In the wake of [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337857402s/2767052.jpg|2792775], insurrection brews, an insurrection Katniss has unknowingly become the symbol of. President Snow expresses his displeasure with Katniss in the only way he knows how. Can Katniss and the other victors of the Hunger Games survive the Quarter Quell?
Here we are, the middle book of the Hunger Games trilogy. In a lot of ways, it feels like a transitional book. In some others, it feels like a rehash of the first one.
I liked seeing how the Hunger Games changed the lives of Katniss, Peeta, and the rest of District 12. Katniss' relationships with Gale and Peeta both moved along. Seeing the other districts as the Victory Tour moved along was a nice bit of world building. I also liked that Haymitch's past was explored a bit. President Snow and his controlling of Katniss made my skin crawl. I can't wait until someone settles his hash in the third book.
Of the new characters introduced, I have to say Finnick is by far my favorite. The carnage level was ramped up significantly in the death match part of the story. The combatants were a lot more capable and the threats were much much worse. The nerve gas in particular is going to stick with me.
The growing unrest really makes this feel like a transitional book. It almost feels like the Empire Strikes Back at times. Instead of the whole "Ben, why didn't you tell me?" at the end, it's Haymitch.
Still, I didn't like it as much as I did the first book. It was a little been there, done that, especially in the end. Also, Katniss seems to have taken a step back. She seemed very strong in the first book but not so much in this one. Also, I know the whole Katniss/Peeta/Gale love triangle is supposed to be a big part of the story but Gale doesn't get developed enough for me to really care about him and Peeta's feelings for Katniss are a little on the unbelievable side given Katniss barely gives him the time of day most of the time.
Three stars, possibly 3.5. On to Mockingjay! Time to boat this bass.