotional female that falls to pieces in adversity when her male counterparts seem to fare much better is a trope that is used very often and this happens to be a trope I don’t like personally. Thus, for me the character of Katniss is quite far from the "feminist ideal". I would most definitely not recommend this book to my daughter.

- Predictably: I WAS RIGHT!!!! I like to make those predictions, but the fact is that I guessed almost every single thing!!!!!!!!!!! This was so predictable!!!!!!!!!!

- Audiobook: I listened to this series in the audiobook form and it had the most annoying narrator voice I have encountered so far. Katniss (who is no bunch of laughs anyways) has become ten times whinier when narrated by Carolyn McCormick. This was seriously bad. Dear Carolyn McCormick, please don't narrate any more books ever.

- Gale: I am still confused as to what has happened with Gale at the end, how come everything has become his fault? I am not saying I dislike Gale, what I am saying is that Gale (and Peeta) are still unclear to me as characters, that after three books they also seem to be somewhat cartoonish and decoration-like..

Overall: Book 1: 8/10, book 2: 6/10, book 3: 4/10, on average: 6/10

PS: I always welcome a discussion, but please don’t comment with statements like "You read it all wrong". The way I read it is the way I read it, and although I respect opinions that differ from mine, and I am 100% sure that all opinions are valuable, I lived half of my life in a place where I was told what to think by other people, and unfortunately this made me quite sensitive to anyone’s attempts to tell me what to think. So – your opinion is yours, mine is mine and if you think that your opinion is somehow more valuable than mine we differ on a very fundamental level.

On the happier note: Lois McMaster Bujold! Vorkosigan Saga! HERE I COME! Cordelia and Miles and everyone else!!!!!!!!
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January 2012

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