I Do Not Read Books (8): Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Here is the next edition in the on-going yet randomly occurring series of book reviews from Fernando, my webmaster/taste tester/getter of things on high shelves. He doesn't read a lot of novels, thus the title of the series. However, if he continues to enjoy the books he reads, I might turn him into a reader yet!

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Suzanne Collins
Scholastic Press
Released September 1, 2009
391 pages
YA / Dystopian

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Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.

The next installment of the Hunger Games movie series is just around the corner. Ahead of the movie I read the book. I will stay spoiler free and give my overall impressions of the book. Warning -- there will be spoilers for both first installment of the series (movie and book), so if you have not read the first book, stop here.

Catching Fire is really the heart of this series. Where Hunger Games was an introduction into this trilogy’s main characters and Panem world political nuances, Catching Fire is the intermingling of all those small subtle plot points building and building through the first third of the book then exploding on for the remainder and then ultimately creating one of the most surprising endings.

Katniss and Peta have won the 74th Hunger Games under the guise of a relationship that does not exist. While on their victory tour, both begin to notice the ramifications of that unique and government-defying win. That small act of rebellion sends giant ripples through the entire book. District by district Katniss and Peta begin to see the movement that they have ignited.

That is the magnificent thing about Catching Fire – as it builds the tension chapter by chapter, it also explores some deeper questions posed but never out right expressed in the first book. Who really has the power in Panem? How long can fear of the government keep the people in this world at bay?

The finally third of the book really explodes into an action-filled powder keg that made me want to dive right into the final book. That’s my review. Read this book and be prepared to dive right into the next.