Saturday, September 5, 2009

Green and Catching Fire

Green: Ted Dekker has been leading me on a confusing journey for the past two years. It began (or did it end?) with a man walking outside a Denver coffee shop and discovering he is being shot at. Fourteen books-- some of them seemingly unrelated-- later, it ends (or does it begin?) with Green. Book Zero of the Circle Series, and more importantly, the Books of History Chronicles.

There will probably be some spoilers, but I can't really avoid them here. If you're not wanting the rest of the Books of History Chronicles to have anything revealed to you, then skip down to the paragraph after next.

Thomas Hunter (or is it Thomas of Hunter?) has lived ten years in the future Earth with his wife, Chelise, and his children. For ten years the Circle has evaded the diseased Horde, and for ten years its numbers have been growing. But Elyon has not appeared since the events of White, and the Circle begins to doubt his teachings. Thomas' son, Samuel, has decided the time has come for the peaceful Circle to take up the legacy of the Forest Guard again. At the same time, one of Teeleh's dark priests, Ba'al, who serves the Shataiki queen Marsuuv, is seeking objects of power that the Horde leader Qurong has hidden. It becomes apparent that the only way for Thomas to save his home is by returning to his first home-- the here and now. There, he hopes to find something left there that will stop the death of everyone he loves. But an all-too-familiar evil is waiting...

Dekker has it all, and he delivers a killer finale. He pulls out the stops, is not afraid to kill major characters, and shocking revelations abound. It's a truly pulse-pounding ride to the finish line, and I can finally say the Circle is complete. A job well done.

My rating: 10/10

Catching Fire (Book 2 of the Hunger Games): Katniss has spent the past year living with her family, Peeta, and Haymitch in the Victors' Village after having survived the Hunger Games. But all is not well. She learns upon a visit from President Snow, the man who rules over all of Panem, that her job is not done. She has unintentionally become the face of a countrywide rebellious spirit that threatens to explode at any moment. Her life, Peeta's life, Gale's life, and her family's life are at stake if she doesn't do everything as the President says. But Panem may crumble on its own, and Katniss and everyone she cares about must uncover the mysteries the Capitol is trying to cover up. If they make one false move, they will all die. And then, President Snow reveals a plan to ensure that no one is safe...

This was an amazing book from Suzanne Collins, perhaps her best book to date. It is an amazing tour-de-force of action, suspense, romance, terror, and hope in desperate times that is guranteed to both keep the reader up late at night reading it and keep them thinking about it long afterwards. I cannot praise Collins enough for this series, but don't worry, I'll try again when Book 3 comes out. She has a knack for truly making you care about the people who populate her books, and she does with a modest word count what some people spend a thousand pages trying to create: emotion from the reader. Wow.

My rating: 10/10

Coming Soon: A Door in the Woods.


Krista said...

Ah, you are so lucky to have already read Catching Fire it's next on my list! I so can't wait and plus you gave it a 10 now I really can't wiat, GEEZ!

Melissa said...

Both of these books sound really really good. I am very anxious to get into Hunger Games toward the end of this month. Then I hope to get Catching Fire and get caught up to everyone else.

Great reviews!

logankstewart said...

I really, really liked Black, Red, and White, but I've not read any of the Books of History series yet. However, I really want to read Green, so I can't wait to get to it.

The Writer said...

Melissa: You're going to love them.

Logan: Technically, you can read Green on its own. But you'll find things in this book that will make no sense to you, and you'll have a lot of answers to questions that you haven't even asked yet. And Dekker does this in a subtle way. So when you get to reading his other books (the Paradise Novels, the Lost Books, House, and Skin) you'll probably be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together. No matter where you enter, you'll have a great ride.