Book Review, Horror

REVIEW: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami


Synopsis from

“Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.”


What I expected when I started this book: A crude gore-fest. What I got: A gory emotional rollercoaster and a new favourite novel.

Bloody hell this book was good! This is what I wanted when I first read The Hunger Games. Don’t get me wrong, I loved The Hunger Games, but this book was The Hunger Games on steroids and much better. It was sadder, more romantic, atmospheric and much more graphic. What else could you want? 

When I first started this novel I expected it to be more gore porn with nothing to deliver but lots of senseless violence, but to my surprise I got a psychological thriller. This book brought you along for the ride. It forced to you feel the characters emotions and the danger of their situation. Personally my favourite thing about this novel was that the characters react realistically to things. They are not heroes or chosen ones. They are teenagers who were on a school trip one moment and forced to kill each other the next, and they act like it. They are expected to kill their friends, their school bullies, their teenage crushes, and it is beautifully written. 

Compared to my expectations the violence in the novel is pretty low, but I was expecting a LOT of violence. It is extremely violent but to my surprise the graphic detail is saved more for the dead bodies of the students, which has a fantastic effect. The writing style when it comes to the violent scenes makes them realistic. People do not always have dramatic deaths. Death is quick and unexpected, but witnesses are usually left traumatized and in shock, and the writing shows this perfectly.

This was a beautiful novel that I will be recommending to people for a long time. It might be long but it is worth every page. 


Graphic violence. Sexual references. Abuse references. Strong Language. Rape references


I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on This has definitely become one of my favourite novels. If you haven’t read this book yet and you think you can handle the levels of violence you should pick this one up. It is one of the few books that made me actually slow down my reading and simply enjoy it.

As always feel free to follow me on GoodReads and if you have read Battle Royale let me know what you thought of it below, and I am always open to book suggestions.

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami”

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