Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

It’s not like Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games trilogy, needs any type of plugging.  The series has been hugely successful, and just for that reason, I wouldn’t read them for the longest time (it could have been the length of the waiting lists), until accolades from several of my book-addicted friends got me going.  And yes, I got addicted as well, and can’t wait for the third book.

Let’s not divulge too much of the plot, except to say that things get uglier than the first book.  The heroine of the series, Katniss Everdeen, emerges a victor of the Games but has the ire of the government on her because she technically didn’t win by their rules.  As such,  Katniss has become the unwitting poster child of rebellion in the outlying districts that make up Panem, the futuristic country in the series.  As she and Peeta, her co-victor, tour the country, these rebellions become more evident, and the government grows over more vigilant and vicious in suppressing them.  Then both of them are selected for the Quarter Quell, a version of the Games fought every twenty-five years by previous victors; the Quell proves to be just as maddening and grisly as the annual games. 

I thought that, typical of second books in series, that Catching Fire would fall flat – far from it.  It’s just as engrossing as the first.  So if you’ve made it through the first book, liked it, and wonder if it’s worth continuing, well, please do.  You’ll be pining away for the third installment soon enough.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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