The Hunger Games

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.

Ja, leuk zeg. Ik loop enkele jaren achter met zowel de boeken als de films (zo moet ik ook nog eens de Millenium-trilogie vangen), maar wilde toch eens weten waar het om ging.

Het is uitermate vermakelijk allemaal, op hoog tempo en makkelijker verhapbaar. Kalverliefdes, de unlikely hero, vreemde karakters en een gemene wereld met een strakke arm/rijk grens.
Net zoals het publiek dat vermaakt moet worden en daar alles voor gebruikt wordt, gooit Collins van alles naar de lezer. Even pauze voor de WC gaat niet lukken.

Men is zéér verdeeld over de andere boeken in de trilogie, maar ik ben hooked en doe nu ook mee.
May the entertaining odds be in my favor.

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, Scholastic Press 2008

A Darkling Plain

Theo had been climbing since dawn: first on the steep roads and paths and sheep-tracks behind the city, then across slopes of shifting scree, and up at last on to the bare mountainside, keeping where could to corries and crevices where the blue shadows pooled.

The end of the series. Wars, disputes and moving towns versus static towns come to a climax.

The characters we know are traveling into the four corners of the world, adding more world-building and diverse detail to the known story. Time has passed, the conflict has hardened, conspiracies have bubbled to the surface and the city where it all began – London – seems to be not so very dead after all.

The 500+ pages (about 200 more than the earlier books) may look impressive, but with Reeve’s light, easy style it is impossible not to breeze through them. The characters stick to their characteristics instead of clogging the story up with unnecessary redemptions. Real life happens in a very fantasy world and there’s an ending that will make you weepy. A satisfying conclusion for an original series.

A Dark Plain, Philip Reeve, Scholastic Press 2006

Predator’s Gold

Freya woke early and lay for a while in the dark, feeling her city shiver and sway beneath her as its powerful engines sent it skimming across the ice.

Part two of the series that plays in a futuristic world with moving, cannibalistic cities. The review on the first book can be found here.

Philip Reeve blew me away with his world building the first time ’round, and didn’t disappoint this time. Instead of sticking to what the reader already knows, the world expands and new characters are added. The Magravine of Anchorage (a young woman who doesn’t know what to do with her half-empty city) is here, there are terrorists, bounty hunters and resistance movements.

It’s clear that humankind can’t go on like this, but a different way has yet to be found. Predator’s Gold is a novel to finish in one go, coming up for air after being bombarded with adventure, silly characters and teen emotions. It’s a thrill and I can’t wait for the third part.

Predator’s Gold, Philip Reeve, Scholastic Press 2003

Lord Sunday

Arthur fell.

After little over five years I had to say goodbye to this book series. And with a series like this one, it’s just one of the reasons to feel a small tugging at the heart strings.

The Keys to the Kingdom are categorized as fantasy for children (12 and up). But, as with any good author, it’s barely noticeable that only kids are supposed to be attracted to these stories. With its rich world building, colourful details and sweet story line (our unlikely hero suffers from asthma and carries his elephant plushie everywhere), it will appeal to anyone with a taste for original fantasy.

After battling, puzzling and venturing through the worlds of six “Days” (all lords and ladies with their own plane), Arthur (true heir of the worlds’ Architect) has to victor over the most powerful ruler, Lord Sunday, while the world falls apart around them. Yes, that makes little sense.

This review is little more than an obvious hint to just try the seven books of this series. But pace yourself, before you finish too quickly and fall victim to Nothing.

The Keys to the Kingdom: Lord Sunday, Garth Nix, Scholastic Press 2010