Don’t you hate it when you accidentally start a political uprising?
Katniss survived the Hunger Games, but she’s inadvertently become a symbol of defiance that is inspiring some in the twelve Districts to begin pushing back against the despotic Capital. After President Snow threatens her family and friends, Katniss tries to put out the fire she stated, but her efforts only seem to encourage more dissent. Snow’s revenge is to pull her back into another round in the arena to shut her up once and for all.
I was impressed with the first half of the book which did not try copy the first book’s pattern, but instead put Katniss into a new situation of reluctantly trying to carry out Snow‘s commands to help quash the burgeoning political discontent. There was a lot that could have been done with Katniss in that role, and the book seemed poised to follow through with that story. Unfortunately, Collins chickened out and decided that the readers wouldn’t be happy unless Katniss was back in the arena.
So while the new death match is a bigger and badder version of what we saw in The Hunger Games, it ends up seeming familiar and a letdown kind of like The Hangover Part II. (“It’s the same story as before, but this time it’s in Thailand!!”)
I was far more interested in the idea of Katniss evolving from terrified political pawn into the revolutionary that she seems destined to be than I was in seeing her once again fight for her life. Hopefully, that’s what I’ll get in the third book.