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Mr. S. Merrill "Jonathan Merrill" (London, England)

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The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.50

4.0 out of 5 stars An exellent and thrilling sci-fi, 27 July 2011
This review is from: The Hunger Games (Paperback)
Set in a post-apocalyptic US, Katniss Everdeen lives in the region known as district 12, under the tyranical rule of The Capital. District 12 is one of 12 districts, each with an individual trait (12 is for instance known for its mining industry).

After a disastrous and destructive war with the capital (resulting in district 13 being blown apart), every year, a girl and a boy, with an age of nine and above, from every district must take part in a blood crazed reality Television show in which, at a location engineered totally to test the 'tributes's (the children)survival skills, the children are forced to hunt and kill each other. The remaining tribute is awarded a life of riches.
It's just Katniss's luck that she is chosen, along with a boy called Peeta to be district 12's tributes. Not only that though, the boy who she may have to slaughter has saved her and her family from starvation.

This book has been written very well. Despite there being numerous gritty sci-fi thrillers out there it feels unique. Katniss is a hunter and, despite her caring nature, does not survive the game just through sheer luck and makes use of her intelligence and her hunter skills unlike so many books I can think of. The fact that the novel is written in the first person and in the present tense means you have furhter insight into Katniss's personality. The arena in which the blood letting takes place is brutal and basic (a forest, a lake, and the Cornucopia, which contains everything from maces to medical supplies to water canteens). Some readers prefer the sequel to this book because there is a far more complex arena in it but I feel that only detracts from the overall plot which isn't about force fields, lethal poisons or mutations. Just one girl, her decisions and the dark side of human nature.
There are some minor faults I must point out. The concept is horrifying and unpleasant, sure to steer away many young readers and yet the scenes within the arena are a little tame. The chases and those suspenseful games of hide and seek are far more chilling than the kill, resulting in a slightly disapointing and unsettleing anti-climax where you feel that the author is too afraid to let loose too much graphic description onto the page where fight scenes are concerned. There is of course a fairly standard love triangle and you often want to scream at Katniss to just make up her mind on which boy she loves!
Overall, though, this is definitely one of my faviourite SF novels.

H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education (Hive)
H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education (Hive)
by Mark Walden
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars H.I.V.E, 22 July 2011
With an intriguing host of anti heroes and gripping plot, this is an action packed and humorous book. Classy and stylish. I most certainly would have given this novel 5 stars if it weren't for a lack of originality. Mark Walden has done for villains pretty much what J.K Rowling did for wizards. For instance, despite having an entirely different back ground in the book from Hermoine, Laura is very studious and ofcourse extremely intelligent. The connection is unmistakable. But overall this is a clever and darkly comic novel and a crazily adictive read.This book may rival the Young Bonds by Charlie Higson and perhaps even Cherub: The Recruit, who dares to read it. However Alex Rider still come out on top and is far better than H.I.V.E. Unfortunately none of H.I.V.E's sequels ever live up to the original.

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