Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Catching Fire (2009)

This sequel to Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games gives us another gripping, amazing page turner. We left off with Katniss and Peeta both surviving the games, much to the Capitol's disgust and the thrill of all the districts. We start this book as the victors prepare for the annual tour around the districts, but not all thirteen! It seems that something is going on and that Katniss may have been the catalyst to get it started.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the games and there is a special twist this year. The contestants will be victors from previous years. There are only three victors in Kat's district: Peeta, their mentor, Haymitch, and herself. Haymitch has enjoyed a bit too much liquor over the years to survive these harsh games so it falls again on Peeta and Kat. On their Victory Tour, Kat gets hints about a possible groundswell of rebellion.

The night of my engagement, the night Peeta fell to his knees proclaimed his undying love for me in front of the cameras in the Capitol, was the night the uprising began. It was an ideal cover. Our Victory Tour interview with Caesar Flickerman was mandatory viewing. It gave the people of District 8 a reason to be out on the streets after dark, gathering either in the square or in various community centers around the city to watch. Ordinarily such activity would have been too suspicious. Instead everyone was in place by the appointed hour, eight o'clock, when the masks went on and all hell broke loose.

How will Kat protect Peeta, keep up the image that they were lovers, survive the games, and support the rebellion? Many things are going on at once in this book and Kat does not falter and continues to be an unlikely hero.

Many sequels start and end with a bang but the middle book(s) are just financial boons for the author, filler for the fans. This book is equally as exciting as the first book and expectations are very high for the third.

Science fiction and action readers will love this series. I highly recommend it.

My rating for this book: +++++

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