964 of 1,048 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2009
If you thought the Capitol couldn't get any more twisted... you were wrong.
The highly-anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games is the kind of novel that has you pulling back to take a breath and go, "How did the author think of this?" (if you can stop turning the pages long enough to breathe)
Catching Fire picks up right where Hunger Games left off. Unrest in the Districts is growing at an alarming pace and Katniss unwittingly finds herself the figurehead for the movement against the Capitol. The characters you loved return for the sequel and the reader must endure each indignity the Capitol inflicts upon them. It is painful, tortuous, imaginative and motivating. It is everything The Hunger Games was and more. It both answers your lingering questions and creates so many new ones. It challenges you to think and creates such feelings of empathy for the characters that whenever I had to put the book down, I was genuinely worried for leaving the characters hanging and couldn't wait to pick it back up just so they could continue fighting for their lives and freedoms.
Everything I loved about The Hunger Games is present in Catching Fire: the unique and engrossing storyline; characters so thoroughly and beautifully described they start to feel like friends; a fantastical setting that is both real and sad; and language that is easy to read and yet conveys such a profound meaning. It has action, romance, horror, hope, despair and, most of all, humanity. It has sci-fi and politics yet, unlike a lot of books on the market, they are not "in your face" and are completely approachable.
Due to elements of violence and some light romantic scenes, I would recommend it for 13+. That being said, I would recommend it for ANYONE 13+ of any reading taste or background: as a bookseller and a recent library school graduate, these are the books I find easiest to recommend to anyone I meet.
I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the third and final book to come out. After reading Catching Fire, I know you will be too.
445 of 522 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2009
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
When I read the Hunger Games, I read it straight through the night, from 1AM til 5AM. Couldn't stop reading even though I had to pee badly. After I finished it, I was dying for the sequel. DYING!!!! When I found out the ARC would be available in the spring, I bribed everyone I could think of to get me one. And yes, I got it. The day I got it, I couldn't look at it until 1AM again. This time, I promised myself, I would only look at the first chapter and then put it down. Riiiiight. It was 4:30AM when I finished reading and immediately began plotting to find out when the next book ARC would be available.
I thought the first one was fantastic. In the back of my mind I felt that the sequel just couldn't be as good. How could it? Boy was I wrong! It was even better! My heart was racing the whole time I was reading it and I simply couldn't put it down. I believe Ms. Collins is the MASTER of the pageturner. Every chapter ends with almost a cliffhanger feeling. It compels you to keep reading. It physically traps you into the book so that you just can't put it down. If you can't read this book in one sitting, then I urge you not to even look at it until you can. Like the first one, you will not be able to put it down. The house could have been on fire and I doubt I would have noticed.
Since we got to know Peeta and Katniss so well from the first one, what the sequel does is invest us even more deeply into their emotional well being. I won't give any other spoilers than what has already been said. So the book starts with Katniss as the face of the rebellion because of her act of defiance in the first book. As rebellion grows, the President sets up his revenge - and when I found out what it was, I literally sat up in bed and shouted "Oh NO! I can't believe they are doing this to them!!!" Yes I was talking to my book. That's how deeply this book sucks you into this amazing and disturbing dystopian world. It makes you want to grab up a weapon and join the rebellion.
One thing I have to say, I was deeply satisfied with the ending of this book. The first book ended in such a way that I was bothered by it and itchy for the next book. With the end of Catching Fire, I felt it was absolutely right and thrilled with the conclusion. But I'm still DYING for the third and final book of this amazing book series.
682 of 824 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
. . . is that darn book in the middle! You know how it goes - the first book is dynamite, because it's all new and there's so much to discover. The last book is explosive too, since we find out what happens "in the end." But the book in the middle . . . well, it's sort of like treading water. It's a place holder, filler maybe, a way to stall the reader until the good stuff can start.
Hunger Games was exiting and compelling; we found out about Katniss's world slowly, which drew us into it completely. My guess is, the final book will be equally engaging - after all, we'll learn all about District 13, we'll find out which of her two suitors Katniss will finally choose, and we'll get a glimpse of what lies in store for the Capitol and its totalitarian government. But Catching Fire is a disappointment. Nothing much happens. The plot can be summed up very succinctly - unrest grows slowly in the aftermath of Katniss and Peeta's Hunger Games victory. That's it. Katniss can't make her mind up about Peeta and Gale, she can't make her mind up about whether or not to rebel, and she can't make her mind up about who to really trust. In the end, not only is there no resolution, but little progress has been made toward one.
