Category Archives: Review

Interview: Bryan Young talks Operation Montauk, writing and future projects

Bryan Young, author of Lost at the Con, weaved a fast-paced, unpredictable tale of lost time travelers in his newest book, Operation Montauk. Young also is Editor-in-Chief of Big Shiny Robot, a screenwriter and writes for The Huffington Post, along with his other writing projects. Below he talks about Operation Montauk, writing and his future projects.

Click here for a spoiler-free review of Operation Montauk.

A warning, this interview does contain spoilers for what happens in the book.

Racheal Ambrose: I read Operation Montauk yesterday and enjoyed it. I was very surprised by the ending.

Bryan Young: It’s gone through a couple of changes to get where it’s at now, but I hope it’s the right ending. It might not be the one everybody wants, but I think it’s the right one.

RA: It was definitely a surprise and then it just ended. I was like what happens next?

BY: I think there’s a couple of choices of what happens next, but I think it’s more fun to leave it to everyone else’s imagination. Because, really the moment of closure is right there.

RA: How did you come up with the idea for this story?

BY: Well it started with my son and his friends. I kind of kept looking at everything I’d written before and not much of it, in my opinion, was appropriate for him and his friends and they’re like 10-ish. They’re obsessed with World War II; they’re obsessed with Nazis. My son and I will watch World War II documentaries together and the Jurassic Park movies and we read the John Carter books together. We’ve done that a couple of times over the last few years.

His love for that and his love for dinosaurs and his love for World War II and things like that sort of coincide with all of my relevant interests also. It sort of all gelled together. I started thinking about how I could combine those things and then I came up with the idea of how time travel worked in this world and you know, put it all in a blender and that’s where it came from.

RA: Jack Mallory shows up at the first from 1943 and Veronica’s from the ‘70s and then you have this man from the end of the 1800s and they arrive before Mallory did. How does that work out in your mind?

BY: In my mind, it’s just how Richmond explained it. When you watch the surf come in, it comes in at a different level every time it comes up on the beach. It’s always a little bit different. One wave will come in a little bit more shallow and another will come in a lot further up and so I think that the timing was very subjective in my mind. Actually, the way I assembled the book, was that I actually wrote down chronologically, the present, as far as the book is concerned, and started with where I thought the most interesting story with who arrived when. Hopefully that comes across in the book that through the course of it you get a sense of who got there when. It was sort of arbitrary in my opinion to tell what I thought would be the most interesting story.

RA: When you were writing the book, what was one of the most difficult parts of the whole process?

BY: The most difficult part of the process was, I’ve got a writing group that I travel to go see every year and it’s like Aaron Allston, Janine Spendlove and a couple of other people and the hardest part is presenting the first 10,000 words of it to those guys. They’re the most constructively critical group that I could ever ask for. It was Aaron that really…It’s always a little bit hard to hear like “Jeez, man, this is a book I think I’d like to read but, these are the kinds of things you need to fix” and then get a laundry list of stuff. It’s never the most heartening thing, but you leave from those battles stronger than you were. I think the book has benefitted immensely from this wisdom of others, particularly Aaron and Janine.

RA: Jack seems like he’s the ultimate 1940s American hero, the Captain America, all about patriotism kind of guy, especially at the end with Dietrich. When he pops up and they ensue in their fight, it seemed like something straight out of a movie. Did you picture it like something that would be in a movie?

BY: That was actually Aaron’s biggest complaint about my book. I’m a screenwriter by trade. I went from 1998 to 2008, 2006 or so, writing nothing but screenplays. I’m a documentarian, a filmmaker. That’s my day job so I think very visually. I think in film instances and so the narrative of the book is very much taken straight out of a movie. That’s just kind of how my mind operates, which is why all of my books tend to run that 50-70,000 word limit. I think other writers have suffered from that where like Kurt Vonnegut or Graham Greene where it’s just like, I think those guys, maybe not so much Vonnegut but definitely Graham Greene, he thought in movie-sized bytes, which is why the movies based on his books are so good, like The Third Man or The End of the Affair. That story structure is what speaks to me as a storyteller. Every scene in that I see it like it’s a movie and it would take me like a week to adapt the screenplay of Operation Montauk.

