Saturday, February 4, 2012


by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic Press
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
ISBN: 978-0439023511
$8.99 Hardcover, $5.98 Ebook

The third book in The Hunger Games finds Katniss, along with her family and Gale, living with the rebels in District 13. Katniss has no idea what has become of Peeta and fears he is dead. She unwillingly and reluctantly has become the symbol of the rebellion and the rebel leaders urge her to exploit this via video feeds to the 12 Districts. Katniss at first feigns infirmity but eventually caves in after negotiating an agreement with the rebel leaders that they will not harm Peeta or the other Hunger Games survivors if they assume leadership. Much as she was manipulated by the government, Katniss now finds herself in the same circumstance with the rebel leaders. When Peeta is rescued, Katniss is greatly relieved, but Peeta has been tortured and brainwashed to the point that he is no longer the same person. Katniss vows to kill President Snow for what he has done to Peeta and joins the rebels in trying to overthrow the government. When her chance comes to kill the president, Katniss does something unexpected that could lead to her death.

Collins ruthlessly depicts the war between the Capitol and rebels in a grisly, violent fashion, leaving nothing to the imagination. Once again, she proves adept at peeling away layers of personas of pertinent characters. Katniss is portrayed as a young woman who wants to live a simple life and does not care for her perception as a heroic young woman ready to lead the cause for freedom yet finds herself thrust again and again into this role. The ending will surprise some readers, although this reviewer sees no other way it could have concluded.

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