I read all three of these novels obsessively in a matter of days. The story as a whole is well-written and highly addicting.
The first book, The Hunger Games, opens with a tough, stoic heroine, Katniss Everdeen, in a dystopian future controlled by an evil Capitol. The Capitol forces adolescents to participate in a televised fight to the death each year. Once I got past the premise (indeed, what the ancient Romans did with Gladiators was not different), the first book kept me up late into the night until I’d finished. Katniss’s escapades in the arena’s woods were both beautiful and terrible, simple yet genius, and haunted me for days. Her confused relationship with Peeta, the boy from her District who’s in love with her, was heartbreaking and touching. I could not imagine what the series held next.
In Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta are sent back into the arena by a twisted chain of events. We are introduced to a new cast of characters, including my favorite, the charming Finnick Odair. I found this tropical arena to be even more unique and exciting than the woods of the first book, and the story ended with a staggering cliffhanger. Despite its slower start, the sequel turned out to be equally as good as the first book.
Mockingjay was fairly devastating in its violence, but still well-written as the first two. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Collins is ruthless with killing her characters! The end simply comes down to a matter of the lesser of evils vs. the greater of evils. All the same, Collins is a skilled writer. I was impressed with the complexity and intelligence of her story and the dimensions of her characters. The psychological aspect of these books reminded me a lot of Ender’s Game. Fans of the action genre will especially appreciate this series. If you don’t mind a fair deal of violence, check out this popular trilogy.