In a future world, North America as we know it has been destroyed and the continent is now divided into 12 regions. The capital of this new nation, Panem, is in the Rocky Mountains and the remaining districts (1-12) are spread in descending order throughout the continent. Katniss lives in District 12, the last district, in what we call as the Appalachian Mountains. The closer you are to the Capital, the better off your district is. District 12 is in charge of mining coal and as the last district they are exceedingly poor. Starvation is a way of life and ever since Katniss’ father died in a mining accident, she has been in charge of caring for her mother and 12 year old sister, Prim.
The capital is bent on reminding the districts who is boss and does this by withholding food, supplies, and other necessities. Their trump card is the annual Hunger Games, which are held to ensure that no district makes an attempt at a rebellion or uprising. The Hunger Games are a like a combination of American Idol and Survivor, with Roman gladiator games tossed into the mix. Each district is required to supply one male and one female child between the ages of 12 and 18 for the annual event. The competitors are chosen via a lottery system. Families can buy more food and supplies for the year if they purchase additional entries into the games. Thus, the poorer you are the more likely it is that you have dozens of entries in the mix. The entries compound each year, so there are children with dozens of entries in the mix. Those who are well-to-do have fewer entries, with some only responsible for one entry. (In other districts, wealthier ones, children are raised for the opportunity to participate in the Games. These “Careers” see the games as an honor).
Ever since her father’s death, Katniss has been forced to purchase extra entries to ensure the survival of her mother and Prim. This, coupled with her talent for illegal poaching/hunting, has allowed them to live as comfortably as possible. Each year she hopes and prays that she is not picked, as the entire nation watches the drawing live, either in person or on their television. This year is different, however, as Prim is old enough to be entered. Katniss has not allowed her to gain extra entries, so she has only her required entry into the games. When Prim’s name is drawn, Katniss immediately volunteers to take her place, an old custom that has not been called into action in District 12 in many years.
Katniss and Peeta, the two competitors chosen from District 12, are immediately swept into a whirlwind of events that eerily resemble our culture’s obsession with reality TV. They are whisked to the Capital, where they receive stylists, makeovers, interview coaching, and gourmet food and living accommodations. While Peeta and Katniss slowly become friends and come to terms with their fate, they also realize that in order for one of them to survive, they must kill the other. You see, the Hunger Games leave the 24 competitors in a secret location (desert, tundra, etc) and the competitors must fight to the death. While the entire nation watches live on TV. The sole survivor wins food and supplies for their district for the next year, and set themselves up for life.
I read this novel in less than a day. The action is non-stop and heartpounding at many points in the story. Katniss is a likable character: she isn’t perfect, she isn’t a moral compass, and sometimes you even want to hate her. However, the situation she is thrust into is eerily similar to the modern-day obsession with reality TV and you can’t help but wonder if this the frightening direction into which we are headed. Collins never mentions a year in the novel, so it could be tomorrow or a thousand years from today. That in itself will keep you engrossed in the novel. The story is violent and writhe with betrayals, but there is also kindness, love, and drama. This is one novel you will not be able to put down. This is the perfect start to what should amount to a fantastic trilogy.
Everyone has been trying to keep Gregor from seeing The Prophecy of Time. That is because the final prophecy calls for the warrior’s death. With an army of rats quickly approaching and time running out, Gregor must defend Regalia and get his family back home safely. There is a code that must be cracked, or all will be lost. It is a war designed to end all wars.
The fates of the Underland and the great warrior, Gregor the Overlander, masterfully unfold in this thrilling and suspenseful final installment in Suzanne Collins’s Underland Chronicles.
With two prophecies fulfilled, Gregor is now focused on the Prophecy of Blood, which calls for Gregor and “the princess,” Boots, to return to the Underland to help ward off a plague. His mom agrees to let them go—on the condition that she travels with them.
When they arrive in the subterranean city, the plague is spreading—and one of Gregor’s family is stricken. Only then does he understand his role in the prophecy. He must summon all his power to end the biological warfare, or the warmblood creatures of the Underland will die.
Now, with the third prophecy fulfilled Gregor is drawn into a crisis. For generations, rats have run the mice—or "nibblers"—out of whatever lands they’ve claimed, keeping them on the move. But now the mice are disappearing, and the young queen Luxa is determined to find out why.
When Gregor joins her on a fact-finding mission, the true fate of the mice is revealed. It is something far more sinister than Gregor or Luxa had imagined—and it points the way to the final prophecy he has yet to fulfill. Will Gregor’s role as warrior be put to the test?
When Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats—but the fragile peace is about to fall apart.
Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life.
This unforgettable novel by Suzanne Collins, the international bestselling author of the Hunger Games series, is rich in suspense and brimming with adventure.
Months have passed since Gregor first fell into the strange Underland beneath New York City, and he swears he will never go back. But he is destined to be a key player in another prophecy, this one about an ominous white rat called the Bane. The Underlanders know there is only one way to lure Gregor back to their world: by kidnapping his little sister, Boots.
Gregor’s quest reunites him with his bat, Ares, and the rebellious princess, Luxa. They descend into the dangerous Waterway in search of the Bane, and Gregor knows what is at stake. If he does not fulfill the prophecy, his life, and the Underland, will never be the same.