Alright, so that went fast. It took me just two short days to finish Catching Fire, and now I’m already deeply into the third and final volume of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay.

No doubt my enthusiasm to jump into the next book was fueled by the cliff-hanger ending of the second book. Fortunately for me, Whirl had already acquired the third book, and all I needed to do was put down book two and pick book three to continue reading.

Once again, Collins has expanded the scope of the story. Characters we met early in the series have grown to become icons, symbols and archetypes in a much broader conflict. Questions of true motivations, loyalty, trust and integrity all have greater meaning and consequence. Her interest in Greek mythology is most obvious in this book — and not just because two of the new characters are named Castor and Pollux. Rather it is in her use of characters to take on the ornamentation of concepts larger than themselves, to become living symbols or ideals. And always, because they are also human, to be flawed. I appreciate that touch in these novels. — And while the plot may stumble here or there on a particular obstacle, that larger point remains intact, propelling both the narrative and the associated messages along with it.