Monday, 14 January 2013

Review: 'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, 2009, Scholastic Press, $17.99, hardbound, 391 pages. Category/Genre: science fiction. Cover: well-done, with colours appropriate to the title. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, & probably anywhere else you can think of. 

Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read The Hunger Games, you may not want to read this review.

After surviving the previous year's Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen lives in a big house and will never go hungry again. She longs for her old life, when things were more clear-cut. The relationship she shares with her friend Gale is strained, and she only gets to see him on Sundays, when he isn't working in the mines. She has hurt Peeta, the boy who saved her life, more than once, and soon she and Peeta will go on the Victory Tour, which will keep the memory of the Games fresh in everyone's minds. 

Then Katniss gets a surprise visit from President Snow, who accuses her of getting people ready for an uprising. This is plenty for Katniss to handle; but this year also marks the Quarter Quell – the year in which the Capitol adds a new sadistic twist to the Games. And this year, the tributes will be chosen from past victors. Katniss will be returning to the arena. 

Though this book has Katniss entering another Hunger Games, the differences Collins provides, both in action and in Katniss's personal life – not to mention the start of a rebellion and the ramifications that has for District 12 – make this a worthwhile sequel. We are treated not only to Katniss's continuing angst, but to treasured characters from the first book and new characters, as well. 

If you like this one, try: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

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