Feels a lot more like a Harry Potter fan-fic with some Twilight-esque romance thrown in for good measure. I’d say a Battle Royale rip-off would have been more ideal, and I'm not even a particularly big fan of Battle Royale in the first place. The first Hunger Games had 24 participants, of which we only know of Katniss and Peeta. The rest can be summed up as being either a bunch of obviously evil psychopaths, or expendable good guys for the former to prey on. Most of them don’t even have names and are killed off immediately anyway so they clearly don’t even matter. The entire premise hinges on the fact that Katniss needs to kill or be killed in order to survive, which means to kill whether you’d like to or not. None of this actually comes into play since all the “good guys” are killed by someone else. The only ones that are killed by Katniss are the evil psychos whom lack any semblance of humanity, and are obviously only written that way to justify the fact that Katniss kills them. Collins doesn’t have the guts to force Katniss into a situation where she’d be forced to kill a character like Rue for instance, therefore she contrives the story in such a way that such situations never arise. Even when it seems like she and Peeta have to kill each other after all, it doesn't last because the capitol immediately takes it back because of some ass-pull rebellion mumbo jumbo that makes no sense and proceeds to become a plot tumor that hijacks the entire rest of the series. The biggest problem I have with this series is that it lacks structure and that it doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be. Collins chooses seemingly arbitrarily, to write about whatever the hell she wants to, paying no thought to how it fits within the context of her story, or what she’s trying to convey overall. If this is supposed to be a dark story about needless murder and suffering, then what is up with the colorful townspeople and the mary sue-ish names of the characters? Is that supposed to be whimsical or what? Is the whole “kids killing each other for entertainment” not enough to work with for a premise? Is that why she feels the need to instead turn the whole thing into a dumbed down Star Wars vs 1984? I suspect she didn’t even have the whole “rise against the capitol” side of the story thought out until after she finished the first book, but hey, that’s just my speculation.
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