Todays reviews brought to you by hunger. There are all different types of hunger, you know. This will make book 9 and movie 11 for the year so far.

Book: Slave To Sensation, by Nalini Singh

This book was selected by a book club on Goodreads called Vaginal Fantasy, led by Felicia Day, among others. Yes, I’m name dropping because I think Felicia Day is awesome and I’m secretly hoping she finds my blog someday!

Ahem. So anyway, about the book. The goal of the book club is to mix science fiction or fantasy with romance, and this book delivers both. I found the world of Psy talent fascinating. The idea that those with talent would be connected on a “psy-net” that is simply a joining of minds was by far the most intriguing part of this story for me. I found myself wondering how that would work. Being able to communicate from a distance (without the need for a computer) would be great. Having other people privy to what goes on in your mind not so much.

I also found the main character to be likable, with very real human flaws. She’s sort of a female Spock. Taught from birth to suppress all emotion, she finds herself not able to do that. She’s convinced she’ll be lobotomized because of this defect. Imagine, emotion is a “defect” that needs to be culled out and destroyed. *shiver*

Of course, there to rescue her is a man whose passion is front and center and who can turn into a panther. Grrrrr. What girl wouldn’t like that? This is a romantic fantasy and as such delivers a light, fast read and some steamy dream sequences.

First Lines: “Sascha Duncan couldn’t read a single line of the report flickering across the screen of her handheld organizer. A haze of fear clouded her vision, insulating her from the cold efficiency of her mother’s office. Even the sound of Nikita wrapping up a call barely penetrated her numbed mind. She was terrified.”

OK, I had to give you more than one line because the first line didn’t explain much. To me, that’s a bit of a problem. I like the first line to grab me and not let go. Let’s face it, that line doesn’t do it. However, the paragraph does. Why is she terrified? Just the fact that she is feeling anything at all is a huge problem, but you find that out a bit later. To be honest, I thought the beginning could have been handled better. However, I enjoyed the read as a whole and I’ll be checking out the next in the series because I really want to know more about this world she’s created.

The main complaint in the book club discussion? It wasn’t nearly as smutty as we all expected it to be. If you like romance with a hint of sex, this will be right up your alley. If you like full blown erotica, this will be too tame for you. Way too tame.

Movie: The Hunger Games (Jennifer LawrenceJosh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

Oh, yes! Yes, yes, yes! Talk about a job well done. Like so many others, I’ve read the books and worried over everything from their casting choices to what they’d include or leave out from the book. I hate it when a director feels the need to put his own thumbprint on a story, rather than stay true to the author’s vision. Well, that didn’t happen here. The director enhanced the author’s vision in every way possible.

Jennifer Lawrence really brought Katniss to life for me in a way that felt so right, I wanted to hug her. Everyone, from Woody Harrelson (Haymitch) to Stanley Tucci (game host Caesar Flickerman) was fantastic. I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing those parts now.

For those who don’t know by now, this is a dystopian science fiction story. While the book is for young adults, there’s plenty here to occupy the adult mind, and deep themes that take awhile to sink in. This is not a happy world that Suzanne Collins has created. There’s plenty of dark moments, many of which are truly disturbing. I needed tissues, and I knew the plot going in. It’s a great adaptation that can cause an emotional reaction like that, even when you already know the story.

If you haven’t read the book, I urge you to do so. There’s so much depth in the book that can’t be brought to film. But what they did bring made for a great movie, even if you haven’t read the book and have no knowledge of the plot.

Don’t let the hype scare you away, this movie is well worth the price of admission.