24 December 2012

Book Review: The Panem Companion

Title: The Panem Companion
Author: V. Arrow
Publisher/Year: BenBella / 2012
Source/Format: Publisher / Print
Date Finished: 17 December 2012
Book # 70

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

The Short and Sweet of It
An unofficial reflection on The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Panem Companion combines academic analysis with fan response to further explore the world and characters of Panem.

A Bit of a Ramble
I rarely read companion pieces to books, but I may have to change my mind about that after reading this. While there is nothing in the book that is particularly mind-bending, I very much enjoyed learning more about Katniss and the rest, and even beyond "learning" I adored the reasoned conjecture throughout.

The book discusses the origins of Panem, the socioeconomics of Tesserae, gender roles and sexuality in Panem, and more, each in its own chapter and each with some obvious, textual claims and some extrapolation that is both reasonable and fun. In each chapter, what I really found interesting was the comparison to our society. In some ways, the world of Panem is an exaggeration of our own. As the book states: Part of the "reason for [The Hunger Games] popularity in our own world is that it is the most effective mirror of our own culture that has been produced since the advent of reality television and celebrity social media." This is not newsbreaking for anyone who has read it, but seeing the individual ideologies pieced out and discussed was interesting.

Definitely a fun read that I would recommend for those who read and loved the trilogy.


  1. I enjoyed this book too although I thought the other companion book The Girl Who Was on Fire was better. I would highly recommend that if you're looking for more about The Hunger Games.

  2. I don't think I enjoyed the series enough to want to read this!


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