RA: I was rather surprised by Veronica throughout the whole book. I remember her first description where she’s standing there in shorts and tank top with two pistols in her hands. I was surprised about what happened to her in the end. Was that something you’d planned in the beginning with her character or did it just kind of happen while writing?

BY: I rewrote the ending three times and various characters made it out of the conflict and the one that’s in the book now is the one I felt most happy with. I think it’s the one that has the most impact for all of the remaining characters. The ending that’s there now with her specifically wasn’t what I’d planned for her at the beginning. In fact, that probably happened in my latest revision two months ago. When I read it and the reactions of my inner circle of readers was just that it’s a much more emotionally impacting ending. I was really fascinated by the choices she made.

RA: Richmond seemed very calm about the whole situation. It seemed like a sharp contrast from everybody else that are just like okay, we have to get out of here. I just pictured him stopping when he’d see something neat to go poke around at it. What inspired his character?

BY: Richmond, to me, is almost like a little kid. I think all of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met act like little kids. They just have that blustering wonderousness to everything and that’s really what I brought to Richmond. It’s funny because my son really likes Jack a lot, but I think it’s Richmond he most identifies with. I think it’s because he has that sort of childlike wonder to it. My brother pointed it out to me, “I thought the funniest line in the entire book is like Richmond was doing something , his life was in danger, and he just kind of stops and says something like ‘That’s fascinating’ or ‘I’m a lucky man.’” Everything to his is so wondrous.

RA: When it was explained that the meteor that killed the dinosaurs was a way to clean up all the time travelers, it seemed so neat and tidy. How did you come up with that idea?

BY: It was a natural progression of if time is going to make sure paradoxes can’t happen, then they’re going to send everyone so far back that they can’t do any damage. Why send them back to that point? All the research I did on the dinosaurs that appear in the book and even the foliage that appears in the book, all of that kind of stuff all came down to what Earth looked like right before the meteor hit—presumably.

Why would they send them there, well everything dies at that point. I kept having this idea in my head that, especially since I introduced this idea that there could be hundreds of stories playing out like this all over the globe at that time, the meteor was there to literally smash every trace of them away and bury is so far down no one could discover it in the future. It was a logical extension of when I was sending them.

I purposely tried to give everyone that was trying to travel through time really grandiose goals because I felt like in the end it wasn’t going to matter because of the way time worked. I mean, you can give yourself a headache trying to think about what if something did change, how would the timeline be affected. Would it be like Back to the Future 2 were they actually skew into a different timeline and it creates an alternate universe how the Marvel universe works or the DC universe. There’s a hundred thousand different ways to play it, but I thought for this book the best way to play it was that there is no way to create a paradox. All of this stuff has happened, will happen and will continue to happen and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

RA: How would you describe the book to somebody in one sentence?

BY: The thing is with the book is that you get into the time travel, which is a little more, complicated. The sentence I’ve been using on people that’s worked really well is: It’s about time travel, it has dinosaurs and Nazis in it; what else do you need? That’s the sentence that seems to be working but if I had to make it a concise sum-up of the plot, it would be: A solider from World War II is sent back in time to kill Hitler, but times doesn’t work like that and he’s washed up on the shores of the late Cretaceous with a group of other wayward time travelers from every other era and they are trying to get home—but them the Nazis arrive.

RA: What are your future projects?

BY: I’ve got two more books that I’ve written that I just needed to pick one and figure out which one I’m going to start revising and move forward on. I’ve got another book that actually in the last three days I’ve gone to town plotting. It’s a steampunk alternate history of World War I. It’s a mix between Farewell to the Arms and a Graham Greene novel. This is a story I’ve been kicking around in various forms. Back probably five years ago, I read every Graham Greene book I could get my hands on twice. I sat down and I was thinking man, if I were going to write a Graham Green book, this would be the story I wanted to tell.

I’d pitch it to people and they’d be like yeah, that’s awesome but good luck trying to get anyone to read it. I kept thinking about it and it was actually a conversation that I had with someone about another novella that I did where I was like why don’t I make it steampunk and everyone will read it. That’s what I think it would take to get John Q. reader in the geek community to read a Graham Green-style novel.

It’s really the setting. I’ve been researching out how World War I would play out. The Germans are developing rocket power so that they could have crude ballistic missiles that could reach London from Berlin. It’s the plans for that that the hero is after.

