Book Review: Catching Fire by Susanne Collins
As with my review of Hunger Games, I’m late to the party when it comes to Catching Fire.
I had so many questions heading into Catching Fire. The ending of Hunger Games did a great job of setting up all these new conflicts and I couldn’t wait to see how they resolved.
Collins continues to use the first person present style that I found so grating in Hunger Game. It is simply her style. The story and the characters are engaging enough that I learned to accept it. If that is the price of admission to this ride, I will pay it.
I loved how Collins continued to ramp up the stakes through the early part of the book. Kantiss goes from one no win situation to another. That is one of the aspects that keeps me coming back for more. The odds are stacked so high against Kantiss. There is simply no way she could succeed, but as a reader, I want her to succeed. I don’t how she possible could. The enemies are too numerous and too powerful. Even her attends at assuaging them only bring on greater foes.
All that said, my major disappointment was in the twist.
The whole first novel in the series was about The Hunger Games (thus the wonderfully creative title). It was a big part of the intial draw. Once you picked up the book, you fell for Kantiss just as surely as Peeta and Gale do, but the concept of the Hunger Games motivated you to pick it up in the first place.
I was disappionted to see that Collins went ‘back to the well’ so to speak. Putting Kantiss and Peeta back into the Games again didn’t work for me. I know it helped bring back some characters and introduce some others. Once they got into the actual arena, I thought the whole clock concept was brilliant, but too much of it felt like a rehash of the first book.
I loved the use of the MockingJay symbol throughout the book, and into the conclusion. Collins did a masterful job of working the final twist. I didn’t see that coming.
Just like the end of Hunger Games, the end of Catching Fire left me with questions that I want answered. I read the chapter over again, the second time just as slacked jawed as the first. I can see why these books are such runaway best sellers. I’m dying to know how this ends.