The biggest problem with Catching Fire is its pacing. The first third of the novel is really told in summary - Katniss explains what happened when she and Peeta came home, what happened on their tour of the Districts, what happened when she talked to Gale, etc. By telling it all in long paragraphs of summary, Collins removes the reader from the immediacy of the action - and it's both disappointing and disengaging. I wanted to experience Katniss's first meeting with Gale after she returned from the Games. I wanted be part of her trying to get her life together after her horrific experiences. But that's not the way this story is told. [***SPOILERS AHEAD***] Then, about midway through the novel, things start to feel very much like Hunger Games revisited. From the moment it's announced that Katniss will be thrown back into the arena it all starts to feel very much like a re-run. What was exciting and new in the first book, is expected and redundant in the second book. It's not that the final section isn't exciting - it is. There's plenty of action in the last chapters of the novel. But it just wasn't as gripping. I found myself reading to get to the end, rather than to find out what was going to happen. [***END SPOILERS***]
As with most "middle books," Catching Fire was written to set up the final part of its trilogy. There will be a rebellion. And there will be a love triangle. The sparks of the rebellion are there, although the reader is kept away from the actual embers. Collins put more time into Katniss's confusion over which boyfriend to pick - I found myself wishing for something, anything to happen to make that rather silly conflict moot. Katniss, as written by Collins, seems very, very young. It's hard to imagine her actually "torn between two lovers." Additionally, Gale plays such a peripheral role in this novel that it's hard to really know him. Peeta is present in almost every chapter - the sweet, loving, doting boyfriend who will be eternally true to Katniss. Gale, however, appears in only a few brief scenes, and never says more than a few words. Book 3 may give us a better picture of what these two young men really meant to Katniss; Catching Fire does not.
Actually, I think the title accurately reflects what this novel is all about - things in Katniss's world begin to catch fire. They don't actually CATCH fire - it just begins; it's "catching," so to speak. The conflict was set up in Hunger Games. The actual conflagration will play out in the third and final installment. Here, in Catching Fire, we just see the striking of the match. It's not a bad read, and fans of the first novel will enjoy this one. I just found myself wishing for more - more of an understanding of Katniss, Gale, and Peeta; more of an understanding of the totalitarian government they live under; and more of a connection to a story that won me over brilliantly in Hunger Games. This time, I felt a little lost.
98 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
Where the Hunger Games was a dystopian, nail-biter replete with a good balance of wish-fulfillment, action, romance, and drama that even the Greeks would be proud of, Catching Fire rests on Hunger Games' laurels and takes a huge bite of soap to fill in the gaps.
There are chapters and chapters of Katniss tearing her hair out, asking herself the same questions over and over, flip-flopping between love interests, dressing up, all the while lamely disinterested and loathful of everything in the process. It wears thin, and after a while the anguish is infectious in the worst possible way. After pages and pages of question marks, we finally get to the action and what Katniss does best: surviving... and it's short, thin on descriptions, and, at this point, lugging around the love triangle like a dead weight.
It's almost as if towards the ending of the first book, the editors ordered up two more books so long as author Suzanne Collins inserts more Twilight into the sequels -- you know, to take a piece of that prized demographic -- and she complied, and complied, and then Katniss wanted to scream and wondered if she will ever see a question mark again?
I would be completely disappointed if it weren't for the great concept, scenes, and characters that keep me reading. Although, the strength and hunger in Katniss' character in the first book is drowned in woeful, overtheatrical nonsense in this one. Apparently those hits she took in the arena aren't enough to knock some sense in her. She is so teetering on the edge of neuroses all the time, cowering in fear and doubt, I can't help but spend my time wondering whether this mockingjay will ever fly again.
33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2009
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? ) So many of the reviews posted give SO much of the story away and I'm glad I didn't read any of them before I started the book... Mine doesn't at all, so you are safe here. :-)
In the second book of the Hunger Games triology, Collins has solidified her world and her vision. We get to know more about the characters, and a bit more about the history of Panem. Foundationally, the story sort of all came together.
