Book: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: 2009 (Scholastic)
I read this entire book in one non-moving Sunday when I woke up at 7am without any provocation. To compress the frustration I feel at my body for adjusting to an early-bird work schedule, I made it sit still and plow through this second book in the series.
As far as punishment being something unpleasant, this failed miserably.
It's a great ratcheting up of the tension that was sometimes lacking in the first. It's a good, paced-out reveal of the governmental underpinnings and the revolutionary unease that I wanted to see more of in the first. It's an awesome rebuilding of the Games--remember my complaint from last time that the first described Games arena could've been in my old back yard? Yeah, well, they fixed that. With water. And specifically sectioned torments. And really effective use of--how much can I reveal without giving the whole shebang away? I sort of assume that everyone's read this before me, because that's generally just how these things work in my reading habits of waiting until entire series is out/at the library/in really cheap paperback.
Mild spoilers ahoy, okay?
Anyway, the arena is amped UP to Death by Tropical Island and they manage to punish Katniss for her rebellion by pulling some convoluted strings in the next Games to get her in them and of course Peeta jumps in there with her, somewhat unnecessarily, but whatever, they work well together in a survivalist way.
They are still each a little bland for me to care about his declarations of love and her confusion, but like I said about the first one, at least when Katniss's thoughts go around and around, it's about survival and not manufactured torment over something that won't matter in a week. IN A WEEK SHE COULD BE DEAD.
My absolute favorite scene is when President Snow comes to visit Katniss at her winner's house and he pretends it's to congratulate her but it's really to intimidate her and she notices he smells like blood and roses. That is her first whiff of a rebellion that's raging out of control and that he holds her responsible for and oh shit, she's going to have to nut up or shut up in a huge, world-changing way.
...And then the rebellion kind of puts her up as a martyr without asking first, and it's sort of awkward and terrifying to her to see mockingjays flashed all over the place out of her control, and neither one of us (her as a character or me as a reader) ever gets even a quarter picture of the rebellion, which is annoying but I think will be address in Book 3 after the return of Gail and his announcement at the end of this Book 2.