These books are the second and third books in the Hunger Games Trilogy. We recently read the series for my book club (personal, not business) and I think they are a great book club selection. There is just soooo much in these books to discuss, ponder, speculate, and theorize. If you missed it, here is my review of the first in the series, The Hunger Games.
So book two (Catching Fire) starts out exactly where book one left off: Katniss and Peeta are back in District 12, living the posh life in the "victor's village." But the Capital has not forgotten them, or their defiance of the Hunger Games. If anything, they are more in danger than ever. The increasingly large number of rebels see Katniss as their fearless leader and the Capital president (a creepier character has rarely been written by the way) has "encouraged" her to play his puppet role...or else. Through an extra sinister twist, Katniss and Peeta are tossed back into the Hunger Games arena, with other past victors as opponents this time. What follows is a densely-plotted story, part political thriller, part adventure, part coming-of-age with a hefty dose of teenage angst. This was a good book but lacked the oomph of the first and sometimes read as more of a "bridge" to connect books one and three.
On to book three, Mockingjay. This is when the proverbial poo really hits the fan. Katniss has thwarted the Capitol again, but Peeta is now held prisoner there. Katniss must rally the rebel army, save Peeta, keep her family safe, and deal with some very ambivalent feelings for two boys. Just another day in the life of a 15 year-old hero. As the rebels prepare for battle in an underground bunker, Katniss is thrust into a role that she is not prepared to play as the face of the rebellion. The action picks up in the later chapters as the rebels push towards the Capitol and the line between good and bad become very blurred. This book, if possible, is even darker than the other two, and fairly gruesome as well. But, the story is interesting and Collins does an excellent job building a detailed and at times disturbingly familiar alternate reality.
If you like dystopias and action/adventures, than these books are for you. Me, I'm glad that I read them but would rather not ever visit that particular world again!