By far my favorite book of the series.
The ending of “The Hunger Games” left it clear that surviving the Games wasn’t the end of the road for Katniss, that now the Capitol’s feathers were ruffled and they had a rebellion to quell before it started. “Catching Fire” devotes the first half to Katniss trying (very unsuccessfully, of course) to cool down the rebellious spirits of the districts after Snow threatened her and her family. Since the book is called “Catching Fire” and not “Cooling Down”, you can pretty much know what happens next… except that, before that “next” thing happens – that’s for the final installment, “Mockingjay” – there’s a second Hunger Games Katniss has to attend to, for failing to cool down anything.
Once it got to that part, this book reminded me a lot, in a good way, of “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire”. In that book, a tournament of champions was set up, one in which Harry had no business to be in, and one which by the end will trigger the war between the wizards and the Death Eaters. Here it’s basically the same, with a Hunger Games that now feature past champions from every district, and one in which by the end will trigger the war between the districts and the Capitol. The set up of the Games themselves is more interesting than in the first book, and Katniss being forced into alliances with victors from other districts adds another interesting twist (since, of course, by the end there can be only one).
This is probably the easiest book in the trilogy to adapt to a movie, and am looking forward to how they do it.