There’s this whole love story where he was this war hero who was injured and he meets this nurse. They get married. He’s sent on this assignment after the plans and they’re trying to communicate back and forth. Suddenly the letters stop and he abandons his mission to go find out what’s going on with her. He thinks she’s cheating on him and it’s really melodramatic. It’s very Graham Green.

Those are the kind of books I like to read. I’m not the biggest reader of sci-fi and fantasy at all. I read more Vonnegut, Hemmingway, Steinbach and Graham Green than anything. Moving forward, my types of ideas take stories that I think those guys would want to tell and put them in settings that are more palatable to geek audiences because those are my people.

RA: What advice do you have those wanting to one-day write science fiction?

BY: Start doing it. Right now, is a tremendously exhilarating time to be in publishing, whether it’s traditionally or independently. There’s so many different outlets and opportunities for publishing right now that it’s crazy. With the way digital publishing is working, where books can stay on the virtual shelf forever, there’s going to be an increased demand for stories.

There’s no such thing in my mind as an aspiring writer. You’re either writing or you’re not. If you’re writing, then you need to be working with groups of people that are your peers or people that are better than you to try to figure out how you can be better. I mean I don’t belong in the writers’ group I’m in at all I feel like. That’s the way it should be. If you want to learn how to do it, you need people who are very experienced and knowledgeable and upfront and willing to tell you exactly what you need to fix and make better.

Get an editor that you can trust. The two editors I’ve had on this project have been amazing. They really pushed me to fix all of the problems with the book that I thought were strengths and they helped me turn all the weaknesses into strengths. I’ve got that warrior mentality now where it’s like the book is out; this is the best book ever. I know it’s got its problems.

RA: Is there anything else you want people to know about Operation Montauk?

BY: I hope everyone has fun. I hope there’s something in it for everybody. I think that everybody has a character that they can latch on to. Sure there’s favorites, but I think I tried to turn enough on its ear. The damsel-in-distress sort of girl is the one that does all the rescuing. I really like Captain Valentine. I hope people do too. She’s just a really strong stayed leader. Even though things don’t necessary go her way or in ways that she is even equip to deal with. Or if people just like dinosaurs.

Operation Montauk premiers at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio May 31- June 3. Bryan Young will be a guest in the Library. It’s also available for pre-order here and purchasable from any bookstore in June. Visit his website to read information about this other works.

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Review: Operation Montauk

ImageImagine waking up in a tropical forest. It’s nothing like the military bunker you’ve slept in for weeks, nor is it like the vehicle you last remember. The surroundings don’t match your mission objectives. Suddenly there is a load noise, some type of animal you’ve never heard before. You manage to move yourself enough to look around and that’s when you see it.

A dinosaur attacking one of your comrades.

That is the world that Corporal Jack Mallory finds himself in Bryan Young’s new science fiction novel Operation Montauk. A gutsy woman named Veronica and an older man called James Richmond rescues Mallory from the attack and take him to Fort Robinson before he has time to process what went wrong.

Veronica and Richmond are two of the time travelers stuck in the late Cretaceous period. Captain Abigail Valentine, Peter Grimsby, Albert the chimpanzee, Wan Li and Nokolai all arrived to this place at various points, but none have been there for even half a year. None tried to end up millions of years in the past.

The residents of Fort Robinson are not only trying to find a way back home, but are also avoiding death by the local wildlife. Richmond, an inventor from the late 1800s, is working to crack the code to their escape.

Young takes readers on a fast-paced race for survival. There is no real downtime in Operation Montauk. If it’s not a raptor or Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to score a snack, then there are new arrivals to try to figure out.

The cast of characters come from a variety of eras and cultures, making each very different from the other. Mallory, the main hero, is the good World War II solider, ready to do what needs done. His mental musings about Veronica’s dress or behavior towards a lady remind the reader that he is one of the “good ol’ boys.” Veronica shows the most anger at being stuck in the past, but she doesn’t let that slow her down. From plunging headfirst into the dangerous wilderness to taking on the vicious raptors, she controls as much of her fate as she possibly can.

Sparks fly between Mallory and Veronica in an adrenaline-fueled affair. Though Veronica’s relationship interactions seem a bit flighty, it’s forgivable given the circumstances. Their romance is brief, filled with the idea that death is around the corner.

