I read this in record time and surprised myself by liking it better than the first book, the Hunger Games. Katniss' relationship with her family, friends and handlers evoked more emotions, believability and depth. The Victory Tour provided a glimpse of the wider world, showing me tantalizing bits of the various Districts and the ruins of civilization destroyed during the Dark Days seventy-years before. I still find it hard to believe that fascism could survive so long. The unbearable inhumane conditions of the District 'citizens', the calculated cruelty of the Hunger Games, augmented in this novel by the Quarter Quell, a sadistic 25-year anniversary twist to the regular annual reaping of the rebel Districts' youth. The cost in lives, and the sacrifices made, reflect a horror I hope we never forget from our own not-too-distant past.