Recent decades are filled with very successful book series. Be it The Lord of The Rings, the Foundation Series, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Harry Potter, book series seem to attract a lot of crowd and attention; perhaps due to their length and ability to cover a lot more ground than a single book can.
I’m going to share my Hunger Games Summary, which is a fancy name for a closer look at the relatively new member of the great book series family. It’s been written by an American author Suzanne Collins. Albeit I never heard of her before I crossed paths with the Hunger Games, she apparently wrote another best selling series, The Underland Chronicles. If you’d like to know more about Mrs. Collins, I believe her personal website is the most qualified source of information.
The Hunger Games universe is set into a post-apocalyptic future, specifically in the country of Panem (where North America once existed). Lands are divided into Districts and ruled by the ruthless Capitol which won a great war long ago and has been dominant ever since. While people in most Districts combat poverty, hunger and many other sufferings, Capitol is the center of power and it pretty much sucks the other Districts dry to assure pleasures for its citizens and leaders.
To ensure that Districts will never forget their disappointing defeat in their uprising long ago, the Capitol had created something called The Hunger Games; a ruthless lottery for children from every District where they can be chosen to fight in a great Arena in Capitol – to the death. With tradition built over the decades, the people from Districts are supposed to celebrate this event in the same way Capitol does and families ought to be proud if their kid is chosen to participate in the Hunger Games; but as you can imagine, the feelings are often quite the opposite.
1. The Hunger Games
First book of the series introduces Katniss Everdeen from the coal-mining 12th District whose father had died in an accident and she had to step up to take care of her mother and younger sister Prim. Katniss is a teenage girl, but she’s far from being a fragile one – she is an excellent hunter and can handle a lot of weapons. Along with her friend, Gale Hawthorne, they create a very effective hunting team and enjoy what little perks they can afford through the black market.
As the next Hunger Games lottery approaches, people grow tentative and afraid. When Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen, she doesn’t hesitate to volunteer to take her place. Along with the baker’s boy Peeta, they represent the 12th District in the 74th Hunger Games – which usually equals certain death, because people from this District have no time at all to prepare they kids for fights to the death.
After surviving endless preparations with Peeta and their ever-drunk coach Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss finally enters the arena with just one thought in mind – survive. Through a clever “unfortunate-love” strategy, both her and Peeta manage not only to change the rules, but ultimately become the very first double winners of The Hunger Games.
- 9 out of 10
The best book from the trilogy and if it were up to me, the only one to be published at all. A great book filled with action and dedication to survival regardless of external circumstances, The Hunger Games is the kind of book which won’t let you go until you finish it.
2. Catching Fire
Katniss finds out that it was very naive to think that the Capitol will leave you alone even if you manage to win the deadly reality show; especially if you threaten to rather commit suicide than play by the rules. The President of the Capitol, Corionalus Snow, expresses his disappointment personally and threatens Katniss with deaths of her loved ones if she can’t prove she didn’t want to inspire any rebellion.
Regardless of Katniss’ actions, anti-Capitol talk, gestures and actions seem to spread like a flood. Both winners are forced to take a tour around the Districts and people usually see Katniss not as the winner of the last deadly lottery, but as a symbol showing that Capitol is not as everlasting as it would want others to believe.
The response is swift – the annual 75th Hunger Games place former winners in the arena to demonstrate that insubordinance will not be tolerated. Katniss and Peeta make a few new friends from other Districts and they also eventually manage to collapse the arena and escape to the almost mythological 13th District which was supposedly wiped out completely in the last war. However, Peeta and a few others become prisoners of the Capitol and Katniss’ and Gale’s home, the 12th District, is reduced to rubble.
- 8 out of 10
Still a very good sequel. Catching Fire shows what can happen if tyrants allow a symbol to unite their subjects; Katniss is still just a young girl, but she was forced to sacrifice her youth for others and become a beacon of light against the oppressors. The “Game” gets more intense and severe as official authorities from both sides begin to notice her and begin to include her in their plans, be it glorification or violent death.
The revolution has begun. Albeit scattered, weak and poorly organized, most of Districts rise against the Capitol and once the 13th District assumes command, things begin to look better. Katniss becomes vitally important for propaganda and she is mainly used as a symbol of hope for the rebels.
Once the Districts are liberated, the rebels muster their forces and engage the Capitol itself. Katniss and her team suffer heavy losses on their mission to assassinate president Snow and before they can even succeed, the war is over – with Katniss’ “little” sister Prim as one of the last casualties. Katniss is then supposed to execute Snow, but after having a little chat with him she kills the rebel president Coin instead, because she blames her for Prim’s death and she is also afraid that Coin would just create another Capitol.
The war is won, the Hunger Games are over, people are finally free. But at what cost?
- 6,5 out of 10
The expectations were high, the potential was endless. Yet I can’t help it – I didn’t quite like the final sequel of The Hunger Games. Characters took weird turns, at times I could predict the plot and there was way too much romance compared to the other two books. Mockingjay still makes a decent read though, especially if you’ve read the previous books.
I hope you have found my Hunger Games Summary useful, I tried to avoid spoilers as much as I could. Overall, this book series is excellent for young adults and can be very well absorbed by the “old” adult audience as well. Time will tell whether The Hunger Games Trilogy will join other masterpieces in the imaginary Hall of Literature, but I’m betting it has a very decent chance of doing so.
Thank you for reading!