Book Review: Catching Fire

I finished this one a while ago, just haven’t got around to the review. There’s lots of reviews on this book out there, so I won’t go too in depth – this will just be a weigh in.

Most people have said that the second book wasn’t as good as the first one. And you know what? I do agree with them. The Games themselves, the arena, the spectacle, the first time around, it was all new. This second time around, it’s not new anymore.

The first half of the book I enjoyed more – the victory tour and the emotional turmoil involved in that. The political maneuvering, and the whispers of revolution promised me something. Only it promised me something that never got going in this book. I was waiting for it to build into a revolution, and instead, it’s back to the arena.

But the thing that bothered me the most about this installment is that in this one, very little that Katniss does has any effect on the story. It’s not as if her desperation and helplessness isn’t believable – it is. But it’s her helplessness that’s frustrating as a reader, because I like to read a story where the main character takes action, an in this book, Katniss is an oblivious pawn in a game played by those around her.

That said, it’s not a total wash by any means. It’s just not *as* good as the first book. I’m heading into book 3 now, and I’ve heard two schools of thought on the third – one is that the books get less good as the series goes on, and that the third one isn’t even as good as the second, and the other, that the second book is less good, and the third is better. From what I hear, the revolution I was promised is going to be coming into fruition, so I expect I might be leaning towards the second opinion.

I’m curious to see how things turn out on the Gale vs Peeta front, not because I’m really into the love triangle, but because I’m curious to see why some people were upset by the ending. I’m not really a “Team Gale” or “Team Peeta” sort of person. If anyone asked me, I’d probably say I was “Team Katniss” because that girl has more important things to worry about than which guy she’s going to have kids with, especially since she’s made it quite clear so far that she does not want kids.

If I were writing it, I dunno, I think I’d probably kill both of them. Actually, no. I’d kill Katniss. And she would die a heroic, fiery death as a martyr doing something that will seal the rebel victory, or at least make sure they have a shot. Or I’d kill all of them. Yeah, I think I’d kill all of them.

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One response to “Book Review: Catching Fire

  1. “Or I’d kill all of them. Yeah, I think I’d kill all of them.”

    Ha! Who’d want to be a character in a Lindsay Kitson novel? Those guys do not get an easy ride, and if you want to know what I mean I hope you get a chance to read ‘Eyelet Dove’ when it comes out.

    I’ve read all three of the books in this series, and book 1 is the best IMO. That is not to say that 2 and 3 aren’t bad, they are good stories, but the whole series makes me think that the publishers saw the first book, and said:

    “Hey Suzanne we love this book let’s have three of them.”

    I may be wrong, and my cyincism is out of place but that’s how it looks to me.

    The first book creates the world and sets the scene, but it’s much more about the ‘micro’ elements of the story rather than the ‘macro’ politics. If I’m making a moral judgement sure I look at the macro themes, the political backdrop and I want to see a revolution to bring down the whole unjust stinking mess of it. But as a reader I care much more for Katniss, and the people who revolve around her, and the individual drama’s of the games.

    It’s the micro elements of this story that really make it a hit, with Katniss at the centre of that. Which is why I think I’d agree with Lindsay that, if Katniss is not impacting the story, it just isn’t quite as good.

    Team Gale vs Team Peeta seems a bit of a redundant conversation to me because it seemed fairly clear that one of them has a naturally sibling relationship with K and the other is more of a love interest.

    And yes, the series does not have a neat and tidy ending, and that’s a strength rather than a weakness, it reflects a truth about people being changed, and sometimes hurt by circumstances in real like, and showing that is a good thing.

    So I’m in “Team Book One ” but they’re all worth a read.

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