I’ve been reading The Hunger Games recently. I enjoyed the first book, and upon watching the film, was reasonably happy with the adaptation. In fact, there are parts of the film that are more coherent than the book. With maybe another thirty minutes, the film could have been a near perfect adaptation.
I finished the second book, Catching Fire, and it confirmed something that has been nagging me for a while, ie: some trilogies need to be reduced to two books. Don’t get me wrong, I like a long story told over a number of books, but there seems to be a need to squeeze more out of a story than there actually is. It’s similar to the need to split films into multiples, Hobbit, Twilight:Breaking Dawn, Hunger Games:Mockingjay.
Catching Fire is an ok book, but it feels like a transition, it feels like its only purpose is to move the story from book one to book three. That in itself is not a unworthy goal, it’s just that it meanders. The Hunger Games part of the book only takes up about a hundred and fifty pages, so it feels a little stilted. The first act is just a tad boring. My overall impression was that the book could have lost an act at the front, and gained one at the end; drag in some of the material from Mockingjay. My daughter doesn’t like the second film, although she loved the books and the first film. I think that the source material is probably to blame here. I’ll let you know when I’ve watched it.
Mockingjay redeems the series. It’s a very different style of book than book one, and I like that change in tone. The subject matter is interesting even if the progression through the book is not necessarily so.
I must admit that I expected the books to be more violent than they were. Overall I liked the series, I just could have done with it in two books or one big one!