Brilliantly suspenseful, though of course not nearly as violent or as satiric as, say, Battle Royale. The characters are vivid, sympathetic, and for the most part honestly drawn, though the humanity of the Careers seems coldly distant. The novel's story is set in a world that is believable enough without becoming a futuristic caricature that distracts from the Games themselves and Katniss, Peeta, Prim, and Gale deserve to be permanent fixtures in any reader's collection. The only portion of this book that played flat for me was the set-up for a sequel, which felt, coming at the end of a survival novel, wholly unnecessarily. YA is apparently written in threes.