"I can’t fight the sun. I can only watch helplessly as its drags me into a day that I’ve been dreading for months."Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is the second book in the trilogy which begins with The Hunger Games. The novel picks up just in time for Katniss and Peeta to leave on the victory tour following their survival of The Hunger Games. Unfortunately, any relief they feel is short-lived as The Capitol has seen their actions as rebellion and the result has put everyone they know at risk. Then it's time for the Quarter Quell, a special themed Hunger Games that takes place every twenty five years. When it's announced that the participants will be selected from previous surviving victors, Katniss and Peeta are back in the arena again for a whole new horror show. Isolated from the world, they can't possibly predict what is going on while they are inside.
Catching Fire is incredibly successful at sucking the reader back into Collins' dystopian world, and although it plays on similar themes to The Hunger Games, including the continuation of the love triangle between Peeta, Gale and Katniss as well as a desperate attempt to survive the Hunger Games, it still manages to seems fresh and exciting. I did start to get tired of Katniss' wavering back and forth over who she loves more, Peeta or Gale, or if she even loves any of them. The Hunger Games is such a strong trilogy I really wish that Collins had relied slightly less on the love triangle aspect when telling the story. That said, Catching Fire is the perfect middle book for a trilogy; the characters grow, the plot thickens, and the reader is left knowing more but still eager to pick up the final book. In that sense it succeeds, but I was often left thinking that I wanted slightly more from the book; something I hadn't already experienced in The Hunger Games. What I found interesting was that although The Hunger Games works well as a standalone novel, Catching Fire makes the reader desperately want to pick up the next book in the series. Although I waited a month and a half patiently on the library wait list for Catching Fire, I immediately downloaded Mockingjay after finishing it.
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Source: Public Library
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