I'm still blown away by the harshness in these books. Perhaps being the mother of a teen makes me a tinge sensitive to the subject matter, but somehow it doesn't detract from the story.
This book was exciting from the start, and darned near impossible to put down. I worried that there would be "more of the same" in terms of what went on in the book, but Collins's creative juices were in high gear, and there was plenty to keep the story fresh.
I found this better than book one, but that may just be because I was getting used the concept in book one. I can't wait for book three ...
Highly entertaining and not to be missed! (But for sure read The Hunger Games first)
28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? ) Hands down, the most memorable book I've read within the past few years is Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. CATCHING FIRE is the sequel, and it right away plonks you into all the things that made THE HUNGER GAMES such a terrific, terrific read. Suzanne Collins' meticulous world-building introduced us to a post-apocalyptic future in which North America has ceased to exist. Its remnants came to be called Panem, a nation comprising of twelve districts governed with an iron fist by the Capitol city. The Hunger Games is an annually held event which pits lottery-selected children (called "tributes") drawn from each district and compelled to kill each other until only one is left standing. The Hunger Games, established to commemorate the Capitol's ruthless stamping down of an uprising many years ago, is broadcast to all twelve districts with their residents forced to watch as their youths are slaughtered one by one. It's intended as punishment and as a lesson.
*** Serious SPOILERS from here on out ***
Against all odds, young Katniss Everdeen from impoverished District 12 has survived the harrowing Hunger Games and, along the way, won the hearts of the twelve Districts. As reigning champion Katniss's lot in life has improved drastically, and she no longer has to forage and illegally hunt in the woods to feed herself and her mother and little sister Prim. Months have elapsed since the Hunger Games, but Katniss, now seventeen, finds herself still having to be on guard. The Capitol, it seems, hasn't forgotten her tiny acts of rebellion. One strategy Katniss had employed was to pretend to a romance with fellow tribute Peeta, a baker's son also from District 12. This got the audience on their side and was instrumental in Katniss and Peeta's both making it thru the Hunger Games.
But, even months later, with the Capitol's eyes ever on her, Katniss and Peeta must continue to act mutually smitten - and, horrifyingly for Katniss, they may have to maintain the act for the rest of their lives. Except, for Peeta, it was never an act. I have to say, by the way, that I was pretty indifferent to Peeta in THE HUNGER GAMES, but that I warmed up to him in CATCHING FIRE. He is, after all, a pretty likeable dude, even if he's so noble it's almost unbelievable. And, for Katniss, there's the added dilemma of her childhood friend Gale barely talking to her ever since she returned home. Romantic triangle? Without a doubt. Katniss and Peeta eventually embark on the traditional Victory Tour of the Districts, and, in Katniss and Peeta's travels, you can sense the story arc Collins is building up to, the tiny cracks in the Capitol's ironclad rule. Particularly poignant and dangerous is District 11's reaction to Katniss's appearance.
In reading THE HUNGER GAMES I was very curious about Katniss's home, so it's gratifying that Collins spends some time exploring it. Things get really desperate for the destitute mining community of District 12 as the Capitol even more relentlessly exerts its influence over the districts, and again this perhaps ties into what Katniss may have unwittingly sparked in her time in the Hunger Games. I was wondering where Suzanne Collins was going to go with the sequel, although I figured it would have to involve her branching out into the bigger picture. Katniss's defiance during the Games very much did not go unnoticed and, in fact, may have fostered seeds of unrest within the oppressed people of Panem. Beneath the skin of the districts, something angry is simmering.
The Victory Tour marches along, and then it's time again for the annual Hunger Games. Except that the upcoming Hunger Games marks its 75th year, and that's all kinds of ominous. The Quarter Quell is nigh, taking place every 25 years and notorious for introducing vicious twists into the Games' rules. This time, the Capitol arrives at sort of an all-star version of the Hunger Games, bringing back all the previous survivors to compete. For the alarmed and very frightened Katniss, it's time to go back to the arena.
THE HUNGER GAMES is one of the best, most moving novels I've ever read and, in her writing the rest of the trilogy, my thought was that Suzanne Collins would've had to make a deal with the devil to match the emotional richness and impact and sheer readability of that novel. And CATCHING FIRE comes close. It's not quite as up there in packing that strong emotional punch, but Collins weaves in enough indelible moments to make this a very worthwhile sequel. Katniss continues to be an awesome character, vulnerable and sad but very capable and an absolute deadeye with the bow and arrow.
