The first time I read Catching Fire, I was still on a reading high from The Hunger Games – I downloaded it on my nook about 2 seconds after I finished the first book, and dove right in. That is probably why, on reflection, I didn’t remember much if book two before rereading. All I could pull out of my memory was a vague idea of the ending, and that was it. Now that its renewed in my mind, I find I actually like it better than the first book. It’s true, the second book could never exist in its own space without book one…there isn’t enough back story to support it, but the ‘live action’ was much more interesting for the reader, lots of moving parts.
Again, this book wasn’t written perfectly to my taste – too much tween drama/romance, which only intensifies (completely needlessly) throughout the series, which is a huge deterrent for me, and generally, my age group and beyond (then again, 50 Shades of Grey did outsell Harry Potter, and although I’ve not read it personally….I think we all know it wasn’t a masterpiece of literature by any means). I think that of the entire story, Katniss’ silly back and forth between boys was by far the most unrealistic and absurd.
What I did enjoy about this book was the ‘behind-the-scenes’ activity. Because we see the story through Katniss’ eyes, we are only given small hints throughout the novel of the ‘bigger picture’, many of which Katniss takes the wrong way, misleading many readers – for a greater payoff in the end. This book is also the start of the greater plot, the rising action – book one was the intro, where there are hints at the unrest, but book two maps the scale of the issues and the major conflict of the series.
Catching Fire begins exactly where The Hunger Games left off: Katniss and Peeta are getting settled to their new homes in the Victor’s Village, now next door neighbors to Haymitch, the only other living victor from 12. They then have to prepare for the tour of the country every victor makes after winning the hunger games, and Katniss is realizing exactly how much trouble she has really created by outsmarting the Gamemaker in the last book.
I won’t go into any more plot details and leave your head exploding with spoilers – but if you read number one, keep going!
I started book three awhile back and put it down for a few weeks – be expecting that review next month!