The Hunger Games #2
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.
Catching Fire pushes the series forward with an even stronger story-line and even deeper subject matter. "What happens after you've done something that's never been done before?" "Is it possible to just carry on with your life?" "Can you even move on after everything you feel; after everything you now know?" Katniss and Peeta have returned to District 12, and on the surface life may seem back to normal but Katniss quickly realizes that the Capitol is not happy with her "little stunt" in the arena. President Snow makes it abundantly clear that if Katniss cares for her friends and family she'll convince the public that her grand stand in the arena was not a flaunt against the Capitol, and he reiterates that any un-rest that occurs during their winners tour will be taken out on her and the people that she loves.
The plot is lightning fast. Everything starts quickly and doesn't stop... even when the last page is read. Show me a person who can finish the book, and not want to rush out and buy, Mockingjay, the final book in the series, and I'll show you a liar. Even though there are developments around every corner the story doesn't feel bloated or overloaded with subplots. In fact, it only helps the reader feel as though they can honestly understand what Katniss is going through. You begin to feel the weight on her shoulders. There are some parts of the plot that repeat earlier events, but there are new characters, new enemies, and new motivations this time that keep this installment fresh and dare I say, better than its predecessor.
Bottom Line: It's hard to be brave. It's the hardest thing a human can do. It's so much easier to merely be a part of the crowd, to lose yourself amongst the majority and just go with the flow. Catching Fire forces the reader to imagine what could happen if you defy all that.