Welcome to the Hunger Games read-along! Beginning July 1st, 2010, we will be reading and chatting about one chapter a day of both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins in anticipation of the release of Mockingjay on August 24th.

In the unlikely event that this is your first read of these amazing books, welcome! And more importantly, beware of spoilers! There will be spoilers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 14

These action posts are hard, everyone!  Sports announcers have a harder job than I thought (you know, so do bloggers, come to think of it).

Chapter 14, in which Katniss fears not Rue, but looks to see what she's pointing at, which is a nest of supremely vicious tracker jackers!  Another Capitol made muttation which are larger than wasps with a solid gold body (do you think that's literal?  Dang, Capitol.) and "a sting that raises a lump the size of a plum on contact."  They can kill you, or even better, bring about hallucinations that lead to madness.  Oh, and they remember you if you disturb their nest (hence tracker).   The nests still exist around the districts (how do you think Katniss knows this beyond personal experience?).

Ever practical, Katniss says "oh, well," and decides it's now or never.  She wisely waits for the anthem to start sawing (thanks for the knife, indeed!) and the smoke from the fireballs and wall o'fire has sedated the jackers.  (Now I'm thinking about nano-tech and robot bugs.  Are these more cyborgs than 'bots?  Could smoke sedate a robot?)  While sawing, Katniss notices:  no deaths today.

So, job half done, Katniss retires to her tree-fork and surprise!  A sponsor gift!  Hooray!  Mmm, burn ointment.  Why do you think he waited so long?  She says Haymitch has "not abandoned me to fend entirely for myself," but as an impartial observer, I think he was absolutely waiting to reward her for some fight.  Offense=gifts, defense=you're fine without sponsors.  Anyone want to weigh in on that?

Day is dawning, and that medicine is goooooood.  A little snack, and off to finish what she started with the tracker jacker nest.  First things first:  let Rue know.  RUE!  A whisper, and her giant eyes appear, and she's off, flying through the trees.  Up Katniss goes, and she's stung as she saws through the branch!  She flings the nest down, it crashes through branches, and bursts open on the ground.  Katniss is stung several times (knee, cheek, neck), and she hears everyone running toward the lake (how did they get back so close to the lake so fast?)  Glimmer and GD4 are S.O.L. (my best friend taught that term to Mike D of the Beastie Boys, but ask me to tell you that story another time).

Katniss runs away from the lake and begins hallucinating like crazy.  Glimmer has the bow, and Katniss thinks (?) she rips her arm off trying to get it from her.  The canon signals a death.  Even in her mad mad mad mad state, Katniss knows she must keep what she's eaten inside herself (now that's the sign of a true starving person).  Another canon, GD4 is dead.  Katniss fights hallucinations, gets the bow and arrows, and then it's PEETA!

Peeta yells at her to get up and run, which she does.  Cato is right behind him!  And even as the insanity ants eat her eyeballs, Katniss knows one thing:  "Peeta Mellark just saved my life."



  1. Is this where we post our District 1 names? I call dibs on "Sapphique!" Or is that too masculine a name? Whatever it is, it's mine!

    When I first read this chapter, I had no expectations for sponsors to send K gifts. Like Katniss, I was just glad she received some relief. On this second read, it makes sense to me for Haymitch to be discerning deciding when to supply gifts. Makes sense for him to send Katniss the message, "do something to please the sponsors/be offensive, and I'll send gifts."

    I want to know who's benefiting from all this. Who are you, sponsors and audience in the Capitol? Haymitch doesn't seem to get much out of this--his duty/job?--and I'm glad he's functioning at all. What's Haymitch's incentive to be a part of this? And while I'm at it, what happened to District 12's one other winning tribute?

  2. Sarah, she died (I think it was a she, anyone want to confirm?) several years ago.