Friday, November 16, 2012

Netgalley Review: The Panem Companion

If you're a Hunger Games fan with a habit of intensely overanalyzing your favorite fiction, you will love The Panem Companion! This is an in-depth look at every level of the Hunger Games universe. It begins with musings on how Panem could have evolved from our current society (including maps and graphs), and goes on to examine the social, economic, and political structures of Panem, as exhibited both in the society as a whole and in the individual lives of the characters. Some of the topics I found most interesting were: district and race relations, the mystery of Cinna's origins and true role in the rebellion, a comparison of Panem and District 13 (as in, how different are they really?), and the question of who's ultimately responsible for a certain character's death. Given Suzanne Collins' military background and love of Greek and Roman mythology, those parallels are explored as well. As if all this wasn't enough to chew on, there's an entire appendix on the origins of the characters' names. My hat is off to V. Arrow for her thoroughness and insight. I felt a little weird devoting so much brainpower to a work of fiction, but man was it fascinating. Thanks Netgalley!

I allowed myself to read this because it's not actual dystopia, just an analysis of dystopia, but it reminded me of why I need to stay away. I feel even more anxious about the future of our country (and world) than I did before. :\

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