Monday, June 29, 2009
This review is spoiler-free, but I recommend that you do not read it unless you have read The Hunger Games!
Catching Fire picks up a few months after Katniss and Peeta return home to District 12 with fame and riches. They are both happy to have survived and brought wealth to their District, but barely speak to each other anymore, except when the cameras come around to keep up the ruse that they are madly in love. Katniss is horrified to discover that her victory has become a symbol of resistance, and finds herself unable to do anything about it. She watches helplessly as violence is inflicted on innocent people, all the while kept under the thumb of the president of Panem. She begins to wonder if there is life outside of oppressive Panem, but doesn't have time to think about it for long, because her worst nightmares are about to be brought to life.
Catching Fire is all that it promises to be and more. Fans of The Hunger Games will devour this second, intense installment. Suzanne Collins begins by showing readers life for Katniss and Peeta once they return home, brings back all the memorable and good characters from the first book, and works at developing her characters and revealing how they act while under extreme pressure. Despite her fame, uncertainty, and heavy conscience, Katniss is still tough as nails, fiercely protective of those she loves, and as resourceful as ever. There is one stretch of the book that moves slowly, but readers won't mind too much once Collins drops her first bombshell (figuratively speaking, of course) in the form of an unexpected plot twist, which will overwhelm readers with a flurry of questions and what-ifs, and the book speeds up once more. From then on out, the book is a heart pounding, exhilarating, and even agonizing race to the climax and ending that will leave readers desperate for more. Catching Fire is an intricate web of lies and secrecy, injustice and rebellion, and danger and hope that will keep readers dreaming long after the final page.
Cover Comments: I like the design concept for The Hunger Games trilogy. The mockingjay on the front is a neat touch, as it does have significance in the book. It's simple, but straightforward. The orange-ish red color is pretty awesome too! Great, great cover!
Catching Fire will hit shelves on September 1st, 2009!