Ender’s Game vs. The Hunger Games vs. A Game of Thrones
It doesn’t happen very often, where three of the biggest bestsellers in science fiction/fantasy, where three amazingly popular books (even series), have the same word in the title with the same grim meaning. Ender’s Game is about a video game (kind of) of death. The Hunger Games is about a reality show (kind of) of death. A Game of Thrones is about a race against death (Can the author finish the entire series before he dies?).
We readers get the idea. The “games” are dangerous, and characters get killed, and it’s not really a “game,” but c’mon! Can somebody grab a thesaurus? With so many “games,” and so many movies and TV series, I don’t have the time to read all the books and watch all the movies (Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire) and keep up with all the seasons of the HBO series, especially during football season. But I can start.
THE HUNGER GAMES
The good news about The Hunger Games is that Suzanne Collins kept it to three books. Any series that goes over three books usually has an author that doesn’t know where the books are going. The bad news is that The Hunger Games is better read as a single novel because the second book is too similar to the first book, and the third book is all over the place (in my opinion).
It’s probably not fair to complain about the last two books without a concrete reason. I felt an emotional impact in The Hunger Games that I didn’t feel in the other books. For example, when Katniss volunteered to take her sister’s place in the “Games,” I actually had to stop reading for a minute (Whoa!). I felt the emotional impact several times in The Hunger Games, but the other two books didn’t affect me the same way. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind as a reader when I read them, but I think a lot of it had to do with the author not taking her time with the books.
Sometimes authors write too many books too quickly, and that may have happened here.
Of the three books/series, Ender’s Game was the first book but the last to be turned into a movie orTV series. Every time I think Orson Scott Card is done with the series, he comes out with another Ender book. Ender’s Game already has two sets of sequels. That’s right. Two SETS of sequels. One is about Ender’s travels (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind) and one about what happens to other characters right after Ender’s Game (Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, and there have been more (and I think I accidentally read another one a couple years ago) since.
I read these before I established my own rules for reading (no more than three books per author or series). If I remember correctly, none of the books are bad, but they decline a bit as they go. And still, I kept reading them, so they must have been entertaining.
A GAME OF THRONES
These are the easiest books for me to write about because I haven’t read them. I started A Game of Thrones (or the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire), but then stopped when I realized that the series isn’t finished yet, and (from what I’ve heard) it’s probably gone on too long already. And if I’m going to follow my own rules for reading books, I may never go back and finish. I don’t read books over 500 pages long, and I don’t read more than three books from an author anymore, and I don’t read a series until it’s done.
A Game of Thrones might be (and probably is) great. From what I hear, I believe it at least has moments of greatness. But it’s long. And it’s not done yet.
What about you? Which of these books (or series) have you read? Which of these movies (or TV series) have you seen? How would you compare the books with the movies? Am I wrong about Catching Fire and Mockinjay? Am I wrong not to read A Game of Thrones? Am I wrong about the Ender books? What else am I wrong about? Am I right about anything?
While you’re waiting for The Winds of Winter, read…