Book Review: Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2)

4 out of 5

With the Hunger Games movie coming out soon and my recently developed fascination with archery, I thought it was high time to review the sequel to the brilliant original by Suzanne Collins. Oh, I should say at this point that if you are thinking of reading the original book, which is well worth the read, then you may not want to read on. I will try and give as little away about the plot of the first book, beyond what is obvious.
Catching Fire opens with Katniss muddling through her feelings about everything that has happened to her since the Hunger Games. Having survived the games, she finds herself caught in a love triangle between her oldest friend, Gale and someone else who she has mixed feelings about too. Trouble is she isn’t sure what her feelings mean for either of her two suitors. But a visit from the President of the Capitol, soon sets in motion events that will take the options out of Katniss’s hands. Rebellion is brewing in the districts that have been subjugated by the Capitol through poverty, labour camps and the Hunger Games. The President hasn’t forgiven Katniss for her act of rebellion during the games and he blames her for the troubles in the districts. But just when she thinks she has sacrificed everything she had to protect her love ones, the President pulls out his ace card and starts the nightmare all over again. The book is as well written as the original, with the characterisation still spot on and drawing the reader in. Dialogue doesn’t feel forced and the pacing is handled well. The problem with this book and the main reason why haven’t given it five stars is that I felt it was treading old ground again. There wasn’t enough in here that felt original or a big departure from the plot of the original. If anything, the first book had more to give due to the whole concept of the Hunger Games. That said, this a must read series and in my mind should be embraced as much as Harry Potter and Twilight have been. Hopefully, the third book will remedy the situation. What am I saying? Go buy this book and read it. Read the whole series.

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