If you had any doubts that Suzanne Collins could up the ante after her powerful best selling book The Hunger Games, you can rest easy.
The second book in the series, Catching Fire, more than lives up to the breathtaking story line the author first introduced to fans with the first book.
After triumphing in the game in book one, victory is bittersweet for the heroine, Katniss Everdeen.
Having become the victor of the game, Katniss should be awarded the peace of mind that goes with winning and the promise of provision and security.
Instead, believing Katniss and Peeta to be the cause of a rebellion, the Capitol wants her stopped. The decision to squash the rebellion once again pits Katniss into the deadly game.
The Capitol makes Katniss take part in the victory tour to the districts and the evil President Snow adds to the element of dread.
Normally, a second book in a trilogy series is more of a placeholder until you can find out how the story line wraps up. Not so with Catching Fire. This novel takes all the emotional investment from the first novel and brings it on all over again.
The story begins with Katniss back in the district and just when you think all might just be well, Katniss's encounter with President Snow shows the reader that a plot of epic tension is about to be unleashed.
If you?ll remember, back in the first book, part of Katniss's technique to survive the games was to pretend to be in love with Peeta. The powers that be want that pretense upheld or she'll face the consequences.
With the character of Katniss, Collins proves once again that here is a heroine who can take the blows that life has dealt to her and still be able to stand.
Though the author doesn't shy away from violence and pain, neither are written in a too graphic, violence just for the sake of violence way.
The rawness of the fight to survive is interwoven into this story in such a way that you know the protagonist has no choice but to do what she does.
Despite the acclaim and wealth Katniss and Peeta find by winning the game, life takes a definite downturn.
Katniss must face more danger than she realized because of winning the game.
You can expect Catching Fire, as did The Hunger Games, to end with a "what's going to happen next" question - and Collins doesn't disappoint there.
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