Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins

Series: The Hunger Games #2

Genre: YA Future Dystopia

Publisher: Scholastic

Summary (from Goodreads)

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

What’s Good About It

There’s always a danger with follow up books, particularly second books in a trilogy, that they aren’t going to live up to your ludicrously high expectations. I enjoyed Hunger Games so much it was always going to be a tough act to follow. But follow it Suzanne Collins did, and Catching Fire is almost as good as the first installment. Almost.

We are introduced to more of the terrifying world of Panem this time around, and more of the previous victors. Finnick, a dashingly handsome victor from District 4, and ‘Nuts and Bolts’ two quirky additions from 3 are particularly welcome additions to the cast, each bringing their own drama and life to the plot.

And the plot (I’ll get on to my problems with it in a moment) is enough to keep you going. It feels a bit like a rerun at times, but there is enough new, enough tantilising conspiracy threaded throughout to make it feel enough of its own book and not just an answer to the demand for a second helping of the Girl on Fire.

The love triangle between Katniss, Gale and Peeta heats up, and while I’ve seen some criticism of Katniss’s indifference to her two suitors, I think it’s played just right for her character. I totally believed the turmoil it caused, and her reaction, or lack of, to it.

What Wasn’t So Good

The end. Well, it was okay. Like I said – some of the plot felt a little bit like a rerun. Oh Katniss is back in the Hunger Games, haven’t we been here before? But, it was new enough. Unfortunately the most important plot development area – the ending – felt a little rushed. It was like ‘buildupbuildupbuildup’ and then wooosh… the end was done and I was left a bit reeling. I had to read it again to understand what actually happened.

That aside though, this was a great book, which I devoured over a couple of days despite having much work to do! On to Mockingjay next.

Rating: 4.5/5

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