Originally posted @ The Book Fancier
Author: Koushun Takami
In an alternative future Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death!
Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan — where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller.
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I first heard about Battle Royale when I recommended The Hunger Games to a friend. They said The Hunger Games is a rip-off of Battle Royale. I totally disagree with that! I think the only similarity is that teenagers kill each other and the one who will survive will become the winner. That’s it! Okay, I don’t mean to compare the two but these days when you talk about The Hunger Games, Battle Royale will be mentioned.
I didn’t expect that I will like Battle Royale very much. Although there are lots of gore and violence (so warning! This book is not for the faint-hearted), the novel still able to dwell deeper on the story of the major characters and their effects on the novel as a whole. I salute the author for bravely telling us of a story like this. The book is not all about killing but more on how people naturally react when in danger or there are threats, and how one can trust other people to survive. Also, it tells how a certain kind of government, such as the Republic of Greater East Asia in the book, can affect people’s lives and how they make decisions in their lives.
Battle Royale is such a thrilling read! I recommend this book to those who want to read a darker and bolder book about teens killing each other, a cruel government, and how to survive the inevitable.
I don’t want to compare the two books like the others because just like what Mr. Takami said, “every novel has something to offer,” and that if “readers find value in either book, that’s all an author can ask for.” And I love both books! :)