Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4/5

From Amazon: "Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge."

For the most part, this book was great and lived up to my expectations of a sequel to The Hunger Games, and I will still definitely be reading Mockingjay in the near future.

I've heard and read a lot of complaints about the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale (though unless Peeta and Gale are considering a relationship with each other, I suppose it really isn't a triangle, but anyway), and usually that sort of thing doesn't interest me; but in the context of this book, and especially in the way Katniss at least considers the third option of remaining single because she never wants to have children who might be forced to participate in the Games, it wasn't a turn off for me.  A *lot* of focus is put on this relationship drama, especially in the first half of the book, but since Katniss is not a drama queen and Collins is such a good writer, I didn't really get sick of it. 

I can suspend my disbelief, in this book and the previous one, enough to believe that each District has been subdued enough by the Capitol to allow their children to be sent to the Hunger Games each year.  What I can't believe though is the way Katniss acts when...


... she returns to the games and starts pretty much offing, or trying to off, people when she's been so disgusted and traumatized by the Games and the deaths and punishment of others previously. Collins tries to explain this away by Katniss thinking Peeta's the only good one of the bunch, with her and the other tributes just built to kill basically, but it doesn't jive.  Also, there did not seem to be any good reason that she and Peeta were not trusted to know what was going on with the rebellion, especially in light of the facts that Katniss thought about and tried to kill people who might've been important, and she just happened to be in the right place at the right time and to intuit what to do to pull off their escape without knowing anything that was going on.  That is way too much coincidence to ignore.

However.  Because it was so well-written otherwise, I can't give it any lower than a 4.  I really did love this book, even if the ending bugged me, and I'm still excited to read Mockingjay.

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