I really like reading Japanese Lit and Dystopian books, I have been wanting to read Battle Royal for a while now but the size of the book has always put me off! However, I have finally done it, I read all 647 pages and this is a short spoiler-free review of the book.
Battle Royal is written by Koushun Takami and the book is about a class of junior high school students that are taken to a deserted island where as part of a program they have to kill each other until there is only one survivor. They are provided with a backpack which includes things such as water, map etc but each student is provided with one weapon and they are all different and can be really good or really rubbish. This book is about which students are willing to kill their classmates to survive and who is not and how far these students will go to survive and be able to go home to their families. This book is also massively about friendship, trust, and the corrupt system in Japan which is totally made up by the author. It is massively similar to The Hunger Games, however, Battle Royal was written first and The Hunger Games copied the ideas and changed them slightly. Both books are still so good but Battle Royal is a lot more dark, twisted and brutal, there are parts that will definitely make you squirm.
The pacing in this book is good, there are fast action scenes but there is also time for character development. There are 42 school children, so 42 different personalities which you get to know without it being too much. Some characters are more developed than others but that is understandable. I definitely had favourite and least favourite characters. There is love, friendship and hatred in this book and because of this, the book will make you pretty much feel every emotion. It is very gripping, clever and full of surprises. For the size of this book and the fact that I am not a fast reader, I did manage to read this book quite fast and this is because I constantly wanted to find out what happened next. I was hooked from the first page. There are short and long chapters which I loved. I prefer short chapters because it makes me feel like I am making progress, however, the ‘long’ chapters weren’t actually that long.
I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I did not give it 5 out of 5 stars because there were a lot of names to remember, but once they started dying I did get a grasp of who was who. I was also hoping it would be more dark and disturbing, but others might think it was too dark and disturbing! The book is from a different point of views and I would have liked to have read some of the characters points of views more.
Overal, The translation from Japanese was really good! The book is really well written and if you like dark twisted books, voilence or The Hunger Games then you will defiently like this book!
Thanks for reading bye xx
(if you have got any book recommendations comment them below)