Review: “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins

catchingThis is the second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy. I had read The Hunger Games a year or two ago, before the movie came out. And I liked it. But the back cover copy for the second book convinced me that I wouldn’t like it. Marketers (I assume it was the marketers) targeted the love triangle for the book as being most important in the story, and since I am not personally into love triangles, I passed.

Two things made me change my mind. First, the movie for Catching Fire is coming out in a couple of months, and I always prefer to read the book before I see the movie. And second, I now belong to Amazon Prime, which allowed me a free book rental each month, which in this case was Catching Fire.

Well, I was partly right. The love triangle is still there, but not as obvious as the marketers would have us believe. There’s a lot of internal struggles on the part of Katniss, and some self-doubt, which I am OK with.

What I did like was seeing the story of a revolution taking place around Katniss, where she is looked at as the centerpiece, and yet she looks at everyone else as being more important. She and Peeta are again drawn into the games, with her priority being to make sure Peeta survives. And of course, everyone else thinks that she should be the one to survive.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t danger. Each Hunger Game is different, and rather than a forest like the first one, this takes place in a jungle and beach setting. And there are dangers galore, most of them not coming from the other competitors, but from the environment. The President doesn’t like her, not in the least. And this book gives you a pretty good idea how far reaching his grasp can be.

All in all, it’s a pretty good book. If I cared about love triangles, I think it would be just about right for me. But as it is, I give it four out of five stars.