Reviewed September 21, 2009.
Scholastic Press, New York, 2009. 391 pages.
Wow. The Hunger Games was gripping, heart-wrenching drama, but in this sequel Suzanne Collins has turned things up a notch.
Katniss' troubles and her family's troubles should have been over at the end of The Hunger Games, but she challenged the power of the Capitol, and those in power were not pleased with her.
What's more, Katniss has become a symbol of rebellion. Could that rebellion be spreading? One thing is sure -- if it is, it will be brutally squelched. And if Katniss can't convincingly quiet the uproar she started, she knows her own loved ones will suffer.
This is definitely not light, cheery reading. As if all this weren't enough, we're stuck reading about the next year's Hunger Games, this time a Quarter Quell, for the 75th year of the games, with its own fresh horror.
The story is not complete with this volume. I will definitely be one of the people clamoring for the third book. I do join with my friend Farida to say that it had just better offer some happiness and hope for these people!
Even though the topic is unpleasant -- a future repressive and brutal government -- the story is transcendent and definitely worth reading. The story has a love triangle, life-and-death drama, and people risking their lives for freedom and justice. The book will keep you reading and then stick with you when you have to put it down.
The only awful thing about this book is how long we're going to have to wait before we can find out what happens next.