Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins today, and as promised, I'm back to comment on it. I will, of course, try like heck to avoid spoilers. However, since the die-hards have already read it before I did, there's little chance of spoiling much.
For me, the book can safely be divided into two halves - Before the Quarter Quell, and everything else. Like I said last time, the first half moves a little slower as we're taken deeper inside Katniss Everdeen's head. She's living/suffering the fame of a Hunger Games victor. She wants for little now, except emotional stability. She and all the victors are striving to avoid daytime boredom and bad dreams at night.
The capital still expects her and Peeta to be an item and more. She's quite unsure of where her heart lies. Is it Gale, who, up until the games was her closest friend, who she teamed up with to feed their families over the years? Or is it Peeta, who in many ways saved her life after her father died, who truly loves her, and who lived and nearly died by her side in the games?
On this point, I have my opinions and preferences. I'm hoping for Peeta, simply because I'm selfish. I've seen them together. I've seen all they've been through and I've seen his devotion to her. Most of what transpired between Katniss and Gale occurred off the page, before the Hunger Games began. The only thing I'll add to this is that this love triangle is NOT resolved in Catching Fire.
As a looming backdrop to all this, we have President Snow and the capital's oppression threatening to come down on the districts, from which the hint of rebellion emanates. And of course, it's all Katniss' fault.
And then there is the quarter quell, a once-every-25-year event, where the book picks up some serious steam. There are more characters, many of them with interesting back stories and strong personalities. But the second half is all about moving the plot along, and getting it ready for book three. Whereas the first book dwelled for a good long time on the games and the players' strategy, the incidents and challenges here are more gimmicky, but no less thrilling.
And yes, there's a cliffhanger ending. A good one too. And now, we have to wait until next year for book three???? Blast!!!
Oh and, I wasn't paid, coerced, asked, begged or anything untoward to write this lame review, I got hold of the book all by myself.