Catching Fire is the “sequel” to The Hunger Games, although it’s really more of a continuation. I wouldn’t have wanted to read the second book without having read the first. But having read the first, I had to read the second, and having finished that one now too, I share the same anticipation of most of the world for the third one, yet to be published at this date.
This supposed trilogy [can the author really stop at three after all the hoopla (read: income) surrounding these books?] centers on Katniss Everdeen, a young girl now age 17 in book two, who lives in constant fear that the evil government of Panem will hurt the ones she loves in order to punish her for inciting resistance throughout the country.
Panem is a dystopic descendant of the United States, divided into twelve districts and ruled with an iron glove. The government tries to inflame internecine conflict among the districts in the age-old strategy of keeping subjects divided in order to maintain control over them. But Katniss, unbeknownst even to herself, changes everything, which threatens to bring the hegemony of the Capitol to an end.
Katniss is idealistic, naïve, loving, brave, loyal, and apparently quite attractive, although to the author’s credit, she dwells on the character of Katniss much more than on her appearance. There are two young men in love with her, and each seems too good to be true, but let’s face it, who cares?
There’s lots of kissing in this book, but nothing more physically, and not even any bad language! Okay, there are brutal murders, but no one curses while committing them!
Evaluation: This is a must read for those who have read The Hunger Games, but it might be a bit confusing if you haven’t. I would agree with the reviews asserting that this book is not quite as good as the first, but it isn’t relevant: after you finish the first book, you are too sucked in not to want to read the second book!
Published by Scholastic Press, 2009