Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

A while back I became intrigued with Suzanne Collins' new books based on a Time magazine article.  I ran right out to my local public library and scooped up the hardback and the audio book of The Hunger Games to use in the car while driving (I spend many hours a week in my taxi/mininan).  It took me a few chapters to fully get my head into Collins' post-apocalyptic world, but once I did, I was hooked.  As you may or may not know, The Hunger Games ends with quite the cliffhanger.  Having forgotten that it was Book 1 of a trilogy, the last page left me almost in pain, wanting more.

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!



  1. You write well and I enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for including this in the Link-up and welcome to the party.


    PS. There is nothing "low-key" about my Calico :)

  2. Thanks for your comment and for sponsoring the party! I look forward to more visits to your blog, too!

    Your calico must be younger than my 14 year-old. She's currently asleep in the window, apparently forgetting that she's a nocturnal animal!

  3. I just the first 2 books and can't wait to read them...All Ive heard is good things about them..Great Review!

  4. Allison: The first is quite the page-turner. I managed to convince my husband to read it, asking him to give it 50 pages. He was hooked way before then! Definitely have "Catching Fire" ready to go when you finish "Hunger Games"-- You'll thank me!

  5. Great review - I have only read The Hunger Games but I agree - I'm not sure when I'll suggest it to my 8-year-old.

    I'm looking forward to reading this and have it on my library pile - I just have to get through a few review books first.

  6. Crystal:

    Like "Hunger Games", you'll finish it fast. Then you're stuck waiting for Book 3 like the rest of us. So enjoy your review books, because they will shorten your wait time between Books 2 and 3! ;)



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