Monday, 31 August 2009

Catching Fire

I read the first in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins less that a fortnight ago, immediately pre-ordered a copy of its sequel, and due to an administrative error on the part of Amazon, I somehow received my copy a week before publication. I was actually able to resist the temptation of reading it immediately, with Persephone Reading Week and a headache occupying me, but once their pressures lessened, I devoured Catching Fire. Like its predecessor, this too was unputdownable.

Set in the aftermath of The Hunger Games, Katniss is home in District 12 as victor. After her victory tour, Katniss has to prepare for the third Quarter Quell (75th anniversary of The Hunger Games), an uber Hunger Games used to quell uprisings and revolution. Katniss is supposed to be mentor to the new tributes but, as a rebellious threat to the Capitol and to the terrifyingly cruel President Snow, measures must be taken to subdue her influence on unstable districts.

I was wondering how Collins would sustain the energy and action of the first in the trilogy, without the suspenseful games, but she achieves it remarkably well; Katniss is a piece in the bigger games that are being played and not just by the Capitol and their President. The social and political commentary in the sequel is just as powerful as in the first in the trilogy. Katniss remains a strong and admirable female protagonist, a heroine, a symbol of success against the Capitol of Panem, a mockingjay, and uses her wits to battle against stronger forces; Katniss is unwilling to be a pawn in anyone's game and her resistance is the crux of the trilogy.

It is incredibly difficult to review the second part of a trilogy knowing that many of you haven't read the first but have tried not to spoil anything about either the first or second. Bring on the third; this is the best YA series that I have ever read.


verity said...

So glad you got this earlier than expected! Bet you are desperate for the last one!

(Yes, I've sneaked online!)

Paperback Reader said...

It was definitely a treat for it to arrive earlier than anticipated (actually eleven days, not seven). Definitely desperate for the last one! Can't be published quickly enough.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you - I love it when that happens. Happened to me a couple of times with techie goodies and a CD.

Also, glad to see you enjoyed it. I think I'll wait for the third book in the trilogy and read the entire thing in one go! Hopefully, the third one will be great too.

Something's Dishy said...

You're so lucky. Just finished the first part last night because of your recommendation. It was excellent! Can't wait for part 2.

farmlanebooks said...

I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed it. I'll hopefully get my copy today or tomorrow (I have no idea what Amazon are doing with the orders of this book!)I have been waiting since January for its release, so you can imagine my anticipation!

Paperback Reader said...

anothercookie, I don't think I realised it was a trilogy at first; I think if I had, I would have waited too (although quite relieved now that I didn't).

Astrid, I am so glad that you enjoyed it! I am loath to recommend books that I know what suit everybody, but this series is fantastic! I have high hopes for the third one.

Jackie, the Amazon mix-up is quite amusing; I don't recall that happening before in any pre-order I've made. I can definitely imagine your imagination! I was so lucky with timing but now I have to wait for the third :(.

Pam said...

It is incredibly hard to review this book. It's not like Twilight or Harry Potter or...anything where each book is self contained. even though the book is fiction, it moves so realistically in that there really isn't a clear end or beginning to everything. I have 20 pages until the end and don't want to finish because I don't want to wait SO LONG to read the third...ACK!

Paperback Reader said...

Pam, how did you find those last twenty pages? I didn't want it to finish either. The last line is perfect, shocking, and now I definitely want more! It's a very self-contained book, despite being part of a series, but it's difficult to write about without giving away what happens in the first.