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The World of the Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy) Hardcover – Illustrated, 23 Mar 2012
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About the Author
Suzanne Collins' debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in The Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
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So I was hoping that "The World of the Hunger Games" would further explain the backstory, creatures and civilization of Suzanne Collins' universe. However, the book is really more of an illustrated storybook -- it has a a LOT of photographs, a nearly-full plot recounting, and a hefty dose of padding (how many full-page quotes are we gonna get?).
There's not a lot of new information, or in-depth description of the actual "world" of the Hunger Games. There are a few interesting descriptions, like the explanations of tracker jackers, jabberjays and wolf mutts, or the explanation about the fashions in the Capitol. However, those interesting bits are few and far between... literally.
About half of the book is made up of various color pictures from the movie, which usually take up one or two pages apiece -- and they can go on for four or five pages. Occasionally there's a quote from one of the characters (or occasionally from Suzanne Collins herself), but the bulk of it is made up of photos. Nice photos, but most are not "world of" material.
Most of the text is recounting the plot overall, and incredibly obvious observations like "Katniss will do anything to protect [Prim]." Yes, thank you, that becomes quite clear when you actually see what happens IN THE PLOT. It's sort of like a Cliffs Notes version of "The Hunger Games." It has the entire story, with key spoiler plot points left out, from beginning to end. It might be a nice accompaniment for people who are really desperate to know the general outcome of the plot before seeing the movie (or reading the book).
There's a three page glossary as well, which does help out with some details that hadn't been clear before, such as what avoxes are or the place where tributes are "made beautiful." But honestly, I would have preferred this information to be spread over the "World," with more details -- and it would have been nice to see some new information, such as about the backhistory of Panem.
"The World of the Hunger Games" is a misnomer -- it's half photo guide, half plot summary, with a few informative chunks thrown in the mix. Nice for people who haven't seen the movie/read the book, but not very useful to people who have done either.
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