Readers will enjoy Captain Abigail Valentine firm hand and logical reasoning. Peter Grimsby is the doctor everyone needs on an expedition. Not only is he good at what he does, but he cares about the patient and isn’t afraid to get his hand dirty. Wan Li, Nokolai and even Albert all play a vital role in the tale for survival.

And then there is James Richmond, esquire.

Richmond is the inventor, wearing his facial hair in muttonchops, trying to find a way home. He doesn’t let his predicament keep him down, however. Richmond takes in both the positives and negatives of the situations. As the first to arrive, he started Fort Robinson. He marvels at technology past his time, but doesn’t let it slow him.

Operation Montauk keeps readers glued to the page. Capt. Valentine’s theory around the middle of the novel will send readers in a swarm of questions about the truth of nature and time and increases the race for survival. Young uses time travel in a way that doesn’t seem cliché or overused. Instead of humans beating time, time challenges them.

Read my interview with Bryan here.

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Once Upon a Time season finale sends viewers on an emotional roller coaster

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*Contains spoilers*

Some season finales act as a bridge between two seasons (How I Met Your Mother, 5×24 Dopplegangers). Others seem like a regular episode until a final bombshell in the last five minutes (The Big Bang Theory, 2×23 The Monopolar Expedition). Then there are the ones that send viewers through an emotional tailspin from beginning to end (House, M.D. 4×16 Wilson’s Heart).

The season finale of Once Upon a Time, A Land Without Magic, falls into the latter category.

The show started with a bang. Within the first five minutes, not only did Emma finally believe in the curse, but also Regina admitted to trying to rid the world of Emma and that the curse was real. Emma’s physical raging at Regina was like Katniss’s reaction to Peeta’s love reveal in The Hunger Games. Emma didn’t care about the curse and Regina was so guilty and distraught that she didn’t seem to care either.

What made last night’s finale so incredible wasn’t just that the curse was finally broken or that Henry, for all real world purposes died, it was the dynamic created between the characters. For the first time while in the real world, Regina puts herself aside. At least, that’s how it seems now. We won’t know until next season the story behind what Rumpelstiltskin unleashed onto Storybrooke. Given Regina’s evil grin at the end, it’s something that will go in her favor.

Now that the curse is broken, there’s a question of what now? Had the writers’ drug out the curse, there was a good chance it would become tedious. Forcing Emma to believe because of Henry was the most logical method. Her connection to him is why she is there.

This also provides the theory that Mr. Gold found a way to keep tabs on Emma and chose Henry for Regina to bring her to the town.

The finale ran viewers through a variety of emotions. Joy that Emma accepted the curse. Sadness for Henry and August. Amusement at the return of Maleficent and the nods to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (will we see Aurora? I hope so). Elation when the curse broke and when Mr. Gold learned Belle was alive. And finally shock at what Rumpelstiltskin chose power over bringing back his son. If the wishing well truly does bring back what someone wants, then he could have brought back Baelfire.

However, that will have to wait for another season.

ImageFor the next season, I could see a fight to defeat Regina. This could easily mirror Charming and Snow’s attempt to overthrow the Evil Queen. There are so many questions, but that’s the point of a season finale; to offer viewers a touch of satisfaction but to leave them wanting more.

Once Upon a Time accomplished that and so much more.

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Review: The Avengers bring heroes together in a thrilling ride

Image In an explosive, hilarious, action-packed two hour and twenty-two minute run time, The Avengers keeps audiences eyes glued to the screen. Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must unite to save the Earth from Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) thirst for revenge and desire to act as a king.

As with any movie that throws a group of powerful individuals together, not everyone gets along. Thor and Tony Stark (Iron Man) have a clash of egos. Steve Rogers (Captain America) tries to keep the peace and not ask too many questions as he was trained to do as a soldier. Stark not only pushes Bruce Banner (Hulk) to accept whom he is, but also makes him angry. Fortunately, the squabbles are believable. There isn’t a huge fight between the men that forces a breakup. Instead, they do what needs done when the time comes. It was done quiet seamlessly, especially regarding Stark and Rogers’ quibble and Hawkeye.

