Saturday, September 12, 2009

Catching Fire

Post by Ashley
The second installment in the Hunger Games trilogy just came out at the beginning of this month. We had a low grocery bill last week, so I justified adding the $12 book to the cart instead of waiting for four months for my name to come up on the library waiting list. Just like the first, the storyline and writing are extremely engaging. It's the kind of book you shouldn't pick up on a day when you have lots of other things to do. Because the other things you have to do simply won't get done.

The first half of the book was relatively slower paced (though still gripping), but a surprising midbook twist will have you biting your fingernails all the way to the last page. Definite cliffhanger.

As a cohesive, stand-alone book, Catching Fire doesn't measure up to its predecessor. The plot feels slightly scattered, and I finished it feeling like, That was awesome ... but was this book really necessary? It seemed like the plot-forwarding elements introduced in it could easily have been packed into the end of the first and beginning of the third installments. Yes, Katniss and Peeta defied the Capital. Yes, she's become an unwitting symbol for revolution. Yes, she's unsure how exactly she feels about Peeta. These are things I already knew as the first book finished, and they're basically the three points that Catching Fire focuses on. So no earth-shattering revelations here. Just a further developing of plot points that were already in place. There's no doubt that this book acts as a kind of knot-tier between first and third, as do most second books in trilogies. (Obviously I haven't read the third, but this is what I imagine after reading the second.)

That being said, I still say the book is a must-read. It's a great series, and I am really excited to see how the third book will end it all.

5 comments:

  1. Can I get on your list to borrow the book? I totally forgot about it coming out in Sept, but I'm anxious to read it. I read Hunger Games in one day, feeling guilty that I left all my chores for another day! I felt the same way about New Moon as you did about Catching Fire, was it really needed? (I'll probably catch some flack for that won't I?)

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  2. hehe middle books are always like that Becca. I promise I won't give you TOO much flack.

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  3. Awesome review Alysa. You're one of the few that has analyzed it critically. Kudos. I can agree on several points (but the funny thing is, I don't love it any less). :)

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  4. oh Ashley actually did this one! so kudos to her. I haven't read it yet -- I'm dying! :D

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  5. I finally got to this book which I have wanted to read since it came out and because I really enjoyed, Hunger Games.
    I did not enjoy this one as much as the first even though it was just as riviting. There was too much nudity and gore, for one thing. Also it seemed a little slapped together -- not as well thought out. I think the author would do better to pull a little of the mind of Katniss out in her dialog with others. In other words I don't think Katniss would be such a desireable person to both Peeta and Gale, if she were as non-communicative as the author makes her. People say things to each other in their relationships. Like maybe she would express her fear of having children as a Victor to at least one or both of them. Then Peeta's big announcement would be more progressive and be something that brings them together a little more realistically. Also I don't think the rescue/rebellion plotters would have risked things going well without communicating a little more to Katniss and Peeta. In other words, the plot could have been more developed with a few more connections that they might have made about what was going on. If she is the mascot, they would not have left her totally in the dark, especially because she gets her own drastic ideas.
    I love the authors' pacing -- she moves things right along.

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