One minor quibble with her return to the Games and partnering up with other tributes is that less attention seems to be focused on Katniss (although it's Katniss telling the story in first person narrative). Also, these other tributes aren't as memorable or as wistful as the little girl Rue, the appealing District 11 tribute from the first book. I still marvel at just how moving that passage was when Katniss said her final goodbye to Rue with flowers and then saluted her with a traditional gesture from home. Katniss wasn't thinking of it, but that act smacked of being fairly subversive. No wonder the Capitol grew concerned.
As CATCHING FIRE expands its storyline, I think we're all waiting for Katniss to take on a more involved role in the coming rebellion. Although, for now, it's perhaps understandable that she's more concerned about what's going on around her on a personal scale. But, hopefully, she sheds her passiveness. As it is, she's treated more as a figurehead for the revolt. If the ending is any indication, Katniss Everdeen is about to get really involved. And the third books also looks to have Gale more in the center of things.
In terms of sheer adventure and thrills, Suzanne Collins really knows how to step it up, especially once Katniss re-enters the arena. The author comes up with some really messed up perils for the tributes, plus there's the added nuance of the contestants all being past champions. This time, Katniss isn't contending with inexperienced children.
I do have a problem with the way the book ends. There were signposts along the way, so it's not like it came out of left field, but still I feel that the plot switcheroo comes along too abruptly and feels rushed, and so there's a jarring whiplash effect.
But, above all, CATCHING FIRE is splendid stuff and a riveting read. Tautly paced, with Collins making you feel that things are about to explode on a larger scale, even as Katniss tries her best to fend for her own little corner. There are moments which are poignant and uplifting, but then these are followed promptly by moments of horror and heartbreak and sudden chilling violence, and these turnarounds leave you sort of twisting in the wind. There's no denying, though, that one quietly powerful moment when, Katniss, who had been thinking hard of taking her family and friends and skedaddling, decides to stay and tough it out. I felt like cheering when she declares: "I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay right here and cause all kinds of trouble." That's the girl on fire.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
It's been about two and a half days since I picked up The Hunger Games and became completely consumed with these books. In that span, I have rabidly read both the first and the second novels and, were it possible to do so, I would already be starting on the third. I'm glad that I came into the series a bit late as I only have to wait until August to find out how the story concludes.
Catching Fire is something of a bridge and, as such, contains perhaps a bit less spark (pun intended) than the first. In all fairness, I'd rate it at 4.5 stars as I enjoyed it nearly as much as the first book, but just not quite. I have no desire to give the book away, so I'll speak in what are hopefully broad terms here when I say that I thought the biggest problem with this book is that the Capitol just gets too sadistic. Now, that's not to say that they weren't sadistic in the first, just that their extreme reaction to Katniss and Peeta's subversive victory seems designed to promote their own downfall. When insurrection is a-brewing, it's perhaps not the best time to be bringing out all of your heavy weapons. This made me lose faith in the books just a bit because it seems as though President Snow and, by extension, the Capitol are suffering a bit from stupid villainitis, which is an illness that I find particularly vexing. But maybe that's Collins's intent. At any rate, it did create some ripples in my suspension of disbelief.
However, what I do really like about this novel is that it is more reflective than the first. While the first certainly makes you think, it also had something of a lurid quality. I'm not necessarily knocking it as I think that the basic premise called for at least some degree of luridness. In fact, this in and of itself is enough to make the reader pause and think about the incomprehensible nature of brutal regimes like that of the Capitol.
But I digress a bit. While I was very, very impressed by the first novel, I did find that the violence and savagery of the games got to me after a bit. It made sense to me that the tributes would more or less break down into a very basic kill or be killed mentality, but it didn't give the reader a very big picture of the world of Panem in and of itself. This book, on the contrary, does so. There are particular passages in the book that I found very striking, such as Katniss's reaction to a stylish Capitol liqueur, her encounter with some refugees from another district, and her growing awareness that her own district perhaps enjoyed something of a lack of the sheer brutality experienced by the people in other districts. There are hints of all of these things in the first novel, but I found them to be much more fleshed out here. By contrasting the terrible things that are happening in the districts with the attitudes of the people who live in the Capitol, I felt Collins actually did a better job of showing how indifference and ignorance can be almost more offensive than outright brutality. After all, isn't this a reflection of our own world? When we're so caught up in what's happening in our own house, it's easy to ignore the atrocities right outside of our door. This book makes Panem more of a character, which I think is to the series's benefit.
