Hunger Games Trilogy Review

HUNGER-GAMES-jacket

I have just completed the Hunger Games Trilogy and have given it 5*.

Collins tells us of a young girl, Katniss, and her involvement in what can only be compared to the scenes from The Running Man but with children and a stronger back story.

The crazed, dystopian future sees a yearly event in which children are drawn from each district to fight to the death among a plethora of traps and obstacles. The intention is for the Capital to reinforce its stronghold over the population, remind them of the previous rebellion and what little good it did them and suppress them to prevent any kind of future uprising.

Katniss soon becomes a figurehead for all the suppressed people of Panem and the story takes some interesting turns during the second and third books.

I believe Suzanne Collins has created a great piece of young adult fantasy fiction that, as my own book Tirfo Thuin tries to do, covers some important themes on humanity and our want for self destruction and violence towards each other.

The only thing that frustrated me slightly was the ‘whiny, everyone is against me’ personality that Katniss sometimes fell into and the never ending Peeta vs Gale battle that left me thinking ‘just pick one and move on’. However, I have to remember that she is just a young girl and this is probably aimed at a slightly younger market than me.

That said, it was not enough of a distraction to cause me to drop to 4* and I will certainly be looking for more of Collins’ work and the film adaptations.

I find it interesting that this is effectively a story about children killing each other – and quite violently at times – and that this is being read by quite young readers themselves. It is an interesting, and obviously very effective, theme Collins has tackled and she has done it well.

I’d recommend it to anyone who likes young adult, coming of age, fantasy fiction with an element of sci-fi and violence.

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Why my eBook, Tirfo Thuin, is now free

During June my debut fantasy fiction novel, Tirfo Thuin, is free as an eBook. That means all you lucky people with Kindles, iPhones, iPads, Kobo’s etc will be able to download it for free. That is free. Zero Pounds/Dollars/Euros/Spondoolies.

You might wonder at my motives. Why make something that took years of my life to complete absolutely free? Well, there are a few reasons.

The first is that I did not write Tirfo Thuin to make money. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from rich but I did not sit there as the characters and story of Tirfo Thuin unfolded thinking, ‘Cha-ching, this is going to make me money.’ I wrote it thinking only of the story and where it might lead. Getting Tirfo Thuin published was an afterthought and one that actually came long after I had finished my first draft.

When you have a love of writing, and a passion to put pen to paper, you do it because you enjoy it. Some people like football, some people like video games or chess. I like all these as well but I also get the same level of enjoyment from seeing a story unfold. Therefore, I did not write to make money so it doesn’t matter that I give my book away.

The second reason is simple. I have just uploaded a second edition that includes a few minor tweaks/refinements. Nothing major, the story is the same but feedback from readers is crucial to me and after so many sales it was inevitable that I would receive some constructive feedback. After all, what is the point in being a writer if you do not listen to your readers? As a thank you to all the people who have already bought it but are yet to read it, and to all you that are new to Tirfo Thuin I offer you the shiny new version for free. Go ahead, download it again and get rid of the old version.

The third and final reason is that I want my book to be read and to receive lots of honest reviews. If you decide to take the chance to download the book (you might as well, it’s free after all) please do leave an honest review where you bought it and, if you get the chance, on Goodreads.com too. The only way readers know whether to get a book is if good honest people like yourselves let them know it is worth clicking the Download button.

I hope you enjoy it. At present you can only download it for free at Smashwords as I am waiting for Amazon to update my price based (they match the lowest price available apparently which is, at present, free) –https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/119228

Tirfo Thuin now available on Amazon Kindle

Now my debut novel – Tirfo Thuin – is available I wanted to write an opening post on my new blog that contained loads of promotional stuff about my book – buy buy buy it’s amazing etc.

However, when I really thought about it I realised I didn’t actually care about getting lots of sales. I am writing this post using a note app on my iPhone while traveling home on a packed tram from a manic day at the office. I’m tired. I’m miserable. I’m cramped. However, all I can think as I look around the tram is ‘I wonder if the middle-aged business woman in her grey suit would love my book. I think so. I wonder if the guy who looks like a graphic designer would like it. For sure. I wonder if the group of noisy rebellious teens would love my book. I would bet money on it.

Please do not mistake my lack of care for how well Tirfo Thuin sells as me not caring about my audience because I do, greatly. Or that I may not care about the quality of my writing because, again, I do. My first novel took years to complete and I will probably still think of things I could improve now it’s published – none of us are perfect.

What I mean is that I write because I love it (not to make money) and I publish to give my writing a purpose and so, hopefully, some of you can get pleasure from the hours, days, months I spent slaving over notepads and laptops to make what I hope is a great book.

I don’t need high sales. I have a day job as a project manager that I love. I am far from rich from a money point of view but I am comfortable. I am rich from a family point of view as I have a great wife, daughter and family who I love very much. So you see the measly 30p from each sale means very little to me. If I cared only for money I wouldn’t sell my years of work for less than a double cheeseburger 🙂

What is actually priceless to me is that just 1 person who I have never met, maybe never even come across online, takes a chance on my novel and tells me they liked it.

I would get more pleasure out of receiving 5 nice reviews on Amazon than I would if I sold 100,000 copies, made a great chunk of money but got no feedback. After all, I’m never going to leave my job to be a writer no matter how many books I sell.. It is something I love to do but I also like the day-to-day aspects of my life. That is where I draw inspiration and structure from. That is just life.

I’ll wrap this up by saying if you like a good read about a rebellious hero, someone who has all the odds stacked against them but still tries anyway, this book is for you. It is a great fantasy fiction novel that also covers day-to-day issues we all encounter (loss of parents, single parent families, coming of age, racial and religious divides) in a subtle way. I here you all cry ‘that doesn’t sound like a fantasy fiction book’ but that is the beauty. I am sure all you Harry potter fans are going to love it anyway. I even got a comment off one reviewer stating it could be better than HP – the book not the sauce. Done in the right way you can combine any genre with hard-hitting themes like these and it means you do not need to be a hardcore fantasy fiction fan to love this book.

Anyway, check it out and I hope you like it.  I will be happy if just one of you tells me you enjoyed it and as a thank you for taking the time to read and review my book I will be giving away some free goodies – http://tirfothuin.wordpress.com/bonus-material/

Check it out on Amazon here

Thank you all for your support.

Andy.