Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 1st, 2009
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.
Katniss Everdeen manages to make it out of the arena alive with her fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark. But The Capitol doesn't view their survival as something good- they see it as a form of rebellion. With rumors of rebellions flying around, The Capitol is enraged with Katniss, and it will do anything in its power to have her pay.
The second installment in The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire is a stellar follow-up to the first book in the series. No, it's even better than The Hunger Games. Everything readers loved about the prequel- the storyline, the action, the writing, the romance- is amplified exponentially in Catching Fire. Its predecesor is hard to match up to, but Collins outdoes herself and kicks things up a notch in this novel.
The plot is more intricately weaved, and the twists, turns and secrets revealed in the first novel are intertwined with new ones brought up in this second novel. Fast-paced, thrilling, and delicious, Collins creates a masterful world in a novel that is on a league of its own. I love that in touches on romance and emotion a little more than the first novel did. While Catching Fire stays true to its dystopian roots, it brings on a whole new level of emotional complexity. For instance, Gale is more visible in the story, and readers get to see him interact with Katniss more, but at the same time see Katniss with Peeta, too. I found myself walking miles in her shoes as I turned the pages, not only faced with the danger of being hunted down by The Capitol, but also torn between the two boys who mean the world to me. I could not put the book down!
The character development shown in the first novel is also built upon. A deeper, more vulnerable side of Katniss is shown in the novel, and more facets of other characters' personalities are shown as well. Readers get to see Peeta's strength, and even Gale's tenderness. This follow-up adds more dimension to each character, and adds a couple more remarkable personalities to the ensemble.
Collins seems to grow as a writer with each book she releases, and if the excellence she displays in Catching Fire is any indication of what she has in store for her readers in Mockingjay, then her next novel is bound to be of epic proportions. I absolutely cannot wait to read it.
Masterful in its creativity and powerful in its effect, Catching Fire is the ideal follow-up novel. It's just as excellent, if not even better than its prequel, and it satisfies the readers' appetites for the series but leaves them wanting more for the next novel. I could not put this novel down, and I guarantee that you won't be able to, either. You'll be glued to it 'til the very end, and even then you'll be craving more of this riveting, brilliantly-plotted series.