Book 32 – Catching Fire

Book – Catching Fire
Author – Suzanne Collins
Year – 2009
Genre – Young Adult Sci Fi
Pages – 472
Series – The Hunger Games Trilogy

The first book in The Hunger Games trilogy – suitably titled The Hunger Games – was a brilliant book, that on reflection, I should have doled out a ten out of ten score for.  When I had finished it, I rushed out to my nearest independent bookseller (*cough* Tesco *cough*) and grabbed a copy of both of the following books.  I could not wait to get back and start reading them, and delved straight in to the second of the series Catching Fire.

And about a day later, I put it down for three months.  Why?  Well, it just wasn’t catching my imagination like the first one.  This book starts out bleak.  After such a high octane finish to the first book, there is a massive drop in the tempo of this one, particularly at the beginning, and where there was action packed intrigue before, instead there is a depressing feeling that everything is wrong in the beginning of this one.  And so I shelved it.

Until this weekend, where spurred on by the truly slow pace of the history of Britain I was reading, I grabbed it and thought I would give it a go.  I pushed past the depressing bit at the beginning, and now here I am, two days later, having not only finished this book, but also the final book of the series, Mockingjay.

I make no qualms about it – it isn’t as good as the first one.  This is a commonly held belief, and I go along with it wholeheartedly.  But is still an excellent book.  You do need to battle the beginning, but once you do, the reasons that you enjoyed the first book start to crop up all over again.  The exaggerated world and cool characters are still there, and a story that quickly racks up to an excellent speed, even though the twists are hardly groundbreaking at all.

There is still the sense that the book was written with half an eye on a big screen adaptation, but that by no means takes anything away from the book at all.  In fact, may have helped with the writing.  I finished this book at 2:30 in the morning on Saturday, and when I thought “I should go to bed now”, the thought was then followed by the more tempting “or I can start the next one”.  Guess what won out…


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