I just finished Hunger Games, a very disturbing futuristic YA novel in which heroine Katniss takes her little sister's place in a deadly tribute required by the government. 24 teenagers are set up in a deadly game of survival with the whole nation watching to see which one will kill/outlive his or her peers. The concept revolted me but once I started reading I could not stop, and I thought for the most part it was extremely well done and creative. I was a bit irritated to find out at the end that it is book one in a series - that seemed to trivialize the conclusion.
Certainly the author is influenced by Theseus and the Minotaur. However, this interviewer is perhaps a little too awestruck:
You can spot the lineage of Collins’s own influences throughout the novel, from Betty Smith and Carson McCullers to George Orwell and Madeleine L’Engle. Because of Collins’s cinematic attention to detail of the games and the world of Panem, you may find yourself feeling disconnected at times from its human center. But, the philosophic conventions are wildly complex and simple, ranging from “Lord of the Flies” to “The Running Man.” And when the narrative center holds, the striking figure of 16 year-old Katniss Everdeen stands stall, giving the novel a sincere and realistic heart. Even while fighting for her life, she is also faced with one of the toughest decisions any girl will have to make – choosing the right boy to love.