Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mission Song, by John Le Carre

Le Carre has many times now used the device of pitting a naive, sympathetic protagonist against the harsh and cynical reality of the spy world. In Mission Song, this works to great effect. The plot centers around a coup planned in Congo, with a cabal of British luminaries hiding behind a mask of humanitarian concern while secretly salivating over the prospect of controlling the region's lucrative mineral wealth.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Hunger Games

This young adult title by Suzanne Collins was recommended to me by a number of teen librarians, but I had no idea I'd get sucked into it so completely. Katniss Everdeen is a young girl living in Panem, a post-apocalyptic version of the United States. Panem is governed by a corrupt government that runs a tournament called The Hunger Games once a year. Two children, a boy and a girl, from each district are chosen to participate in a fight to the death, which is televised across the country. It's reality television taken to an extreme. Katniss is strong and spunky, and the story is told from her point of view, so it's inevitable that she will survive--but the story of her survival, her fight to stay alive, and the alliances she makes keep the book moving along. There is a sequel coming out later this year, and I'm on pins and needles waiting for it.