Sunday, August 1, 2010

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins & "Mind Walker" by Roy McConnell

For The Hunger Games, we've asked Ben Hopkin (@actingnodrama) to guest review.  Ben is an actor, a producer and also a writer, so is bringing a slightly different perspective to things.  'Cause you know, at @ThrillersRockT, we like to shake things up a bit!

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is up for review this week.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  What the bleepedy-bleep-bleep is a Young Adult novel doing getting reviewed on Thrillers Rock Twitter?  Well, here’s the thing.  It's a YA novel, but really there's nothing stereotypically YA about it.
And while it isn't classified as a traditional thriller, it is well... thrilling.  And I mean, shouldn't that be the basis for deciding if a book is truly a thriller?  And trust me this  is an absolutely, positively adrenaline-pumping, page-turning, hair-raising piece of work.

What The Hunger Games also has is a superbly crafted plot, razors-edge-sharp characters and plenty of emotional resonance. 

But what elevates this novel is the clarity of its characters.  Every character I encountered, even briefly, in this book was given three dimensions.  There are characters in this book that I miss right now because I'm not currently reading it.  I'm not going to spend much more time talking about the story or the people within it, but I will just throw out one name for you.  Cinna, the stylist.  When you read The Hunger Games (as you really MUST), keep him in mind. 

As an actor, my litmus test for characters is whether or not I would want to play them (yes, even the female characters... What can I say? Actors are weird), and I can honestly say that it would be an honor to play any of them.  Especially Cinna.  In case it's in development.  And those casting are reading this blog.  #justsayin

Okay, disregarding that little self-promoting sidestep... It's the combination of the tight-as-a-drum plot and the crystalline-clear-as-snow-melt characters gives Hunger Games an honesty and emotional through-line that I've rarely felt in another author.  When a writer can evoke an epic quality and at the same time ground the sweeping action in believable and lovable characters, magic happens. 
Oh, there's one more thing, just in case all of the preceding rambling wasn't enough to convince you.  The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy.  Catching Fire is the second, and Mockingjay, the final installment, is due out on August 24th.  If you're at all like me, you'll get to the end of this novel and be intensely grateful for that fact.
Finally, I want to thank @ThrillersRockT for the chance to guest review this week.  Not only because I get to review alongside some awesome writers, but because the novel I'm reviewing was good enough to keep me up until 3 am to finish it.  I also believe there may have been a skipped meal or two in there as well, and for anyone that knows me, that's a big stinkin' deal.

"Mind Walker"
by @rjmc100

Just as we asked why guys would want to read "Hunger Games" we ask why should chicks want to read "Mind Walker?" Because let's face it, most guys are going to automatically dig this book.

So for my other female readers why should you give this first time novelist a chance?  Well, besides the fact we have a great female lead, I would have to say for the roller coaster action and a great female lead.

As always we don't give spoilers here but oh how I would want to. Somehow Roy has managed to create a taut, page-turning thriller with just a twist that is sure to surprise.

Also, I find that we girls also really enjoy a story with rich settings and exotic locations.  Mind Walker takes us on ride across continents that you won't want to end!

So give this indie author a chance to rock your world!

How about you friend him on GoodReads

And check out his book on Amazon

Until Next Week!

Don't forget that Plain Jane is also out.  A Patterson-style thriller that harkens back to the "Kiss the Girl" days with a slash of Harris' macabre.
You should read 50 pages for free here.
And if you decide to buy the entire book, here is a 50% off coupon: RH88E

Thanks so much!

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