The Hunger Games is one of a handful of books from recent years that I would immediately identify as one of my favorites. Catching Fire continues Suzanne Collins' amazing story, and Mockingjay, released today, brings the series to its conclusion.
So we’ll post this review, grab a copy of Mockingjay, and hide out far away from the Internet and all its nasty spoilers. (If you need me, I’ll be in the basement.)
After surviving the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is beginning to settle into life back in District Twelve. She now lives with her mother and sister in the Victor’s Village with District Twelve’s previous survivors of the Hunger Games. (It's a small neighborhood.) But Katniss dreads the upcoming Victory Tour where she must travel - or be paraded by the Capital - to the other eleven districts.
Before she leaves, and adding to her dismay, Katniss receives a visit from President Snow himself. The president delivers news of potential uprisings in other districts along with several thinly veiled threats. Unintentionally, it appears the way Katniss survived the Hunger Games has given people across the districts … let's see ... what could it be … hope? Now she’s instructed to do whatever necessary to stop it.
And just in case she’s unable to slow this new hope, this hope that’s catching fire across Panem, the Capital has a few surprises prepared for Katniss, her friends and family, and the previous Hunger Games victors. The 75th Hunger Games is quickly approaching, and every twenty-five years the Capital holds a Quarter Quell. The 25th anniversary declared that each district was to hold an election to choose their tributes. In other words each district was ordered to select the children likely to die. The 50th anniversary declared that each district was to send twice as many tributes, two male and two female each.
What does the Capital have in store for the 75th anniversary? Might it include Katniss, the girl responsible for the unrest throughout Panem? Might the Capital want to send a message to Katniss and the nation reminding them of the Capital’s authority?
Of course they do. The Capital will do anything - they established the Hunger Games, didn’t they? - to repeat their message to Panem: “We are in control.”
But are they?