Monday, January 20, 2014

CSFF Blog Tour Day 1: Outcasts vs The Hunger Games

It was about two years ago that I discovered The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I devoured the books and have reread them many times since.

I had a similar feeling when I discovered Captives, the first book in Jill Williamson's The Safe Lands series. The book was temporarily free on Kindle and I snapped it up, just because I wanted something new to read.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the book. I loved it in pretty much the same way that I loved The Hunger Games. And I was very impatient for the release of Outcasts, and the day I downloaded the book to my Kindle I got absolutely nothing done around the house until the book was finished.

Now, I'm not saying that The Safe Lands series is 'just like' The Hunger Games. There are major differences. And for all I know author Jill Williamson hasn't even read The Hunger Games--- The Safe Lands series is by no means a 'copycat' effort.

But there are some similarities that I think will make the books popular with those who enjoyed The Hunger Games. They are:

1. Both books are set in the future, after apocalyptic events. In The Safe Lands, the apocalypse is caused by a plague.

2. Both books contrast an evil and decadent power against less-powerful and more down-to-earth people. In The Hunger Games it's the Capitol vs. the Districts, in The Safe Lands the decadent power is the Safe Lands, while the people living outside the Safe Lands are the more down-to-earth people.

3. In both books, young people must struggle to survive the outrages perpetrated on them by the decadent power. In The Hunger Games, it's Katniss and Peeta trying to survive the Games, in The Safe Lands it's Omar, Mason, Levi, Shaylinn and others trying to survive their kidnapping by the Safe Lands authorities, who mean to use them to produce healthy children as they are uninfected with the plague.

There are some major differences in the books as well. They are:

1. In The Hunger Games, the very concept of religious faith is not mentioned, even in passing. In The Safe Lands series, the major characters come from a Christian community, and the non-Christian beliefs of the Safe Lands are also mentioned.

2. The Hunger Games is very bloodily, explicitly violent, and much of the violence affects young people. In The Safe Lands series, there is some bloodshed but it doesn't dominate the story.

3. In The Hunger Games, the subject of temptation doesn't seem to exist. We never see Katniss or Peeta expressing a desire to live in the Capitol and enjoy the decadent lifestyle there. In The Safe Lands, we see that some of the young people are very tempted by the lifestyle of the Safe Lands, and a few go out to experience the decadence for themselves.

4. The Hunger Games is centered on Katniss, in The Safe Lands series there are a number of different viewpoint characters the reader can identify with, including some strong male characters (guys need that the way girls need strong female characters.)

I feel that both Outcasts and the first book in the series, Captives, are very powerful fictional works that will appeal to a great many readers--- both fans of The Hunger Games and critics of it. And although it's Christian fiction, I don't think non-Christian readers should rule it out. It's a great series.

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Red Bissell
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Julie Bihn
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Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa Annakindt
Jalynn Patterson
Writer Rani
Chawna Schroeder
Jacque Stengl
Jojo Sutis
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Fantasythyme said...

Nissa, i liked you comparison of the two series. Hunger games seemed to focus more on the action and events, while Outcasts seems more character driven with a good strong story.

Jill Williamson said...

Thanks for participating in the blog tour, Nissa. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. :-)

Nissa Annakindt said...

Jill Williamson, I'm so excited you visited my blog!

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