Published: April 01, 2014 (First published April 21, 1999)
“The good people aren’t always the ones who get saved.“
Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: 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 until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.
A brutal tale about children killing each other to survive. The premise sounds familiar as it was often compared to The Hunger Games. However, it holds its own charms and captured the readers from beginning to end.
I am not a fan of brutal story, but I enjoyed this more than The Hunger Games. And that is saying a lot because THG is my favorite trilogy of all time. Be warned. This book is brutal and graphic. However, I did not give it a solid 5-Moon rating because of various reasons that we will talk about later.
The thing I like the most about this book is how the author presented each character. Even though you only get to see each character for a chapter or two, the author gives us a glimpse of who they are. And it makes their death more painful. Moreover, you could see how young they are by their thoughts and worries as they try their best to survive.
Furthermore, I decided to annotate the book because I want to see the similarities between this and The Hunger Games. Quite a lot of similarities, to be honest. I could also see where the idea of Catching Fire came from.
One of the downfalls of this book for me is the reason behind Battle Royale. And the fact that this game was not televised like THG makes the reasoning behind it weaker, and the whole thing does not make sense. Also, there is no explanation on how they choose the class that will play for Battle Royale. I think these are also flaws that the filmmaker saw while planning for the movie adaptation because they changed this aspect to justify the Battle Royale.
The other thing that I dislike about this book is that most girls have a crush on the main character. Why???? I did not see the main character as someone likable. The author failed to make the main character as likable as the other side characters. I kind of wish that the male and female main characters would die instead of the other side characters. But this is more of a personal preference, and if you like the main characters, you would probably enjoy it more.
Other than my rants, I think this is a solid book. There is a plot twist, but I am not even going to talk about that. It is better to dive into this book without knowing anything. Also, if you have watched the movie, read the book because it was 10 times better.
That is all for this rant, I mean, review. Let me know your thoughts about this book if you have read it.
Until next time!