Antenna (antennapedia) wrote,

Hunger Games talk

Saw the movie yesterday. Read the first book last night and the second book this morning. Am halfway through the third book tonight, but I stopped reading & am not sure I'll finish.

The movie was good. No qualifications, just good. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing. The screenplay was appropriately cruel to its characters. The brutal deaths of children were gutting, though Rue's death was especially devastating. Excellent science fiction, lovely biting dark satire of reality television and its endpoint. Competely worth seeing.

The novel wasn't quite as good. The worldbuilding had me raising my eyebrows. What are these districts? Populations? Locations? How does the economy of this place work? What does the ruling culture gain from provoking revolution in its occupied territories in such a clumsy way? The questions were obvious enough to trouble me as I read, but the core story of the kids in the arena was enough to keep me going. It was a decent reading experience.

The shaky world-building starts bugging me in the second book and it truly falls apart for me in the third. If it were a physical paper book I'd have thrown it against the wall by now in my ritual display of frustration. The writer doesn't know how revolutions work, how economies work, how air battles work, how ground-based anti-aircraft attacks work, how evil moustache-twirling presidents work, how Panem has to work, and a million other things. She's great with the details of murderous reality TV, but falls far short of the other tasks of writing science fiction.

The problem for me at this point is that the personal story of Katniss can no longer overcome my failure to suspend disbelief about the world in which it all happens. I'm way past the point of wanting to smack her and tell her to pick one of Peeta or Gale and STFU. (Note that I do not know how it ends.) Also, Katniss has become weak and passive in this third book. What I loved about the character in the first was her stoic action. Placed in an impossible situation, she rose to the occasion. She's not doing any rising right now, as I read her wailing over Peeta, and I have lost patience.

Ranty rant!
Tags: books, reviews

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