Book Review: Catching Fire
Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. This one is just like the first: there’s absolutely nothing that will disappoint. This book continued exactly where the last book left off. I was going to wait a little while before reading it because I had just finished the first Hunger Games book. We all know how that goes, and I start reading it anyway. Much to my delight this book is every bit as good as the first one.
There are several parts of this book that I enjoyed, so let’s start off with probably my least favorite part, and for the record even that is a minor issue. I did not care much for the arena that was used in the 75th Hunger Games, also known as a Third-Quarter Quill. Now I have to warn you that there may be a few *** SPOILERS HERE *** and there but I’ll try not to give away the entire book. Instead of this being a giant arena that is designed to be an outside world, this time everything was shaped like a giant clock, and every hour something bad would happen in the area on the ground that corresponded with that hour on the clock. Although I didn’t particularly care for the arena, it didn’t detract from the book in any form or fashion, and in some cases actually made it more interesting.
I also like the way the book is designed, with the first half setting the background for everything that’s going on outside the arena and all the stories about all the characters so that when they make it to the arena you know what’s going on. Then the story shifts to the actual hunger games where the battle of all the selected tributes from each of the 12 districts, one boy and one girl from each, fight to live, and winner takes all situation.
Katniss Everdeen, being the primary character of the story, continues to battle with her dedication and devotion to Peeta versus Gale. What I like the most of this particular aspect of the book is it didn’t turn into this giant love story where she’s fighting over them. It’s a very simple and very real life scenario that kind of goes on in the background but never really takes large amounts of screen time. You know the situation exists, and you know that she’s just some dumb kid that can’t decide what she wants, but Suzanne Collins doesn’t turn it into a love story and ruin everything.
Now I will have to warn you that I picked this book up reluctantly following the first book, knowing that I didn’t want to get stuck in another one right away and did so anyway. With this book ending in a cliffhanger, you might as well plan now to read the third book Mockingjay right away. It also continues the story from where this book leaves off, but this book ends much more in an undecided fashion. You will want to find out exactly what happens next, and you will not be disappointed.
Then onto my favorite part. Katniss Everdeen is the spark that starts anything and everything pertaining to a rebellion. Albeit she may not be a willing participant, but her actions could change everything if her and Peeta can’t figure out a way to convince President Snow they are in fact two teenagers that are madly in love and didn’t just perform their act of suicide at the end of the first book for the purpose of attention and to spite him. Katniss at times can be a whiny little girl, but at the same time you have to remember that she’s 17, and her living arrangements and everything else is on her life.
Overall this is a very good middle book. It continues the story, fills in all the broken and missing pieces of each of the characters and how they all go together. It also is a wonderful story on how sometimes the smallest things can accidentally trigger a chain reaction or start a fire that burns completely out of control. I rate Catching Fire an 8 out of a possible 10. To show you how much of a cliffhanger this book is, while I’m writing this I’ve already read book 3, it took me only 10 min. to start the third book after completing this one. I will follow this immediately the next few days with my review on Mockingjay.