Three Book Series Like the Hunger Games
Dystopic Teen Fiction Novels Like the Hunger Games.
If I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to book it is definitely teen fiction, or even children's books. Actually, I don't feel very guilty about this. I read what I like to read and I defy anybody to judge me.
I did like The Hunger Games very much. But just because the made a movie out of it (which I didn't rate at all), and there are now Katniss Evergreen dolls for sale doesn't make the trilogy better than other, less well known books. Below are three other trilogies that I really liked, which are similar.
They are "like" the Hunger Games because the central character is a teenager, they are set in alternate realities, and they are dystopian. The fact that they are all trilogies is accidental.
Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness
I actually discovered the Chaos Walking series when I finished the last Hunger Games book, it came up on my kindle as a suggestion. The title sounded intriguing so I decided to check it out.
I have to say that I actually like it more than HG. Apparently the author, Patrick Ness wrote the book because he always wanted to write about a talking dog.
On a more serious note he wanted to explore the lack of privacy children have nowadays with Facebook, cameras on phones and all the other wonderful technological advances.
In Prentisstown on the planet of New World where the story begins, the lack of privacy is extreme and all-encompassing. Everybody can hear everybody else's thoughts in the form of Noise. The title of the series comes from a line in the first book "The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking."
We find out that New World was settled by Christian emigrants from Old World to escape corruption and evil. However, soon after landing they discovered the planet had indigenous sentient inhabitants, the Spackle. In a resulting war the Spackle released a virus which killed all the women, and infected the men with Noise.
The second book in the Chaos Walking Series
Almost Everything Todd Has Been Told is a Lie!
Or at least this is the story that Todd Hewitt, the protagonist, has heard all his life. His rather bleak existence takes a dramatic turn when, one day, he comes upon a patch of Quiet in the swamp. He soon discovers that this is amazingly a girl. This is so unusual that he initially wonders whether she has a soul, or a consciousness, it is impossible to tell when you can't hear somebody's thoughts.
The discovery causes him, and Viola, to flee his town and everything he's known all his life, pursued by the megalomaniac Mayor Prentiss and the army he's gathered in his attempt to take over the planet, which is not as uninhabited as it originally appeared.
War makes monsters of men. The last book in the trilogy
The Chaos Walking Movie
A movie based on the books is in the works. So far the news is that Charlie Kauffman is writing the script and Robert Zemeckis will direct. No news yet about the cast or when it will be out.
I have to say I am of two minds about it. It is hard to imagine how they will deal with the noise effectively, in the books it is not just words, but also images and feelings.
Also I am somewhat annoyed that the story will become mainstream, there will probably be Todd and Viola dolls on Amazon. Right now, although it has won many prizes, the books are a little bit obscure, giving us, who love them, the delicious feeling of being real connoisseur, aware of excellence hidden to those who just follow the crowds.
I am not sure I want to lose that feeling.
The first book in the trilogy.
The Divergent Trilogy
I guess I can't really call the Divergent trilogy obscure, the third book is just out, and it is currently the Bestseller on Amazon. There is also a movie in the works, to be released next year. I am sure Tris Prior dolls will soon follow.
The action of the first 2 books takes place in a somewhat post-apocalyptic Chicago. We have no idea what exists outside the city, or if there is even any life out there. We have no idea what happened before, the city is somewhat destroyed, but obviously quite a bit of civilisation and technology has been restored.
Some sort of apocalypse must have taken place though, and the people in the Divergent Chicago have taken somewhat drastic actions to prevent it from happening again, or rather they have taken different actions. They've split into five different factions, each one holding a particular virtue above all others, depending on what they saw as the weakness that led to the initial disaster.
The abnegation faction think the main problem is selfishness, hence their whole lives are dedicated to serving others, and they deny themselves any pleasures. Even looking at oneself in a mirror is frowned upon. They are disparagingly called "Stiffs". The Erudite think the problems were caused by ignorance and dedicate themselves to science and knowledge above all else. The dauntless despise cowardice, and aim to conquer all their fears and so on.
The conclusion to the Divergent series is finally out!
The Divergent Books are About Choice
The citizens of Chicago in the books lead very strict lives, depending on which faction they belong to. However, they do get to make one big choice. At 16 every teenager chooses which faction she will spend the rest of his or her life in. Although most choose the faction of their parents, some transfer to another.
To help them make the choice, they are put through a simulation, in which their "aptitude" for a particular way of life is revealed. With most people the results are obvious, however when Beatrice Prior, from Abnegation, goes through, she is told that she is "Divergent". She doesn't clearly belong to any faction.
Being Divergent is very dangerous. The faction leaders seem afraid of them, and many Divergents have died in suspicious circumstances or disappeared. Beatrice is told that she must not reveal the truth to anybody. She then goes on to shock her parents by choosing the Dauntless for her faction.
She has to leave her family everything she's known so far, because faction before blood is the principle on which the city is run. As she tries to pass through the Dauntless initiation and makes new friends and new enemies, she discovers more about who is behind the Divergent disappearances and plays a major role as the peace in the city is broken and war between factions erupts.
The Pure Trilogy
In Julianna Baggott's Pure trilogy, the apocalypse that created the dystopian world is spelled out, a nuclear attack or The Detonations as everybody refers to them. The survivors are horrible burned, and all are fused to whatever they were standing next to when the Detonations happened. Pressia's arm is fused to the head of the doll she was holding at the airport as a young child.
Pressia's only surviving relative, her Grandfather, has taken care of her all her life, she can only remember tiny snippets of life Before. She's is not sure if the memories are real. But now as she reaches 16 her problems are more immediate. She will be recruited into the militia, as either a soldier, or a live target, if she is too weak. She has to hide, then run.
Not everybody was burned and fused, some people were able to hide in the Dome. The Pure, promise to come out when the world outside is safe, and repopulate humanity. Although he lives inside the Dome, Partridge is far from happy, his father, the leader of the Pure is distant. His brother had killed himself, and his mother never made it inside the shelter. Then one day his father says something that makes him think his mother might still be alive. He escapes from the Dome, the first Pure to be outside since the Detonations.
He meets Pressia, and together they discover their shared past, and the truth about Partridge's father.