January Books 8) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch - this is the Capitol's way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. "Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there's nothing you can do.'
I had almost no expectations of this book except that I expected it would be a competent enough YA novel. It is better than I anticipated, a pretty ruthless indictment of reality television and game shows (nihil sub sole novum; The Goodies were satirising this king of thing in 1976) combined with a pretty strong socio-economic critique making it one of the most politically interesting sf books for the target audience that I have read for a while. It is also well written; although one has a fairly clear idea of how the books will end, there is enough tension and well-described imminent danger to keep the pages turning, and also by the last page there remains considerable emotional baggage to sort out. So I will probably get and read the next in the series.