I like the series, but to me it reads like a film treatment more than a novel. Not surprising, since the author's background is in television.
There are things I like about it a lot, particularly in the first. The second drug for me in places. The third, I have but haven't read yet.
I like the themes: that modern society is losing its ability to feel empathy, even with children; that it feels some children are acceptable sacrifices as long as they're not *their* children; that reality tv has had a lot to do with the downfall; that to understand that last fact is key, because wars are about propaganda, about hearts and minds, moreso even than being the best killer. I like that the "war" and the fallout and the new division of America isn't hammered into us, there's just enough backstory to set us up but not enough to be boring. I like the unequal distribution of supplies between richer/poorer districts at the beginning as metaphor for how some kids are born on third base and some are born in the dugout waiting for their first turn at bat.
It offers the same opportunity for shipping (Team Peeta vs. Team Gale) and an *entirely* fierce heroine. Believably fierce within her world too, not superpowered. And her name (Katniss Everdeen) is a fierce one.
It's vicious, too. Gruesome deaths, and the innocent are not spared.
Little to no sex (at least in first two, cannot speak for three) just mild snuzzling, for those parents who are more concerned with sex than violence, of which there is PLENTY. Ohh, the violence.
I think it's going to make a much better film than movie. To me, it read like a very enjoyable series of set pieces, costume porn, and action sequences strung together in a coherent way, and building toward a final gigantic action set piece, and that, my friends, is a *film*. It'll come across much better that way.
Right now casting seems to be between Chloe Moretz (Hit Girl) and Saoirse Ronan. I lean more toward Saoirse for look - she looks like a huntress to me - but I'm pretty sure the role is Chloe's to lose. She's 13 now and the character is 17, but production won't start till next summer so she'll be 14.5, and the character could still "play" if she seemed at least 15, and they want this thing to be a trilogy, so they'll cast younger. Saoirse may be a little too "Young Galadriel" anyway, a little too regal. And Chloe is proving again and again that she can carry an action film. Of course there's no way they'll cast someone who looks like the Katniss of the novel, who should not be totally white.
As for Peeta and Gale, I just don't know enough about teenage actors these days to be able to cast them. If they cast Chloe Moretz they simply *cannot* go "youngish 20somethings" for those two roles. They're going to have to cast 19 tops IMO.
Peeta absolutely must be *blonde*, naturally, Northern European.
[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 4:29 AM, September 19th (Sunday)]