Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, is a great follow-up that carries the momentum of the series well. Like its predecessor, it's action-packed but this time it features more District 12, more Gale, and more insidious politics.
It was refreshing to see Katniss in her hometown and to be able to see how being a Victor has or hasn't changed her. The moment of defiance in the Games has planted a seed---not only throughout the districts but in Katniss herself.
The only grievance that I really had with Catching Fire was the Quarter Quell, or as I see it, the rehashing of the events in Hunger Games. I realize that the Quarter Quell was unique in that it had a secret goal (SPOILERS: The Capitol wants to kill Katniss), but I kept thinking up until the Quarter Quell started that Collins was going to be really sneaky and whisk Katniss and Peeta away and the plot would change direction.
But it didn't.
However, that being said, I loved the tributes in the Quarter Quell so much. More of them were fleshed-out characters than the last one and this made the Quell much more interesting. I did like the plot twist at the very, very end. In fact, I would say that the introduction of new characters and the plot twist saved me from being too terribly annoyed with the rehashing of the Games.
My one other complaint was that the romance started to feel a bit more contrived in the last book. I started to feel less and less that the love triangle wasn't just a sensationalist attempt on the part of Collins.
The middle of any trilogy has a responsibility to keep alive the interest from the first installment and carry it forth so that the reader is interested in the finale. Usually, the middle of a trilogy is usually darker, so as to up the stakest In these aspects, Catching Fire succeeded. At least, for me. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this and I'm excited to read Mockingjay.
The Hunger Games review