The two plot points that may confuse viewers are Loki and Thor’s identity and story and the Tesseract. A viewing of Thor and Captain America:The First Avenger beforehand is helpful. Aside from those issues, the plot is easy to follow. It is possible to watch the movie with no previous knowledge.

Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, appear on the screen the most. Viewers catch a peak of her back-story, while Stark provides constant entertaining one-liners.

Seeing Black Widow play such a prominent role in The Avengers is a treat. She’s not there to be someone’s romantic interest, though it could have worked with Hawkeye without diminishing either character. She doesn’t back away from a fight and has a major role in the end. She’s stuck in the typical black bodysuit worn by many women in Marvel movies, which is somewhat aggravating. There has to be something not so sexualized that is also functional.

Tony Stark continues to dazzle with his new suits and technology. The writers found a good balance between the egomaniac we know and love and the man wanting to do something good for the world. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) makes a couple of appearances, further showing Stark’s developing character.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) round out the excellent cast. All three characters capture and engage the viewers well.

Those worried about the portrayal of the Hulk can set their fears aside. Mark Ruffalo nailed the role of Bruce Banner without seeming overly angsty or dramatic.

The Avengers is a must-see for action movie lovers and Marvel fans alike. Rush to the nearest theater and be ready for a wild ride.

It is rated PG-13.

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Review: You Have No Idea by Vanessa Williams and Helen Willams

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

ImageOne of the questions people ask when nude photos appear is why did the celebrity take them. Vanessa Williams admitted to doing it not once, but twice in her book You Have No Idea (co-written with her mother Helen Williams and Irene Zutell). A mere six weeks before the end of her term as Miss America, Williams learned that Penthouse planned to print nude pictures of her. During both her nude photo shoots, where the photographers promised the images wouldn’t be trashy, Williams recounts uneasy feelings.

Williams never hides from that mistake, or any of the others she makes throughout her life. She frequently recounts advice given to her by her mother Helen regarding life and love. Little responses and blurbs from Helen throughout the book give the stories a bit of an alternative view. Sometimes she sounds like an exasperated mother while others she sounds truly moved or surprised.

Vanessa Williams, while frank about events, does not go into too much detail. Occasionally, it feels as if she glosses over some incidents, like with her love life. One message that’s clear throughout the book is that a person must move on rather than dwell on past mistakes.

Helen William’s additions to the book at a little spice and sass to the tale. There’s Vanessa’s version of some stories and then there is her mother’s. It sounds as if the two are sitting in the same room telling their versions. It’s easy to imagine witnessing the conversations. Sometimes Helen’s emotions mirror the readers, like when Vanessa discusses her abortion. Other times Helen agrees and supports her daughter, like regarding the Miss America scandal.

You Have No Idea captures the concept that no one really knows what goes on behind the scenes with a person, even if she’s related to you. Vanessa and Helen take life as it comes, learn from the past and push forward for a better future. Readers will appreciate Vanessa’s drive for success in the face of ruin and laugh at Helen’s frank observations. You Have No Idea is a must-read for anyone dealing with a difficult situation or needing a laugh.

Visit BlogHer to join in an ongoing discussion about the book.

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Review: A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

ImageThere comes a moment in every series when the author must move the cast forward. The inner demons, the almost childish decision-making and relationships must end or the series remains stagnant. Stagnant characters grow dull to readers.

Fortunately for the fans of Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series, A Perfect Blood accomplishes this. Knowing that she is more demon than witch, Rachel must comes to terms with her reality or allow others to suffer for her fear.

A Perfect Blood begins with Rachel trying to register her new car and renew her driver’s license, an activity stressful regardless of who—or what—a person is. Unfortunately, a demon isn’t considered a citizen. Rachel starts stating that yes, she is a demon but she doesn’t use demon magic. The bracelet around her wrist prevents her from calling upon the ley lines. It protects her from Al and the other demons learning of her survival.

It doesn’t take long for the I.S. to pull Rachel into their service. Finding a partially transformed person strung up in a public setting with blood at his feet and a demon-known word by him can’t be ignored. Rachel brings in the F.I.B., much to the annoyance of the I.S. They don’t want humans interfering it an Inderlander crime.

