I immediately went on to as many blogger websites as I could to enter to win a free copy (ARC, new, used, I didn't care!) of Book 2 in the series, Catching Fire. After entering about 3 dozen sites, I managed to actually win a copy off of RevolutionSF.com in their giveaway. Thanks Joe!
The book came a few weeks later and I began reading it as soon as I could. This time I didn't require a few chapters to get immersed in Collins' world. It was full speed ahead, picking up the story from where it left off in Hunger Games. While I finished this novel quicker than I finished most, it wasn't quite as intoxicating as Book 1. I'm sure this is normal for the "middle child" of trilogies, so it was to be expected. Still, I enjoyed the character development, plot and the new challenges faced by Katniss, Peeta and others. There are some interesting reveals near the end of the book, but the cliffhanger isn't quite as torturous as the one in Hunger Games. I'm definitely looking forward to Book 3, but I'm not squirming in my seat as I was last time.
If you enjoy Young Adult novels like Harry Potter and movies like Star Wars, this series might be for you. While it is designed for the YA audience, I'm not sure when I'd let my boys (now age 4 and 9) get into it. While there's no sex, there is an implication that a character has become pregnant by another competitor, and there's certainly a bit of violence. This is the nature of the topic, as it's an arena competition wherein there can be only one (or two!) living victors. While my elder son has the capacity to read at this level (and it's recommended for Grade 7 and up), I'll definitely wait until he's well into his teens before mentioning the series to him. This is no Harry Potter.
Overall, an enjoyable read, and I eagerly await Book 3 in the series. You'll certainly find me trolling the blogs, entering as many times as I can in hopes of winning that one, too. Or at least putting it on my Amazon.com Wish List in hopes that it'll be a Birthday/Mom's Day/Christmas/Arbor Day gift!