Friday, January 22, 2010
The kids and I listened to The Hunger Games this past March on audio, and were completely entranced by this compelling story. It is against this novel that all Young Adult novels shall be judged. In fact, it could stand up to many works of adult fiction as well. It was physically painful then for us to wait for the release of the second installment of the trilogy in September. Throw in a healthy waiting list for the audio at the library, and here we are, in late December, with Catching Fire behind us, banging our heads against the wall, waiting now for book number 3.
I have no idea how one goes about reviewing this book without spoilers. So I guess you won't get much of a synopsis. I'll see how far I can go without crossing the line...
Katniss and Peeta return from the Hunger Games to their home district, presumably to a heroes' welcome and life of luxury. There is some spirited love triangle action going on between Katniss, Peeta and Gayle, as you would expect, but other than that, they are getting settled back into their routines. The government, however, has their knickers in a knot. Sensing district unrest, they are becoming more militaristic, more brutal, more manipulative, than ever before. And they have a few bones to pick with Katniss.
It is with some anticipation that Panem awaits the next round of Hunger Games, which will mark the 75th anniversary. Every 25 years, they hold a special Hunger Games called a Quarter Quell, each with their own sadistic little twists and special rules. What will the government have up their sleeves this time? Let the games begin.
If there is one thing I hate, it is being able to figure out plot twists before they happen. I am pleased to announce that this DID NOT HAPPEN in Catching Fire. In fact, we didn't quite know what hit us. We laughed at the ironies, screamed with our arms upraised at the evil, the twists, the unfairness of it all. Was this book as good as The Hunger Games? Not quite, but almost. The premise is no longer new, and you just can't get that magic back once you've traveled down that path. Still, our expectations were met and exceeded.
Now we are back to Harry Potter. I'm not sure if our little hearts can stand all this excitement!
4.5 out of 5 stars