I'm just about finished with the second book by Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire. It continues the tale of Katniss Everdeen, the heroine from book one. The storyline is dark, as I talked about before, with another round in the arena for the teenagers. This time you get to know more about of the tributes and their lives, which I think helps you care about what happens to them.
Reading these "young adult" books as an adult, I find the character of Katniss to be somewhat selfish, although as she is the narrator of the story, I guess this is unavoidable and somewhat understandable since she's so young. I'm looking forward to the end (who will survive?) and the next book, where I'm sure there will be an uprising aganst the capital.
I can recommend these tales as some interesting summer reading - although I do think they are a bit dark for the under 17 crowd. I am in awe that this author has not caught huge flack from the PC crowd, and that they have reached the popularity that they have. The movie based on the first book is already being filmed. I've been interested in the casting - it's always interesting to see if you agree with the casting directors choices.
Question - the killing of these young people is so cold-hearted in these books, even the description is told in a matter-of-fact way, with not much in the way of regret or sorrow. Are the characters so used to seeing this murder on their tv screens that they don't seem to have any feelings about killing or each other? Most have been raised watching these "games" on their television. Is this what we're doing allowing our children to play violent video games, or watch violence on TV and the movies? Something to think about.