Ms. Collins has hit a solid home run with Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2)! It picks up a couple of months after the games have ended. Katniss has inadvertently become the symbol of rebellion against the tyrannical government of Panem. The safety of her family, the ones she loves and even herself hinges on her ability to quell the resisters back into submission.
This book maintains the intensity and thrill that was set by the previous book. The book moves at a much faster pace than The Hunger Games because there is no need for the back story to be laid. Collins does a fantastic job of reminding the readers of important, critical events, without distracting from the moving plot.
There were definite surprises and twists that I did not see coming, which makes reading books like this one absolutely delightful!
Some of the toughest challenges yet are faced in this book: love, conscience, survival, deranged monkeys and a flock of "candy pink" birds equipped with long beaks used to skewer human necks.
The brilliance of Catching Fire is the wonderfully sick idea of the games --Children fighting Children-- being broadcast live on TV for all of Panem to watch, and force into submmission.
Collins does a fantastic job of painting the horror and then letting your imagination take over. She understands that your imagination will paint what is scary to YOU better than she ever could. She supplies just the right amount of details and lets your mind do the rest.
While it sounds "scary" or "horrifying", it is actually in fact a brilliant piece of literature. It has a little bit of everything: solid writing, a compelling storyline, action, adventure, a little romance, and multiple layers of conflict. Reluctant readers like it because it moves along quickly, and seasoned pros appreciate how thoroughly Collins creates Katniss’s world and fills in the gaps about how it got that way in the first place.
Simply put: This book is Brilliant!