After inexplicably reading all 4 books in the Twilight “Saga” (inverted commas have to be used there, because, really, who on earth is Meyer kidding?), I was in no mood to get myself acquainted with another YA series of books. But more than a few friends went bonkers about the first book and the movie and kept on telling me I should read it. So eventually I was like “Oh my God, ALRIGHT” and I read the first book. And I bloody loved it. So much so that I bought the other two books that make up the trilogy and was excited to have uninterrupted days to read them in.
Well. I honestly wonder if they were conceived as a trilogy at all. Part of me wonders if the first novel had a success far beyond anyone involved could have ever expected and the trilogy was born out of that. Catching Fire picks up not too long after book one left off, with Katniss and Peeta about to embark on the Victory Tour. Katniss’s unorthodox win has caused President Snow a bit of consternation, there’s whispers of uprisings against the Capitol. He needs Katniss to put things right, or there will be grave consequences.
Those consequences turn out to be, through a never before mentioned caveat of the Games, that Katniss has to return to the arena for a second go round of Hunger Games. Which would be fine if a) they weren’t just an uninteresting retread of the games in the original novel and b) they arrived sooner. It’s over halfway through before we get back to the Games. The lead up is not that interesting either. Some points are repeated so often it made my teeth itch (by the eleventy fifth time she mentions her dead father, I was ready to yell “oh really, is your father dead? How did he die, Katniss? WHY DON’T YOU TELL US?”)
To add insult to injury, having spent SO long getting us there, waylaying the journey with tiresome love triangles and whatnot, Collins then pulls the rug, crams a shedload of exposition into the last five pages (none of which makes a lick of sense) before a cliffhanger we could all see coming sets us up for the final instalment. I really was crushingly disappointed by how lame this book was.