This book continues shortly after The Hunger Games finishes. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are back home in District 12 but things are not all joy for the victors. Katniss receives a visit from the President of the Capitol warning her that he knows all of her secrets, and during the Victory tour that she and Peeta must convince the other districts that their love is real. It is even announced on TV that their wedding will be hosted by the Capitol.
However, all is not well in Penam. The last time there was a rebellion, District 13 was nuked from the map, and The Hunger Games began to remind the districts of their submission and subjugation to the Capitol in this new country of Penan in the ruins of former North America. The Capitol each year forces each of the 12 provinces to draw names of a male and female tribute. The tributes are drawn from all people between the ages of 12 and 18. They receive training, are assessed by the game masters and then the betting begins. The games will be televised and are required viewing for the whole nation. In book 1 Peeta and Katniss won the games, but angered many in leadership in the Capitol.
Now is the beginning of the preparation for the 75th Hunger Games. It is a Quarter Quell; each 25 years the rules are modified. In previous Quarter Quells, on the 25th Anniversary of the rebellion, each district had to vote on what child to send to the games. In the second Quarter Quell, on the 50th anniversary each district had to send two male and two female tributes to the games and this time it is announced that the Tributes to fight in the games will be drawn from previous victors only.
Katniss panics at this news; less than a year ago she had to fight to the death with 23 other youths. Now she must return to the Arena and the death and carnage it will entail, for she is the only female from district 12 to be a victor. And she will have to enter the arena either with Peeta or Haymitch, her former co-winner or her mentor. And this time the Capitol will not allow two winners from a district again. Her world has just been turned upside down. As she prepares to train to re-enter the arena, she must decide who and what she is willing to fight for and this time maybe die for.
This book was so intense I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting, devouring it, then went back about a week later and reread it more slowly in case I missed anything. The cliff hanger is so extreme that even though it is more than a year away, I cannot wait for book 3 to be published. This book and the first The Hunger Games are excellent fictions and great summer or fall leisure reading.
Hunger Games Wiki
Books by Suzanne Collins:
The Hunger Games trilogy:
The Hunger Games (2008)
Catching Fire (2009)
The Underland Chronicles:
Gregor the Overlander (2003)
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (2004)
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (2005)
Gregor and the Marks of Secret (2006)
Gregor and the Code of Claw (2007)
Fire Proof: Shelby Woo #11 (1999)
When Charlie McButton Lost Power (2005)
Suzanne Collins Visual Bibliography
(First published in Imprint 2009-07-24.)