Title: Battle Royale
Author: Koushun Takami
Pages: 614

Oh man, I got one word for this book – sinister! Even if you combined Hunger Games and Divergent it wouldn’t match the intensity this book has. Not even one fourth. It’s not for everyone – I’m definitely sure of that, I mean there are parts (lots of ‘em) that bothers me (yes, mostly the gruesome parts). I even heard it was a cult book, whatever that is. Oh yeah, no summary this time!

I know that I’m condemning the violence of Divergent just a while ago, but Divergent doesn’t need to be that violent, it was so over the top. I mean failing the initiation doesn’t mean losing your life. Here, in Battle Royale, the kids here got no choice; it’s a matter of survival… by bringing out all their artillery… figuratively and literally.

Also, the reason why I wanted to read in the first place, because a lot of people says that this is the original Hunger Games (accusing the popular dystopian book a ripped-off). Now that I get the chance to read, I agree that they do have similarities. Whether it was intentional (hopefully not, and Ms. Collins dismissed this before) or coincidence, you can’t help see the resemblances because a lot of ideas and concept in this book are also present in the Hunger Games. You know the obvious, teenagers fighting to death (well, this one is ugly gruesome, compare to HG). They also have a day pack (where their necessities are kept), Sakumochi is like Claudius Templesmith, and two survivors (as opposed to just one victor). The program is also broadcast, though unlike HG, they only televise the winners. There’s more, but needless to say, there’s a lot of things these two books shared, so I couldn’t blame those die hard Battle Royale fans. The similarities are blatantly obvious. Though I’m not saying that I’m accusing HG copying Battle Royale, to be perfectly honest I like HG more than Battle Royale… yes, I’m so squeamish, and that all there is.

Still, I’m so immersed with this novel and pulled an all nighter just to finish (it was so long) it. It was 614 pages of bloody violence. It was hard core. I kinda skip some of the bloody description because I don’t want to have a mental picture of these kids killed each other (it was so gross). I don’t want it stored in my subconscious, only to be brought up through my dreams. So yeah, it was cruel. I really like Shuya (he reminds me of Kazehaya from Kimi no Todoke), I think he only killed one guy (and because he was force to, or he will end up dead as well). And he is genuinely concern about his classmates, he even wanted save them in risk of his own.

But what I find interesting about is how the each student tries to survive the game… I’m hands down fan of Shogo. It was so unlucky for him to participate in another brutal game, (he already won last year – yeah I know it reminds me, once again of Hunger Games, hello? Quarter Quell) but it was his intelligent that amazed me. I like how calculative their moves (much thanks to Shogo’s brilliant plan). And as the story conclude, I was really, really curious on how Shuya and Noriko will survive the deadliest game ever. Oh man, the book does the job. It delivers.

I’m really disappointed with the ending though. It didn’t have a closure, there’s no sequel. So I don’t know what will happen to Noriko and Shuya, now they are being chased by the police. Can they successfully escape? Or they’ll be caught? Ah, so frustrating, these kids have survived a brutal game and I want them to have, at least a happy ending. Mr. Koushun Takami owes me a decent ending!