As for the love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta, I'm actually pretty convinced by it. It's important to remember that Katniss has some very, very good reasons for insisting on not falling in love. As I read, I often found myself wondering why other people don't think more like her and do their best to avoid bringing children into such a horrifying world. However, as Katniss shows, sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants. But what is it that her heart wants? I can pretty easily see how someone of Katniss's mentality, someone who has been through so much trauma it's a wonder she can get out of bed in the morning might have some trouble disentangling her emotions. That Gale is her friend cannot be questioned. But what, exactly, is the nature of her love for him? That Peeta has been her savior is equally unquestionable. But does she care for him so deeply because the intense trauma that they survived has engendered a sense of debt in her, or does she love him because he is so clearly a kind and noble person? These aren't easy questions to answer, and it doesn't surprise me that Katniss seems entirely incapable of answering them at this point in the series.
In the meantime, I'll need to try to find something to keep myself occupied until I can finally read the conclusion to this compelling, disturbing, and deeply layered tale. Collins has crafted a really impressive work of literature and it is one I will definitely be recommending to friends.
47 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I won't rehash all the comments made by those who didn't much care for this book--to do so would be repetitive--other than to say I agree with everything already pointed out in previous reviews. The author spends nearly ALL her time telling rather than showing, summarizing rather than actually moving forward with a plot--and then recycles what is, in essence, the same plot. Been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt.
I never bought that Katniss was 16 to begin with--she reads much more like a 13, 14 yo girl--and her narration this time around begins to degenerate into the petulant and whiny. While I thought HG was a terrific idea, there were big portions of that which were unnecessary and simply filler. OTOH, the writing was better and pulled you through. (Although, honestly, Katniss being SO oblivious about poor Peeta--what does he see in that girl--was just annoying.) Furthermore, you knew then--as you know now--that the only time Katniss would kill anyone would be in self-defense or revenge. She wouldn't be a heroine anyone would want to identify with if she actually were as devious and bad as her opponents.
The cliffhanger ending was very good--but, really--I slogged through this whole book just for that? Not worth it. This read was drudgery, through and through--and Katniss as the leader of a rebellion won't stand up if the author can't figure out how to make her someone we'd want to follow into battle. As of right now? Ain't happening.
37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
(This review contains a few spoilers - so beware)
After "The Hunger Games", I expected the book to pick up exactly where it left off. I wanted to see Katniss come home, I wanted to see her mother and sister's reactions. What had it been like for them, watching all those horrible things happen to her? And Gale? No. We get a summary flashback...and that sets the tone for the entire book. Collins can't rehash her first book, word for word - because that would be bad, right? So we get a summary of the preparations for the Quarter Quell, summaries of this, flashbacks of that, it's terrible.
My hopes lifted when Katniss found those two refugees in the woods that were searching for District 13. Yes! I thought, Katniss is going to go with them! They're going on an adventure to find District 13. What happened to those people? What have they evolved into? How did they survive? Her and Peeta and Gale will organize an uprising, will find a way to communicate with all the other districts....alas, this is the awesome book I envisioned. I thought "She wouldn't have the characters go back into the arena, that's just too predictable." That's exactly what happened.
It could have been so much better. If she had not done the games and focused instead on secret meetings, on trying to get district 12 organized to join a rebellion, on finding district 13, it would have been a great book. It's like she was overwhelmed with the idea of doing all that, so she had it happen in a way that we don't see it and she doesn't have to write it. The arena just seems gimmicky, there's a lot of pointless violence because we don't really care about any of them, not the way we cared about Rue in the first book.
Also, Katniss is incredibly unlikable. She's selfish and whiny (which others have described better than me) and just makes you want her to shut up already. She loves Gale...or does she? She doesn't love Peeta...or does she? We never see Gale, poor guy is nothing but a minor B plot character and yet we're supposed to believe this is a tortured love triangle.
