Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
So, remember when I said that when it came to The Hunger Games, I felt like the blogworld gave it a 12 on a scale of 1-10, and I was giving it "only" a 8?
Yeah, well, Catching Fire? That one goes up to 11. Or even 20.
Seriously, mind-blowingly awesome.
Katniss thinks now that the games are done, she can provide for her family and go back. But everything isn't what she thought it would be. Six months after the games, it's time for the victory tour, but before it begins, President Snow shows up in person to threaten her. It's at this point that she realizes two things:
1. Her actions at the end of the games had far wider implications than she thought. She may have started a rebellion in the districts.
2. Her life will never, ever be her own. If she wants to keep those she loved safe, she will be playing the Capitol's game. Forever.
And then everything gets a whole lot worse.
What struck me most about this is the lengths the Capitol will go to in order to maintain control on their districts. Yes, this is a land that in the last rebellion obliterated one of their districts and, in retaliation for the rebellion makes each district compete in the hunger games for the citizens of the Capitol's own amusement. But the horror they resort to in this book is just... astounding. Especially when it comes to sending not-so-subtle messages to Katniss. This book is tension and fear. This is still adventure, but the stakes are even bigger this time around, because the Capitol of Panem is a government that's desperate but doesn't want to appear like it. It's is a government with no conscience.
And then Collins completely sucker-punches us with the last sentence.
I liked The Hunger Games but Catching Fire just utterly blows me away. Look for it September 1st.
Full disclosure: I begged an ARC off our teen collection development librarian. She had to start a list to circulate it through staff members who wanted to read it.