Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2)
My rating: Dystopian
by Suzanne Collins
In this sequel to The Hunger Games, Katniss is back, and trying to handle the fallout of her and Peeta's unconventional victory. As they set out on their victory tour, even the President himself steps in to make it clear how important it is that they don't do anything to provoke the simmering rebellion in the Districts. For our heroine, this manifests itself in the need to appear, more than ever, in love with Peeta.
I really loved The Hunger Games, and wondered where the story could possibly go next, and whether it would be as interesting with Katniss as victor rather than contestant - but the Quarter Quell gives a perfect excuse to put her back in the arena. There's also no shortage of evidence of the Capitol's brutality in suppressing its enemies, contrasted against the bravery of those who would oppose the regime.
All in all, I thought this was a great follow-up, which kept up the breakneck pace as well as the sinister and dystopian aspects. The ending felt a tiny bit strange, as it launches (by way of a period of unconsciousness for Katniss) straight into the set-up for Mockingjay, which of course I now want to read straight away.