Below is another review I posted on Goodreads a while back. A quick spoiler alert: if you haven’t read these books yet, beware that I do talk about specific events from the book.
After their victory in the Hunger Games arena, Katniss and Peeta have been busy with public appearances in the other districts, per the Hunger Games protocol, and settling into their new lives in the Victors’ Village. The only problem is, with each new district they visit, small rebellions are happening, and President Snow is blaming them for the outbursts. To ensure that he maintains control over all of the districts, Snow decides to have a different type of Quarter Quells game. This time, it will involve past victors from all the districts fighting to the death. Having prior Hunger Game victors come back for a special Hunger Games match was a unique way to involve another “game” but give it a fresh spin. Since Katniss and Peeta had just been through the Games, they actually knew what they’d be facing in the arena. There’s a big question in their minds about whether they’ll both be able to survive a second time, and they fight over tactics to try to keep each other alive.
I was glad to see that Cinna was on the rebels’ side too. He’s one of my favorite characters in this trilogy, and it’s nice to know that he was one of the “good guys.” I did have one question about this book: when the victor tributes stood on the stage for their pre-game interviews, why didn’t they decide to ban together and refuse to fight? They knew they would be killed anyway, and if they didn’t want to fight each other in the area, why couldn’t they have joined hands again in the arena and become martyrs for the cause? Perhaps the other districts could’ve joined the escape plans when the rebels rescued Katniss and some of the other tributes. I know that would’ve taken the book in a completely different direction, but rather than fighting, it seems that all of the tributes joining together to rebel against the Games and President Snow in front of a national audience would have made a bigger impact on the rebellion cause and added more fuel to the fire across the districts.
Overall, this book is my favorite of the three. It carries the series forward and has an excellent twist at the end. After reading these books, I can honestly say that I’ll never look at reality television shows like Survivor in the same way.