I find that it is often the case that where trilogies are concerned, the middle story in them serves as no more than a link between the first and last story, tying them both together. Only when the middle has a story all of its own to tell in addition to being that bridge can it shine.
Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games trilogy shines so very brightly and whilst not quite as shocking as The Hunger Games (few things are as shocking as children killing each for the pleasure of a sick government) and the impact it had, there is hardly anything between the two.
Victory in the Hunger Games is meant to bring a life of ease to the victors. A respite from the reaping and the constant battle to just survive from day to day. But when the victory is gained with a handful of berries and inadvertently rebelling against the established authority, it turns out to be a hollow victory. Just because there is no arena anymore, doesn’t make the fight for survival any less intense.
It can probably be gathered that I’m trying to write a review without spoiling anything and it’s hard to do.
Perhaps I should simply say that Catching Fire continues the amazing story of The Hunger Games and doesn’t let up on the shocks it delivers. This is no twee, saccharine filled story of triumph over adversity. It’s a story of a battle of survival against an enemy who has unlimited power and doesn’t hesitate to wield it. But it’s also a story that maybe, just maybe, despite all the odds stacked against you, you can certainly give as good as you get.
After you’ve bought, borrowed or begged for The Hunger Games, make sure this is next on your list. Oh and whilst you’re at it, get Mockingjay as well. Whilst Catching Fire doesn’t end on a cliff hanger as such, neither does it offer any sort of closure. After all, isn’t that part of what a second book in a trilogy is supposed to do?