London, Scholastic, 2009, 472p
So, book two had to be read. I barely put down the first one before I picked up Catching Fire. And it didn't take me long to plough through this one.
I am starting to notice some themes and elements of repetition as I read more of Collins' work. For example, all the sci-fi scenes with the hovercrafts and the Training Centre are very reminiscent of Resident Evil, when Alice wakes up at the end of the first movie in the Umbrella labs. Also, although I haven't seen / read Twilight, I feel like the Katniss - Peeta - Gale love triangle is very similar to the romantic elements in Stephanie Meyer's novels.
There were some areas of this novel that I was expecting more from - overall, it felt a little rushed. The opening scenes with the Victory Tour seemed to be written into just a few pages, whereas I felt the build up implied that the Tour would take up a considerable amount of the plot. Also, the training scenes seemed a wee bit short, though Collins did well to develop the tributes in the arena instead. Whilst reading it, even the ending seemed to happen too fast, but with hindsight, that was incredibly effective, making me want to get on to the next book as soon as possible.
I'm starting to find Katniss a bit grating. I find her to be a bit slow on the uptake - which was a interesting character trait to begin with, as Collins used her lack of trust of others to make the reader doubt everyone. But in the second of this series, I feel like Katniss should be more intelligent and be able to work out who to trust through Haymitch's hints.
Time to see what the final book has to offer...