Friday, January 22, 2010

Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (audio)


The kids and I listened to The Hunger Games this past March on audio, and were completely entranced by this compelling story. It is against this novel that all Young Adult novels shall be judged. In fact, it could stand up to many works of adult fiction as well. It was physically painful then for us to wait for the release of the second installment of the trilogy in September. Throw in a healthy waiting list for the audio at the library, and here we are, in late December, with Catching Fire behind us, banging our heads against the wall, waiting now for book number 3.

I have no idea how one goes about reviewing this book without spoilers. So I guess you won't get much of a synopsis. I'll see how far I can go without crossing the line...

Katniss and Peeta return from the Hunger Games to their home district, presumably to a heroes' welcome and life of luxury. There is some spirited love triangle action going on between Katniss, Peeta and Gayle, as you would expect, but other than that, they are getting settled back into their routines. The government, however, has their knickers in a knot. Sensing district unrest, they are becoming more militaristic, more brutal, more manipulative, than ever before. And they have a few bones to pick with Katniss.

It is with some anticipation that Panem awaits the next round of Hunger Games, which will mark the 75th anniversary. Every 25 years, they hold a special Hunger Games called a Quarter Quell, each with their own sadistic little twists and special rules. What will the government have up their sleeves this time? Let the games begin.

If there is one thing I hate, it is being able to figure out plot twists before they happen. I am pleased to announce that this DID NOT HAPPEN in Catching Fire. In fact, we didn't quite know what hit us. We laughed at the ironies, screamed with our arms upraised at the evil, the twists, the unfairness of it all. Was this book as good as The Hunger Games? Not quite, but almost. The premise is no longer new, and you just can't get that magic back once you've traveled down that path. Still, our expectations were met and exceeded.

Now we are back to Harry Potter. I'm not sure if our little hearts can stand all this excitement!

4.5 out of 5 stars






21 comments:

Melody said...

I can't wait to find out what is in store in Bk 3!

...Mrs.P! said...

I just finished reading this book and I totally agree with you. Loved it. Can't wait for the third one. These people need to write their books quicker!

JoAnn said...

I may be the only person left that hasn't read (or listened to) The Hunger Games!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Totally agree with your assessment.

I actually did not read either book until I had both in hand, but now wish I waited until the 3rd was out so I wouldn't have to wait! :--)

Susan said...

So, I missed the review on the first one, so I'm guessing that the series is a futuristic sci-fi thriller? Sounds very interesting and I know it must be well-written to pass the "Sandy" test!

Julie P. said...

Great review. I loved this book, but I didn't think it was as good as THE HUNGER GAMES either.

bermudaonion said...

Can you believe I haven't read this or The Hunger Games? My husband read them back to back, and as soon as he closed this one, he said, "Where's the next one?"

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I suspected ne thing that came up, but still it didn't make it any less rewarding to read. This sounds like a ton of fun to listen to as a group.

farmlanebooks said...

I wasn't a fan of this book. I wonder if the fact you listened to it helped?

I felt as though we were being fed the same plot over again and got very bored.

I hope the third one is better.

Beth F said...

I wasn't all that surprised by the ending. I didn't have it figured in the details but I had it in spirit. I didn't think the suspense was there, but that is often the nature of the middle book of a trilogy.

Serena said...

What an enthusiastic review. I'm glad that you all enjoyed this one. I really thought it was a strong book 2 and cannot wait to read book three.

I did guess some of the twists and turns, but that was ok for me.

Alyce said...

I know! I can't wait until the next book comes out!

Jenners said...

I love that you can listen to these books with your kids ... I can't WAIT for that to happen!!!

Nymeth said...

I still haven't started this series, mostly because I figured that at this point I might as well wait until all 3 are out and save myself the suffering :P But I'm glad you're enjoying the series so much, Sandy!

caite said...

I am getting so tired of waiting for this one from the library I may just have to buy it..lol

Anna said...

I really enjoyed this one, too. It feels like forever before the next one is released, though.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Jen - devourer of books said...

I didn't see it coming either. I had to put down the book and walk around my condo for a minute, because I could not believe what had happened.

Zibilee said...

My husband and I are doing this series as a read aloud. We are still very early in The Hunger Games, but I am finding it fascinating. I hope I end up enjoying these books as much as everyone else does!!

Dar said...

I just reserved The Hunger Games at the library - the audio. I've heard so many good things about these books that I need to take a listen myself.

Amy said...

I loved this book too actually more than the Hunger Games. My sister just finished The Hunger Games and I don't think she liked it...she said...well it was unique, LOL

Alice Teh said...

Ahhh yes... Catching Fire keeps me happy until the end. I am DYING to read Book 3!