Through the help of Rachel’s bodyguard, Wayde, she learns that Humans Against Paranormals Association, a hate group, is linked to the crime. In typical Rachel fashion, she involves herself in the case. There’s one major flaw, however. She cannot invoke the higher-level witch charms using her blood, not can she take advantage of her ley line powers.

Not only does Rachel need to figure out exactly who she is, but also she needs to decide where to draw the line. She doesn’t want to kill people with her curses. She tries to use the cleanest ones possible, even though smut still taints her aura with each twist. Helping her along the way is a witch named Winona and Trent Kalamack.

In addition to the changes in Rachel herself, Harrison alters the other characters in a logical, almost bittersweet way. The most obvious occur with Ivy and Trent. Ivy no longer uses Rachel as a crutch as she did before. The clearest sign of her ability to move forward is how she tries to help the living vampire Nina deal with being possessed by the dead vampire, Felix. Rachel laments that Jenks is also moving on, thought it’s not nearly as apparent as it is with Ivy. Jenks is moving on more from the loss of his wife than working with Rachel. He has taken on the role of a single parent, but his fighting fever and loyalty remains just as strong. While it’s sad to see the old trio not as linked as they were, the separation feels natural. Had it not happened, the relationships would seem forced or false.

Trent and Rachel manage to reach some sort of harmony mixed with romantic tension. Fatherhood appears to have done wonders for Trent’s character. He acts as an unexpected source of support and confidence in Rachel—even though his own life isn’t directly on the line. The dialogue between the two is comfortable, not awkward or forced.

A Perfect Blood is the book for all Hollows fans to read. Not only is the plot more riveting and surprising, the cast of characters works seamlessly on each page. Of all of the books, it’s definitely in the top three.

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Movie Review: The Hunger Games

Few movies manage to capture to true essence of a book. Fortunately, for fans, The Hunger Games succeeded where films like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Eragon failed. There were changes, as expected, but not ones that were detrimental to the feeling of the story.

Immediately fans see how terrified Primrose Everdeen, the main character Katniss’s sister, is of the reaping that day. It’s clear from the beginning how much Katniss cares for her sister—and how emotionally distant she is from her mother. This scene sets the feel for the rest of the film beautifully.

The casting choices for The Hunger Games fit perfectly. Willow Shields broke hearts as young Prim. Woody Harrelson captured Haymitch perfectly—and hilariously. Josh Hutcherson portrayed Peeta’s feelings towards Katniss and his own life in a moving, meaningful way. The spirit and soul of Katniss comes out brilliantly through Jennifer Lawrence.  Each cast member brought his character to life in a believable, fitting fashion.

The addition of scenes not from the books didn’t detract from the story; they enhanced it and set up for Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The scenes with President Snow brought chills to the skin while the moments in the Gamemakers room contained a mixture of horror and fascination. The ones orchestrating the obstacles in the area seemed proud of sending children to their deaths. The technology, though, is quite interesting to see. Think Iron Man’s computer system.

As with any adaptation, some scenes don’t make the cut while others face alterations. The only real complaint in this department is that if a person hasn’t read the book, she may find herself confused on a few points. Fortunately, through the role of Caesar Flickerman, there’s some explanation throughout the Games. It’s almost like sports commentary. It’s easy to miss details like who Foxface is, that Peeta and Katniss trained together at first and that Haymitch was a former tribute.

As expected, the movie contains dozens of incidents of violence. Through shaky camera work and angled shots, viewers see what happens without it being gratuitous. The shaking shots can make viewers a bit dizzy or disorientated, so this is definitely not a movie to watch up close. The amount of blood is enough to make the point without taking it too far. There’s a certain feeling of wrongness accompanied with watching children fight to the death; a feeling present in the books and that fans should never lose. Director Gary Ross captured the horror in an effective method.

Because of the extreme violence and emotionally gripping scenes, The Hunger Games is somewhat hard to watch. From the moment when Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place to the trials in the area, it’s impossible to remain completely calm. Be prepared for tears, laughter and anxiety. It’s difficult to watch characters die, especially ones that worm their way into the hearts of fans without us realizing it. It’s worth it, though.

The Hunger Games is a must-see not only for fans of the book, but the general public. Katniss Everdeen is a true heroine, one that we can all admire. If the box office numbers tells us anything, it’s that the a movie lead by such a fantastic character with an amazing story can and will take the world by storm.

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