Monday, October 11, 2010

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

In a dystopian future where the Capitol rules, the twelve impoverished districts are required to send two teenage tributes to the Hunger Games - a fight to the death in an arena of the Gamemaster's making to entertain those living in the Capitol.

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have thwarted the Gamesmaster and won the Hunger Games, much to the displeasure of President Snow. Katniss has found herself as the figurehead of brewing rebellion and Snow wants her to quell the subversion. Katniss, however, inadvertently becomes the touchstone of revolution, sparking more violence.

As punishment, two victor tributes from each district must compete again in the arena as part of the Quarter Quell, the 75th anniversary of the Capitol's triumph over the districts.

Katniss and Peeta survived the Games once against those of a similar age; can they survive against those with more experience and maturity?

Suzanne Collins has done a brilliant job with this trilogy. Katniss and Peeta are written well, with all the impulsiveness, emotional confusion, courage and self-doubt of teenagers. Mistakes are made, consequences are dire, but in this brutal future, hope remains.

Like any teenager on the cusp of adulthood, Katniss gets bent out of shape when she's not told of the plans older, supposedly wiser people have for her. She's justifiably furious in parts, petulant and spiteful in others.

The new arena is a wonderful, frightening construct, designed to kill, maim or send the tributes insane. To Katniss and Peeta, the other tributes are crazy and Katniss learns what true sacrifice is. She is the face of the rebellion, the favourite of the Capitol viewing audience, the enemy of President Snow because of one act of defiance.

She is the Mockingjay and she will learn what that truly means.

No comments: