I remember when I first heard of The Hunger Games. I read a review in Entertainment Weekly by Stephen King. As most of you know, he is one of my very favorite authors, and his column in EW is always a must read for me. When Uncle Steve says a book is worth reading, then it probably is. I was blown away by it, as a matter of fact. It was so readable and so full of action, I could hardly put it down.
So by now, we all know that Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (400 pgs, Scholastic Press, Sept. 1st 2009 release) is one of the most anticipated books in the blogosphere. I am so excited that I got the chance to read it early. Many, many thanks to Chris from Stuff as Dreams are Made On for passing this one my way!!
To be honest, this review is actually going to be kind of a non-review. Since the book hasn't been released yet, I don't want to give ANYTHING away. What I will say is Catching Fire starts very soon after The Hunger Games end: Katniss and Peeta are back in District 12 as the winners of the Hunger Games. President Snow is VERY unhappy because Katniss made the Capitol look like fools. And it seems that she might possibly be the new face of a rebellion that is starting.
Did I think Catching Fire was as good as The Hunger Games? Damn skippy, I did! I was amazed at how quickly I got sucked right back into the story. I wasn't sure where Collins was going to go with this book, and I was actually shocked at the direction she took. Heartbreaking at times, and heart stopping at others, Catching Fire is another whirlwind of a book. I was so caught up in reading it, I even considered calling off work just to finish it! (For the record, I was good, and put the book down to go to work!)
There are a few new characters that are introduced in this book, most notably Finnick Odair, another previous winner of The Games. Collins has expanded the dystopian world she created and it is actually more frightening that the first book! And while Katniss and Peeta are still the main focus, some of the more secondary characters really come to life, especially Haymitch, Gale, and President Snow.
I really can't say any more without giving something away. Just know that Catching Fire is one fantastic read!! The only bad thing I have to say is now that I've read it (almost 6 weeks before it's actually released), I don't know if I can wait to read the conclusion to the trilogy! 5/5