Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games series, had a lot to live up to. From experience, I never read a sequel expecting it to be as good as the first book. While there was still hope in the back of my mind that Catching Fire wouldn’t disappoint, I can’t honestly say that hope entirely came true.
Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Catching Fire immensely. It was a good book, and I still love the concept of the whole Hunger Games series. Even more importantly, the characters still had a story to tell. At no point did I feel the novel was being dragged out.
Catching Fire focuses a lot on the aftermath of the 74th Hunger Games, in which Katniss and Peeta, the victors from District 12, had competed. Obviously that’s not the only theme the book rotates around, but I would hesitate to divulge any of the book's major plot points as many of them were unexpected. This can be a wonderful thing, though, because one of the worst things a book can be is predictable.
Catching Fire, like The Hunger Games, is written from the point of view of seventeen-year-old Katniss. If I had the opportunity to change anything about the book, it would probably be the perspective. I think that having Katniss tell the story was sustained relatively well when it came to the first book, but in Catching Fire I would have loved to know what some of the other characters were thinking and feeling. To be honest, I got a bit sick of having only Katniss’s interpretation of events.
A lot of the events involved Peeta just as much as they did Katniss, so I would have loved to hear his take on things. It also would have been absolutely fantastic to see the book cut back to the Capitol, the posh city that holds the annual Hunger Games, for a scene or two to see what was going on in the malicious mind of President Snow, or perhaps what the citizens think of the District 12 victors.
The Hunger Games series has so many interesting characters that I would have loved to see expanded on, so I think a third person's perspective would have been a good idea for Catching Fire, and would have done the characters much more justice.
Overall, I liked Catching Fire, and would recommend it if you’re interested to know what happens after The Hunger Games. However, while the novel was pretty enjoyable, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re on the hunt for great literature.
3 out of 5.
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