SPOILER ALERT: This is the second book in the Hunger Games series. If you have not read it, or haven’t finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, DO NOT read this post!

I have been wanting to read Catching Fire ever since I finished The Hunger Games in August. I resisted mainly because of my huge TBR pile. However, with the holidays, I got a chance to read it. Here is the synopsis of Catching Fire (and I must say, it does a good job of meeting this hype):

After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future. But Katniss starts to hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol. A rebellion that she and Peeta have helped to create. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless Katniss and Peeta can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying…

I flew through the book in three days! I would say that Catching Fire isn’t quite as compelling as The Hunger Games, but that is often the case with series; the second book has to deal with all the cliffhangers and strings the first book left hanging. But Catching Fire was certainly a good transitional book, and even though it can’t stand alone without The Hunger Games, it sets things up well for the third book.

I really enjoyed the story, and the directions that were taken in regards to the Capitol’s choices and the District’s reactions. I enjoyed the symbolism that the mockingjay took on and what it came to represent. I liked the twist at the end with District 13, the Gamemakers, and Haymitch.

I’m very glad that we have to wait at least a year for the next book because then the author, Suzanne Collins, and her editor(s) have time to work on it. I think that Stephanie Meyer lost that memo with Breaking Dawn, the final installment of the Twilight series. Although J.K. Rowling took a lot of time between the Harry Potter books and didn’t lose much hype. It certainly appears to be a delicate balance, especially if the series is optioned for a movie … which I don’t doubt it will be.

UPDATE (August 2010): Read my review for Mockingjay (book 3)