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Book review: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This suspenseful sequel to The Hunger Games is similar enough to the first book to feel familiar, yet different enough that it’s fresh; it’s no rehash. Like the first book, nearly every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, so it’s difficult to put down. I read the final chapters in one sitting because of the plot twists and surprises.

In this book, Katniss discovers that she’s part of something larger than her own defiance of the Capitol. The other districts are more prominently featured, and events occur on a grander scale. Katniss tries to uncover the truth behind rumors of an underground resistance in the districts, while hoping her family doesn’t lose the comforts that she won by her victory in The Hunger Games.

The book’s present tense made me feel like I was experiencing the story in real-time. As in The Hunger Games, Katniss’ internal dialog is a major feature. Her morbid, dark sense of humor is
an entertaining contrast to the action-packed narrative. I enjoyed seeing her second-guess the motives of the various residents of the Capitol and districts that she encounters. Of course, the story would be incomplete without Katniss’ confused romantic feelings for Gale and Peeta.

Author Suzanne Collins has a knack for giving insights into characters by showcasing their behavior rather than describing them outright. For example, at a Capitol party, affluent attendees shamelessly binge and purge despite the rampant starvation in the districts. This single scene tells more about the Capitol residents than would several paragraphs explaining their motives and attitudes.

I really liked this book; not quite as much as The Hunger Games, but enough to put the 3rd book, Mockingjay, on my list.

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