#3 in the Hunger Series
Kill or be killed. The future is bleak, the United States has fallen and in it’s place exists 13 districts that serve as the Capitol’s resources for materials and products. Each year the children of all districts must enter a lottery. The winners, one boy and one girl, are to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games commemorates the terms of each district’s surrender to the Capitol and a reminder of their rebellion’s loss. The event is televised for all to see as their children fight to the death in a survivor-like reality show until one person is left standing. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Just as the town clock strikes two, the mayor steps up to the podium and begins to read. It’s the same story every year. He tells of the history of Panem, the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America. He lists the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up so much of the land, the brutal war for what little sustenance remained. The result was Panem, a shining Capitol ringed by thirteen districts, which brought peace and prosperity to its citizens. Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games. The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.
Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch this is the Capitol’s way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion.
Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen. To make it humiliating as well as torturous, the Capitol requires us to treat the Hunger Games as a festivity, a sporting event pitting every district against the others. The last tribute alive receives a life of ease back home, and their district will be showered with prizes, largely consisting of food. All year, the Capitol will show the winning district gifts of grain and oil and even delicacies like sugar while the rest of us battle starvation.
It is both a time for repentance and a time for thanks, intones the mayor.
Katness Evergreen is just 16 years old. She lives in district 12 where she cheats the clutches of the capitol by illegally hunting. She hasn’t had much happiness in her life but she vows her sister Prim will have better. She has starved, she has stolen, she has provided for her family, all for her sister. What will she do when Primrose Evergreen’s name is called as district 12’s female tribute in the Hunger Games?
This is one of the most insightful, though-provoking, pieces of literature that I have read in a long time.. I enjoyed the intensity of the games, the brutality mixed with the grotesque. Children are paraded like Roman gladiators, plucked from their homes and made up as physical symbols for their district. The Capitol treats this as a time for celebration, jeering on the children as they murder one another, fighting to live. You see the determination, the innocence and cruelty of the games. That even though there is a victor, that person must live with the nightmare of what they have become, a killer. Victory is bittersweet as he or she must mentor future tributes, continuing the miserable cycle of child murder.
Although I liked Mockingjay, I felt it lacked the intensity of the first two books. Prepare yourselves because some serious sh*t goes down in this final installment – this is war and with war comes causalities. If I had to pick one aspect of Mockingjay that didn’t sit quite right with me, was the unresolved issue with Gale. I can’t go into detail without spoiling it for ya’alls, but I’d be interested if you also felt the same way… Also, I read this series back to back if I had waited over a year I might have been disappointed I think this is one of those books you’ll either love or throw against your day-glow wall in a fit of temper.
The Hunger Series stays with you long after you’ve finished reading the End. If you are looking for something different, emotionally gripping, and hopeful; run don’t walk to read this series.
PS Papa Smokin’ read The Hunger Games and gives his nod of approval – thats kind of a really big deal in man language.
PPS I highly highly recommend you read The Huger Games (1st book), probably one of my favorite books this year.
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