Friday 30 December 2011

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Trilogy Book 2) - Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire  (The Hunger Games Trilogy Book 2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2009
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

"Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins is the 2nd book in her "The Hunger Games" trilogy which was started by the novel of the same name, "The Hunger Games" which I previous reviewed here.

The story itself follows on a short period after the end of "The Hunger Games" with Katniss now living in the Victor's Village with her family. However, life is still not really peaceful for Katniss as her actions during the Hunger Games have drawn the unhappy attention of the government and in particular, President Snow who believes that Katniss' actions in the Hunger Games have resulted in talk of rebellion and uprisings. The story then follows her attempts to try and show the nation that she acted as she did at the Hunger Games out of love and not for any lofty goals. She therefore now has to attempt and persuade the nation and the government that her love for Peeta is real and it was for that reason alone that she acted the way she did during the Games.

This entry in the trilogy is full of suspense, thrills and the odd shock just like its forerunner, but whilst it was still incredibly enjoyable to read, it just didn't seem to engross me to the same extent. The main reason why I think this happened is that I could really see where most things were going and there is nothing much new there to really wow the reader. It was just a little bit too similar at times to "The Hunger Games".

The book does also start off a little bit slowly although the pace does at least pick up as the story progresses. The later half of the book is really stuffed full of action, adventure and some really thrilling moments that keeps you going right to the very end. However, the ending itself isn't really as successful as the previous book in my opinion because it doesn't complete the story and instead it just leaves the reader on a massive cliff-hanger. Basically, it has fallen into the usual trap of many other middle books in that the ending has been designed to set up the finale rather than to actually complete the novel as a semi stand-alone piece.

There isn't really that much to say about the characters in that they are all very similar to what was seen in "The Hunger Games". I found that Peeta is still as nice and kind as always whilst Katniss continues to be her usual rather irritating self with an astounding inability to see obvious things that are right in front of her. I have to admit that Collins has done a superb job in creating someone in Katniss who irritates me no end and yet also makes me feel for her at times and will her on to succeed.

However, the biggest issue I had with the book is probably more due to a personal dislike. I hate love triangles and in this book Collins has brought a love triangle more into the story thereby forcing me to hold down my irritation as I read. I just wish Katniss would just pick one of the guys and thereby end this stupid fawning and sulking that goes on intermittently throughout the novel. Honestly, I really wish this current fad of love triangles would die off and never rear its ugly annoying head again.

It may look from my review as if I disliked this book but in all honesty I didn't. The story was still exciting and fun to read and I will be defiantly reading the follow-up. However, I think that it just fell into the rut that nearly every other middle book in a trilogy falls into with the lack of anything really new and an ending that just leaves you irritated and wanting more. If you have read and enjoyed "The Hunger Games" then you need to go and pick this book up as I am sure you will love it, just don't expect it to capture you in the same way.


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