At the end of the first novel in this trilogy, Katniss has defied the Capitol. It is inevitable that it will not be the end of the matter. No one is going to be able to live happily and freely. Even though as victors Katniss and Peeta have a life of relative comfort there are many more that do not.
It is decided that as it is the 75th year of the Hunger Games there will be a special version of the games – the Quarter Quell. All previous victors are chosen in a similar way to the reaping and will again have to fight to death, until one of them is left standing.
But there is an undercurrent in all the districts and it seems that Katniss small action in defying the Capitol has led to uprisings and a discontented population. Those in charge and perhaps maybe everyone wants more of a say. Even the peacekeepers seem to be less controlling in District 12, Katniss home district change, there is danger everywhere.
There is a suggestion that perhaps the mysterious District 13 that was obliterated because of the uprising does exist after all, and it is utopia that all the other districts are trying to strive for. Or perhaps it is just a manipulation of the power hungry President Snow and all those in the Capitol.
So into the arena which seems to be working very differently to anything Katniss was expecting. There also seems to be more friendly competitors as well. But as previous victors fall at the hands of others, it looks like Katniss might not be able to save herself or Peeta in the end. Has the Capitol finally won and regained control? Time is ticking down in the arena and there could be only one way to force them out of it. But what will the consequences be this time.
This book is as good as the first. It describes well the different parts of the districts, the families and the control that the Capitol has. It does not go over old ground so you do have to have read the first novel to make any sense of the events in this book. There were a couple of points which I had to go back and reread to get the understanding of what was going on, as I did in the first book I put this down to the fact that I am not normally a reader of Science fiction and therefore I have to programme by brain as such to be able to switch into another universe.
These books work on so many levels and I can see their appeal to Young Adults (the intended audience) and adults. It raises many questions; how much are we really in control, what is being controlled by unknown sources are we really free or are we being played as if we are in some sort of very large game. This book should not incite rebellion, far from it, it just makes you realise much more about what we accept with no question. A book that makes you think without you realising it!
This is an excellent read and as I finished the book I was so tempted to start the final book straight away. But I wanted to wait until the film comes out and then I think I will read the third and final book in the trilogy – Mockingjay. Not long to wait as it is coming out around the 22 November this year! My book club has planned an outing to go and see it as we read The Hunger Games and are individually slowly working our way through the others.
I am still surprised that I enjoyed these books as they are really not my cup of tea. Just goes to show you that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone with reading, you may even surprise yourself.