Review: Battle Royale

Battle Royale Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Battle Royale is often referred to as the inspiration for The Hunger Games, and it is easy to see the similarities. A class of 42 high school freshman (apparently in Japan 9th graders are still considered Jr. High) are heading for a class trip when they are diverted to participate in the years Program. The Program is a contest held among many 9th grade classes each year where the class is deposited in a remote location and provided all of the materials and motivation they will need to kill one another. Last one standing gets to retire in comfort. Sound familiar?

The book is filled with non-stop action and a variety of characters. Some stick with us throughout while others are killed off in the same chapter they are introduced. This book is a translation, and in some cases that means the dialogue is a bit stilted. I had the most trouble with keeping the names straight of all 42 students and remembering which events went with each name. Even so, this is a story worth reading.

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Jade Mason