Over the last weekend I bought and read the first volume in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games Trilogy. I’d heard a lot about it but bought it kind of on a whim while I was picking up a few other books. I read it over three days (usually takes me a month to read a book that long) and thought it was really good.
By a slightly scary coincidence (no, it had nothing to do with me) a new review last Monday for my book The Tube Riders had this to say -
“If you loved The Hunger Games then you will love this one. I couldn't wait to read what happened next and will definently (sic) buy the sequel.”
After reading THG, I have to say that there are definite similarities. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to write an utterly pretentious blog comparing the merits of a multi-million selling series (with a movie to boot) against my book, which at last count had sold about 150 copies.
I’ll try to be as objective as possible, because this isn’t supposed to be about which book is better, just how they compare.
(be warned, there are some spoilers coming up)
Hunger Games is set in a future North America called Panem. The capital city is called Capitol, and the rest of the “world” is split up into 12 districts, each of which serves a different function. There is some mention early on of wars and natural disasters that have changed the landscape.
Tube Riders is set in the renamed Mega Britain in 2075. Mega Britain is very recognizable as Britain except for surface detail, such as the perimeter walls surrounding the cities and the buried towns and removed roads in the countryside, known as the Greater Forest Areas, all of which is designed to prevent movement of population.
Result - Draw
The Hunger Games doesn’t really involve President Snow too much. We don’t know much about him except that he is angry at Katniss at the end.
In The Tube Riders, the leader, Maxim Cale, known as the Governor, is a seven-foot tall albino black guy with red eyes and telekinetic powers. He has been in charge of the country for 40 years give or take, and doesn’t seem to age. He features fairly strongly as a major character.
Winner - the Governor
Katniss Everdeen vs Marta Banks
In the battle of the leading ladies, Katniss is clearly the more badass in terms of skill, although Marta can do a mean tube ride. Katniss has excellent hunting, archery and foraging skills. Marta, having grown up in the urban waste land of London Greater Urban Area, is only really good at tube riding, although she can use a knife a little and “does what’s necessary” to get by in London.
Winner (in a fight) - Katniss
Winner (catching food) - Katniss
Winner (catching a train) - Marta
Peeta vs Switch
The battle of the leading men swings back the other way. I really liked Peeta. I thought he was kind hearted, gentle (except in a few certain situations), and honest. He also seems to be pretty good looking. Switch is a scrawny little man with a bad eye, no redeeming features and will kill without mercy or morals.
Winner (beauty contest) - Peeta
Winner (fight) - Switch
Cato vs Dreggo
Cato was the only real villain in THG, and he had very little screen time, mainly because the book is written from Katniss’s point of view. Dreggo, on the other hand, gets almost as much screen time in TTR as Marta, has been described as “a walking horror show” and is a hate-filled agent of vengeance.
Winner - Dreggo
I was very surprised with how much blood and gore was in THG. Not that it bothers me, I just wondered how such violence can be considered YA yet there wasn’t a swear word in sight. People get blown to pieces by landmines but no one so much as utters s**t. TTR contains the same levels of violence but there’s a lot more bad language to go with it. Mind you, TTR isn’t aimed at the YA market, whatever that really means.
The Hunger Games really raced along. I actually thought the whole reaping part was over way too soon (one chapter) while the middle section before the games started was too slow. The Games themselves, though, absolutely rattled along.
Here is where it’s difficult to comment objectively (because I wrote it) but reviewers have tended to agree to the same with The Tube Riders. However, with so many POV characters it is inevitable that there are some slower chapters. Overall, though, for a 600-page book people seem to agree that it’s pretty fast paced.
Draw, THG maybe shades it
Millions vs not a lot.
Winner - The Hunger Games by an absolute mile!
I hope you enjoyed this little comparison of what I think are two awesome books. Most people are familiar with one but I think the other is worth checking out. Yeah, so you might think I’m being a pretentious writer in comparing my little book with a literary sensation, but you don’t need to take my word for it. All you have to do is go over to Amazon and read the Look Inside (five chapters) and then come back and agree/disagree. Nothing lost, nothing gained.
I haven’t read parts 2 & 3 of The Hunger Games Trilogy but I will be doing so shortly. As for parts 2 & 3 of The Tube Riders, they’re currently under construction. Watch this space.
8th Jan 2012