Enough said. If the third book is more of the same, I'll definately feel like I wasted 20 bucks.
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2010
Let me first start on the supposedly love triangle in this book. In the first book, we only have a few pages of Katniss talking to her best friend Gale (few meaning, maybe around 5 pages or so). We then completely forget about Gale in the first book and we get a lot of Peeta instead. Now in the second book, Katniss is suddenly saying she wants Gale, and doesn't want anyone else to have him, and how could she be so blind and never see it before? Blahblahblah, we still see Gale only in flashbacks (yes .. flashbacks), and on another few pages. The rest is still Peeta.
Now I'm supposed to be rooting for Katniss and Gale? What kind of love triangle is this? Not only do I loathe love triangles, this one is just pathetically written. We barely see Gale, yet we're supposed to believe Katniss really cares for him. Then we're supposed to believe that Peeta loves Katniss, even though she's a selfish, whiny girl who would kill him if it ever suited her.
Katniss became very whiny and selfish in this book. She lost her spunk from the first book, the one where she didn't care she was being honest to herself and kill anyone she'd like. Now she's telling herself that she needs to save her family! Because otherwise they'd be killed, because of her! She muses about Gale and the complications of a relationship with him. Then she talks about running away, like a big fat coward. Then she needs to make sure Peeta stays alive, not because she likes/loves him, but because she owes him big time. Ugh, this whiny selfish girl was really annoying to read about the entire time. Where did Katniss go from the first book?
Then there's the Quarter Quell (or something), just another Hunger Games in disguise. Katniss and Peeta are thrown into the Quarter Quell because the author has lost any ideas for the plot, and guesses, hey the first book did so well, let's throw them back in there! It was horrible. It wasn't exciting like the first book. The first book made you very aware of Katniss's weaknesses, and that she needed water and food constantly, and be on the look out of other tributes. This quarter quell is about nothing but gaining allies (that she didn't want anyway), she gets weapons first before water, and water and food are easily thrown in her lap because of the sponsors. The only threat they really have, is the actual Gamemakers trying to kill them with monsters/lightning etc. The quarter quell also happens in the third part of the book, so it's written as if the author was in a rush, and it really feels sloppy.
Now ... those were the annoying parts of the book. Which brought it down to a 3 star rating. The pathetic love triangle, the whiny main character, and the sloppy written Quarter Quell.
The best part of the book is easily Peeta, he makes reading this whole thing worth it. He's the most sympathetic and honest character in the whole book. You can't help but root for him, but you have to wonder what a great guy like him, sees something in the whiny and selfish girl Katniss. He still loves her, and would give his life for her ... for some reason. Even so, Peeta is the light and heart of this story. Without him, all we'd be reading about are unsympathetic characters who are trying to overthrow the capitol. Like Katniss says, he's good with words, and he is. Reading about Peeta definitely makes everything feel lighthearted and safe, because Peeta protects everyone and is the big, lovable guy in the bunch.
Then there's the rebels trying to overthrow the capitol. It starts very ... very slowly in the beginning. If you weed out the whining of the main character, you can see that the districts are trying to stand up against the capitol, but because they are all separated, none of the districts know about the others trying to rebel. There's a lot of corrupt politicians involved, and people working undercover. Katniss's symbol, the Mockingjay, has now become the rebel's symbol. For some reason, Katniss has become the starting point of the rebels, and she is now the anchor to the overthrow. I don't know why, as Katniss really is nothing special, I'd figured Peeta would be the one who wins people to his side, not Katniss.
Either way, Catching Fire is just a bridge book between the first and last. I really want to know what happens next, as I expect the capitol to go down, a few characters get killed, and I'm hoping to god that the author decides to throw away the silly love triangle, and just decide on Katniss's partner already (or none, as that would suit her more). Catching Fire is just something to read for fans of the first book, so that they can wait until the third one comes out.
Had Catching Fire ever stood alone as a single book, I would have undoubtedly given this a 1, as this feels so incomplete, rushed, and filled with characters who are such backstabbing bastards and really don't invoke any sympathy in me. However, I give it a 3 star rating because it continues to the story of the first book, and Peeta is still in there to save the story. Let's just hope he'll be int he third book as well.