Nicolas Ward's Reviews > Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Mar 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, sci-fi, young-adult, fiction

Finished this one a week ago. On a few levels, I liked this second book in the trilogy more than the first. In particular, the balance between world-building and action was better: I preferred the history over the combat. I would guess that is equivalent to my interest in the extended universes of, say, Middle-Earth. There were a few things that annoyed me, however.

I know that this trilogy is geared towards younger readers, and I'm fine with how it's a relatively easy read - but I don't like being treated like I'm stupid and have no memory. There are several points early in the book where Katniss reintroduces concepts that were clearly explained in the first book, as if we didn't know what was going on. It annoys me when serial television does it ("Last time, on..."), and it's worse when books do it. That's the main reason this doesn't get five stars - the story is great, but the writing feels just a tiny bit condescending.

Maybe this makes me a total snob, whining about too much accessibility. If anything, I should be celebrating yet another series that has triggered a spike in teens reading books that have interesting settings and characters. Maybe turning up the maturity dial would mess with it too much, and ruin some of its appeal. It's likely I don't relate to the characters as much as some readers, since I wasn't an angsty teen, nor did I grow up in a dystopian future.

Speaking of dystopian futures, I like that Collins dove more into the political system in this book. I'd like to know more about how Panem came to be organized, who decides who lives in which districts, where President Snow's powerbase is, that sort of thing. Perhaps Mockingjay will explore some of that.

So far it seems that if you start this trilogy, it's worth reading all of them, because the plots are directly connected. I imagine it could be published in a single binding with 3 (or 9) Parts, similar to the way there are 6 "books" in some printings of The Lord of the Rings. On to Mockingjay...

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Reading Progress

March 11, 2012 – Started Reading
March 11, 2012 – Shelved
March 11, 2012 –
page 120
30.69% "Picks up where the story left off. Some annoying "last time, on The Hunger Games" review for stupid people."
March 11, 2012 –
page 204
52.17% "I'm really interested as Katniss starts to discover the history of the Games."
March 12, 2012 –
page 238
March 13, 2012 –
page 267
68.29% "Time for the 75th Games!"
March 14, 2012 – Finished Reading
March 16, 2012 –
page 391
March 21, 2012 – Shelved as: dystopian
March 21, 2012 – Shelved as: sci-fi
March 21, 2012 – Shelved as: young-adult
March 21, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction

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