While I would give this book two stars for content, the audiobook deserves four. Elizabeth McCormick's reading of the book is far superior to the author's (excerpts available online). I found the book to be disappointing, compared to the great story lines in Hunger Games books 1 and 2. The story line is forced, contrived. There is a great deal of needless violence, even for this series, and the characters make choices that are completely irrational, given what we know about them. However, McCormick's voice is beautiful and makes the book very enjoyable to listen to.
This book is a futuristic novel, set in post-global warming North America. Getting over that, this is a gripping novel. I much prefer this narrator's interpretation of the different accents to those done by the author, Suzanne Collins, whose affected southern accents (see online videos) are painful and confusing. This is the only book yet during which I was in danger of driving off the road while listening. I think the audiobook is even better than the written book. It is young adult, and it is "light reading," but it is also creative and interesting--I highly recommend it. Not for young children--parents should preview it if they are considering it for their middle school or junior high-aged children.
Excellent historical narrative, wonderfully read by author, even better in audio than print.
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