If you’ve read The Hunger Games, and seen the movie (and those box office records suggest that almost everyone has), then you may be wondering where to turn to for your next dose of dystopian thrills. There are plenty of books trying to be like The Hunger Games right now, but very few measure up to the high bar it set. And hardly any have a kick-ass heroine who could trade blows with Katniss.
There are some trilogies out there worth the title of Hunger Games Contender, however, and if you’re hungering for more then they’re the best place to turn… at least until Catching Fire makes it to the big screen.
Here’s our choice of four books (or trilogies) that may fill that Katniss-shaped hole:
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. I’m not the first to point out the similarity, and I won’t be the last… but Battle Royale certainly occupies the same schoolyard as The Hunger Games. A group of Japanese high school kids are taken to a remote island, where they have to battle each other to the death – you can see where the comparisons have come from. Katniss fans might find it just a little too similar, but if you like one you should enjoy the other too.
The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner. Having interviewed Dashner on this site we may be biased, but we think his dystopian take on the future is just as gripping as Suzanne Collins’s. They clearly belong in the same genre, but Dashner takes his tale of teen battles in a decidedly different direction. Read our interview for more on his trilogy – then go out and buy the books. And watch for the movie in 2013.
The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher. The big difference with Christopher’s trilogy is the intervention of invading aliens (in fact, it bears a stunning resemblance to the Falling Skies TV show), but it’s such a classic that it easily stands the test of time – and it’s different enough to The Hunger Games to keep you intrigued. When a group of kids escape the mind-control of the alien ‘tripods’, they battle to find out the truth, and free the world from alien dominion…
The Changes Trilogy by Peter Dickinson. You may have trouble tracking down a copy of this golden oldie, but try to if you can. It takes the traditional teens-on-the-run formula and throws in enough action and plot twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. Largely forgotten today, Dickinson’s masterpiece deserves a wider audience – and The Hunger Games may give him just that. The descriptions of the pre-industrial English countryside make a refreshing change, too.
If you’ve read something that might appeal to fans of The Hunger Games, please share in the comments section below!