01 June, 2010

(Audiobook) Review - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

It's always hard to write a review for the second novel in a series. I can't stop thinking, if they read and liked the first then of course they'll continue to the second. But I guess reviews aren't only about helping people decide what to read.

Catching Fire [US] [UK] is the second book of the young adult series, The Hunger Games (Book 1 review), and continues immediately where the first left off.
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

After getting over my initial reservations in the first book, I think I was able to enjoy Catching Fire marinally more than The Hunger Games. This was surprising to me since I couldn't think of how the parts involving Katniss in the actual Hunger Games could be topped. Also, Catching Fire starts out a bit more slowly (at least for me) as Katniss and Peeta continue to try to keep up the charade that began in The Hunger Games, well...maybe it's just Katniss who has to keep anything up.

A central part of Catching Fire revolves around Katniss' feelings for Gale and what she's done to him while playing the part with Peeta, for whom she has mixed feelings. Plus, how does she continue the farce while spending time with Gale, especially in such a small district where everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

I have to say, I'm on team Gale on this one because yes, the line's being drawn. Peeta saved Katniss' life, blah blah blah, but Gale's always been there for her and has probably saved her life in his own way.
There were also some nice twists in this one that I'm really chomping at the bit not to give away. Suffice it to say, the Capitol always gets its way and the Hunger Games are just as good if not better this time around. Just sayin'.

When Should You Read Catching Fire?

Catching Fire improves upon the first while adding some information to the world of The Hunger Games. This was an entertaining story that will keep you reading from the first page to the last. Nothing mind-blowing or anything going on, so I might just recommend a stop at the library for Catching Fire.

3 out of 5 Stars

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1) [US] [UK]
Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) [US] [UK]
Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) [US for pre-order] (Release date: August 24, 2010)


ediFanoB said...

I still prefer real books made of paper. I can't cope with audiobooks. For me listen to an audiobook is the same as taking a sleeping pill. I can't listen more than five minutes without falling asleep.
After reading your review I know that the Hunger Games series is not what I would like to read.
I think you did a good job on reviewing the "middle" book of a series.

Bryce L. said...

Thanks edi. I have a job right now that's very conducive to audiobooks. I do monotonous things that require little to no brain power so audiobooks have been something nice to keep me preoccupied instead of wanting to shoot myself from the boredom. :)

Tahlia said...

I read this book and as with the first in the series, I had a love hate relationship with it. I recognised that it was a good book, but I found it painful reading. I'm wondering whether I'll bother with the third one. I like a bit of relief from the pain in books and these are pretty relentless in the character's struggles.

Good to see a blog dedicated to the best in sci fi and fantasy. Can you recommend any that aren't too dark? I like a bit of beauty and laugher in my books as well as the drama.

You might like to take a preview peek at ch 1 of my new YA fantasy novel. You'll find it on the 'Lethal Inheritance page of http://publishersearch.wordpress.com

Bryce L. said...

@Tahlia - I'm really enjoying The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle right now. It's light fantasy interspersed with poems and songs if you dig that.

Checked out your site, but didn't have a ton of time to get too far into it. Have it bookmarked to go back though. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I have read some reviews where some of the readers didn't like this book as much as Hunger Games. I have to say I think I liked it more. I did enjoy both the books, but in this book the political game starts to surface more. The way the Capitol manipulates everything, and even in the end of the book the way there is an "uprising" no matter what they wanted. I am curious to see where Suzanne goes with the governmental issues in Mockingjay. And I guess to also see if Katniss picks either Gale or Peeta. Maybe one will pass in saving her so she wont have to choose. Or maybe she has changed enough that neither is right anymore, as they are still kids growing up.

Simcha said...

Glad to hear that you are enjoying the series more now, the I have to admit that I actually liked the first book better then the second.
I found the second one to be fresher and more exciting and the second one a little too repetitive. And while I enjoyed it as well I wasn't as anxious for the sequel, after finishing it, as I was after the first book. Though I am still looking forward to the final book in the trilogy.

I'm also really hoping that the author doesn't decide to take care of the Gale/Peta issue by killing one of the off. I hate when they do that.