I promise I will try not to give any spoilers in this post as I know all too well how angering it is to be looking forward to reading a book, only to have it spoilt by something a careless person has written on the internet.
After a day of illness on Monday, yesterday afternoon I decided that I felt well enough to begin reading the new books my Other Half kindly bought me (under condition that he'll be reading them straight after me): The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I have been hearing nothing but good things about these books for a long time and was pleased to finally get stuck in. From the beginning, they did not disappoint. The story had me hooked very quickly and I found it difficult to put down.
Yes, dark visions of the future are fairly common in literature but this certainly felt different to others of the same theme. Much of the imagery was quite original and what was unoriginal probably couldn't have been easily avoided. The main character was someone, though much younger than myself, that I felt I could understand and relate to. She is also an actual strong female figure, something that seems to be lacking in many books. The romance is limited, which is quite a welcome change, and well woven into the rest of the story rather than seeming to be wedged in to catch a wider audience. There is a little teenage angst and emotional confusion but it feels real and not overdone, the kind one might expect a real sixteen year old to go through.
There is some blood and guts, which makes it very unlike many of the books I have read, particularly one with a female protagonist. Again, this is well done and not too much gory detail is added unnecessarily.
The ending of the first book isn't quite a cliff-hanger but I would definitely have been left frustrated had the second book, Catching Fire had not been to hand. All too often with sequels, I am a little bored by the beginning as the writer almost retells the whole of the first book so as to help the reader catch up, though I am unsure of who would read the second of a trilogy first and would therefore need to be caught up. Luckily, Collins doesn't feel the need to do this, instead putting details of the first book in as she goes, which doesn't bore me at all as the story is progressing constantly.
I am now well into the second book and will probably follow up this post once I have finished the third book!