Monday, July 20, 2009

Because you're dying to know...

Catching Fire Suzanne Collins

So, remember when I said that when it came to The Hunger Games, I felt like the blogworld gave it a 12 on a scale of 1-10, and I was giving it "only" a 8?

Yeah, well, Catching Fire? That one goes up to 11. Or even 20.

Seriously, mind-blowingly awesome.

Katniss thinks now that the games are done, she can provide for her family and go back. But everything isn't what she thought it would be. Six months after the games, it's time for the victory tour, but before it begins, President Snow shows up in person to threaten her. It's at this point that she realizes two things:

1. Her actions at the end of the games had far wider implications than she thought. She may have started a rebellion in the districts.
2. Her life will never, ever be her own. If she wants to keep those she loved safe, she will be playing the Capitol's game. Forever.

And then everything gets a whole lot worse.

What struck me most about this is the lengths the Capitol will go to in order to maintain control on their districts. Yes, this is a land that in the last rebellion obliterated one of their districts and, in retaliation for the rebellion makes each district compete in the hunger games for the citizens of the Capitol's own amusement. But the horror they resort to in this book is just... astounding. Especially when it comes to sending not-so-subtle messages to Katniss. This book is tension and fear. This is still adventure, but the stakes are even bigger this time around, because the Capitol of Panem is a government that's desperate but doesn't want to appear like it. It's is a government with no conscience.

And then Collins completely sucker-punches us with the last sentence.

I liked The Hunger Games but Catching Fire just utterly blows me away. Look for it September 1st.

Full disclosure: I begged an ARC off our teen collection development librarian. She had to start a list to circulate it through staff members who wanted to read it.

7 comments:

Sean said...

All I needed to see was your rating numbers at the top of your review to solidify this book atop my must-read pile for the fall ... or sooner, should anyone decide that a wayward ARC is a worthy early gift for an extended family member's late August 18th birthday ;) 'M just sayin' ...

Jennie said...

Wayward ARC? There's a waiting list a mile long for that thing! I'm surprised it doesn't travel between branches in an armored truck! :)

abbysiuta said...

I assume the sucker punch means there will be a book 3? I hope so. Mine should be delivered on the 1st... Can't wait!

Jennie said...

Abby-- yep. IIRC, it's going to be a trilogy.

Sarah said...

I too felt the same way. The first was pretty good, but I didn't think it was as groundbreaking as so many other people thought. The second one, oh my. So amazing, yes?

C. B. James said...

I love that you all are sneaking an early read. It's great to see people enthusiastic about a book. Me. I gave the first one an 8 as well, and have stopped there. If my students start going for the new one this fall, I may give it a look.

Jennie said...

C.B.-- the cynical part of me knows that so much hype over a book (Harry Potter, Twilight, Catching Fire) is so often the work of good marketing and PR. But, when we keep hearing how kids aren't reading anymore... I really don't care.