Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
As most are aware, I loved the first novel, The Hunger Games, so I was very excited to finally get around to reading the sequel, Catching Fire. It definitely didn't disappoint! It was so entertaining, that I finished it in one day! I literally could not put it down.
Katniss was, once again, a strong main character. I liked getting to see the changes in her life after the Games, and getting to see more of the townspeople.
There was a lot of tension in this novel, especially in the beginning with President Snow. It worked well, at some points I was holding my breath, unsure of what was going to happen.
I was glad to see more of the secondary characters that were great in the first novel: Peeta (of course), Haymitch, Cinna (I still adore him, probably more than I did in the first. He's amazing), Effie, etc. And the addition of new characters, like Finnick, was great.
The plot was a little shaky, up until near the end, when a huge twist is thrown in. I don't really want to give it away for those who haven't read the novel, but it's great. Right at that moment, the novel picked up, and I read it possibly faster than I had been reading it before.
Now, I'm also not a fan of the love triangle. I adore Peeta. I think he's great. (I do love how both Haymitch and Katniss know she doesn't deserve him; that was a great moment in the novel). The whole love angle with Gale just seems forced. I think the novel would be far stronger if Gale just remained a friend. We haven't gotten enough of their relationship together to feel like they would be a great couple. But, we get some great moments with Peeta and Katniss, like when he sleeps with her to keep the nightmares away. That is so well written, and it works better than any moment between Gale and Katniss. I just think that with all the other love triangles in young adult books, this one didn't need it. That's one premise of the novels that just don't sit well with me.
The action in this one was good, too. Especially when they were watching the video of the year Haymitch was in the Games. That was great. We get an ax in the head, an empty eye-socket...it's wonderfully gruesome.
So, all in all, the sequel was good. I wouldn't say it's as good as the first, but it's entertaining, and definitely a great read. I cannot wait to read Mockingjay, especially with the way Catching Fire ended. (Cliffhanger alert, guys.)
Overall rating: 9/10