Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: Catching Fire

I hear that the movie of Catching Fire is better than The Hunger Games, but I think it's the other way around for the books.

Because it holds the intermediate place in the trilogy, Catching Fire is Act II of the story, and while the overall plot is satisfying enough in how it points toward Act III, it seems to have structural and pacing issues taken on its own. The main event is not telegraphed until halfway through the book, and the plot depends on Katniss being awfully dense at times to miss things that are blindingly obvious. I understand that she's distracted by a few things (and I also understand that the very title of the third volume gives away some significance to the Mockingjay, which she understandably doesn't know!), but keeping her in ignorance seems to serve suspense while detracting from her as a heroine.

Still, the point of this is to revisit the Games and point the way to the third book, and I have a feeling that the third book will be like the seventh book of Harry Potter, which would be OK if I trusted Collins to be as creative as Rowling in deviating from the expected script. Ultimately I want more of the Games, which have never really seemed game-like to me, but then again, you can only have so many fights to the death in a series. If the third book is like the first half of Catching Fire, I'll be slightly disappointed, but if it's like the second half, I'll be slightly ... what? ... appointed?

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