From a long time I wanted to read this book and never got a chance to read. ”Battle Royale” is a Japanese novel written by Koushun Takami, later translated to English by Yuji Oniki. I picked it up because somewhere I read a review of Hunger games complaining that the story line is adapted from Battle Royale.
Battle Royale starts with a bus filled with 42 students, going for a school trip. Bus is hijacked and students wake up in unknown place filled with gun holding heartless people. Soon they realize that they are picked by Government to compete in a deadly survival competition on a deserted island. But the competition is not easy, they are forced to kill their classmates and friends and only one person can be announced as the winner and he/she can go out of the Island alive.
Whenever I think of this book I wonder how author came up with so many ways of killing people in his story. It takes more than guts to write a book like that. Other than the concept of the competition this book is nothing like Hunger Games.
Difference between Hunger Games and Battle Royale:
- HG was more into teenage drama and YA fiction where BR is into political drama and violence.
- In HG you will know the background story of only Katniss and Peta from district 12 but BR somehow manages to tell the story of almost all students. Its like you know their story when they are dying.
- In HG people do not know each other its easy for them to kill other than that one person from their District and in BR 40 students knew each other well, they were in same school, some had crushes and serious relationships so it is kinda more difficult to kill.
Its very difficult to remember all those Japanese names, but as 85% of the students die as soon as possible without much significance to the story you don’t have to worry about remembering all their names. So totally Battle Royale is a good read if you are ready to read some adrenal pumping, gut shaking violence and bloodshed. My rating: 3 out of 5. I wanted to give 4 after reading the excellent climax but how the story ended left me hanging in the middle so I had to change my mind and give it 3.