May 27, 2010
In her follow-up novel to The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins has not disappointed her audience. Catching Fire picks up back in District 12, with both Kaitness and Peeta sharing honors and wealth as co-victors of the last Hunger Games. Unfortunately, although life has been made easier for them and their families financially, Kaitness' daring plan to outwit the Gamemakers has angered President Snow, who sees her act as one of rebellion against the government. When Kaitness receives a visit from the President, he makes it clear that her final act in the Games has laid the ground work for an uprising against the government, and his sinister threats against her and her loved ones give Kaitness good reason to be wary.
This upcoming year being the 25th anniversary of the Hunger Games, called The Quell, a new twist is added in celebration. In a special broadcast to all districts, President Snow makes his proclamation: The Quell will not consist of new tributes--every district will be required to send two victors from previous years back into the Games to compete 'til the death. Kaitness, who still suffers nightmares from last year's Games, is faced with the certainty of having to be thrown back into the horror. She suspects President Snow's new rule is not coincidence; she is being punished with the very real threat of death so soon after she thought she had escaped for good.
She and Peeta find themselves chosen as the previous victors from District 12 to participate in The Games, so they are sent immediately to Capital City. After grooming and training, they find themselves back in the fray, up against formidable opponents from past years, as well as some older and more frail former victors who have either lost physical or mental prowess in the ensuing years, but who have nonetheless found themselves in the same harrowing position as Kaitness and Peeta.
In The Quell, the tributes encounter new trials created by the Gamemakers, form new alliances, re-think assumptions about one another, and learn once again what it is to face the horrific dangers of The Hunger Games. What makes this time even more difficult is that both Kaitness and Peeta have vowed to ensure the other's survival, even though it means self-sacrifice. Add to that a betrayal Kaitness never sees coming and an ending both powerful and unexpected, and Collins' audience will be holding its breath for the third novel in the series, due out in a couple of months. I know I can't wait to see the final showdown between Kaitness and President Snow.