The Dragon Whistler

The Dragon Whistler
Now available in paperback.


Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I'm not the only one. When I turn the last page of a totally amazing book (Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games for instance) and cement my fan-hood by immediately pining for THE SEQUEL, there are certain expectations that set in.

Sad to say, it is a rare instance that the follow ups hold a candle to the original. I must admit, I felt this way about Trenton Lee Stewart's continuation of The Mysterious Benedict Society. The first was just SO good that it was going to be a tough thing to blow me away again.

Not so with Catching Fire. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that this may be the best sequel I've ever read, any genre. Collins find a simply brilliant way to continue the story of Katniss, Gayle, and Peeta, and their involvement with the horrible Panem Capitol tradition of The Hunger Games. It's difficult to explain why it's so brilliant without giving away the storyline, and it's just too fun a read to deprive anyone of the glorious twists and turns of Book 2.

All I can say is if you're a fan of The Hunger Games, it's a must-read. If you haven't read The Hunger Games, maybe I can convince you to read both books with this review -- they go so far beyond their setting and genre to deliver a (often) disturbing message on the human condition. But they are also incredibly entertaining page-turners that will make you forgo your bedtime night after night.

Again, I would recommend this series for 14 and up, it's quite violent and while the love triangle element remains fairly innocent, there are situations that may be too adult for tweens.

The only negative is that Book 2 is a cliff-hanger that will leave you unable to believe you'll have to wait until August to find out what happens next. Consider yourself warned.

5 bookmarks. Yeowza.


Carla said...

I cannot put into words how amazing Catching Fire was. I read it in two sittings. I couldn't put it down. And like you say, the second book was triumphant and far surpassed its originator (and that's saying a lot because The Hunger Games was pretty spectacular in itself).

I do agree that it's a little violent for a younger audience, but I do believe it delivers a strong message on human politics. Very reminiscent of 1984, Brave New World and Lord of the Flies, in some ways.

The wait until August is going to be a painful one, I can tell you that.

jon m. said...

That's a relief! I read the sequels to The Mysterious Benedict Society, and unfortunately, they got worse and worse. And when I read The Hunger Games, I was hoping the sequel would be good, and maybe better. Thanks for posting! I can't wait to read the sequel now!

Eric said...

The Hunger games and Catching Fire are such intense books! I love how something always seems to be happening, and Suzanne Collins just has a way of always surprising the reader. I am so excited for August 24th 2010 when the third and final book of the trilogy comes out :)!

-Eric From

Brandon said...

Cool! Just found your blog. And I love the title.

Kimberly J. Smith said...

Thanks everyone for the great comments and for visiting!