Written by: Susanne Collins
Published by: Scholastic Press
Notes: Book 2 of the Hunger Games Trilogy, preceded by The Hunger Games and followed by Mockingjay
Setting & Summary: Taking place following the results of the 74th Hunger Games, in which Katniss and Peeta miraculously both escaped as victors they return home to what they think will be normal lives. However, President Snow of the Capitol has other things in mind. Katniss must now face the repercussions of her defiant actions towards the Capitol in the Hunger Games.
Here is Susanne Collins’ sequel to her hit The Hunger Games. Now going into this book I absolutely had no idea where the story would be heading. The first novel is pretty self-contained and wraps up most of the loose ends in the story, but does leave a tiny opening for a sequel. However, despite that opening there really wasn’t a general direction I could picture the second book taking.
Hit the jump for the full review.
Now Catching Fire, in my mind suffers from the same weakness most second installations in a trilogy suffer. In most cases the introduction into a trilogy, for the most part, is a pretty self-contained story with only the tiniest gap for a sequel. That being said, with most first entries being self-contained, that leaves a problem for the second installation: just what direction will the story take?
This is perhaps the greatest fault of the book. Because there is no defined direction that the story can take from the get go, the first half of the book takes it time to reintroduce characters and the setting. Because of this the first half of the book feels tedious to get through.
It’s not until the half-way point of the book where a twist happens (I’m not going to reveal what) that you’re genuinely drawn back into the book because you just don’t know what is going to happen to the two main characters. From that point on you’re left in a guessing game of just what’s going to happen, what are the motivations for some of these new characters and just how will this lead into the third and final book. That is probably the biggest strength of Catching Fire, it’s ability to string you along with some bait making you want to read on and on until you reach the end.
Like the previous book, the writing is fairly on the level of teens which is appropriate for its target audience (though I still find it a bit odd that it is targeted towards teens despite the content). This time around with Suzanne Collins, I didn’t have a withdrawl of high level writing that I suffered when transitioning between The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Hunger Games. That being said I did find the writing a bit better.
Overall Catching Fire was a mixed bag for me, still enjoyable with a few really good emotional moments, but I felt the first half of the novel to be a bit too tedious to get through.
GO Rating: 3/5