Suzanne Collins delivers again! While not as fast-paced as The Hunger Games, Catching Fire expands the series premise to encompass a broader playing field. By placing her out of her depth in a web of intrigue for most of the book, then pitting her against veteran Game victors, Collins rewinds Katniss from capable warrior to imperiled heroine without negating any of her personal growth from the first volume. Although Catching Fire does not deliver the same level of battle action as its predecessor, tension runs exquisitely high, between the Districts and the Capital, between Katniss and the highest levels of government, and between Katniss and her two would-be suitors.
Catching Fire also functions as the middle book in a trilogy often does: as a setup for the final installment. However, it rarely suffers from the drag and bloat common to middle books, and even returns to the heart-stopping thrills of The Hunger Games in the final quarter of the book.
I was slightly disappointed that the Games made up such a small portion of this book. I would guess that Collins didn't want to recycle too heavily, but that part of the story felt like it was tacked on, and the combat and strategy rushed in order to get back to the real story.
The The Two Towers style ending will leave the reader desperate to lay hands on Mockingjay, which will be jaw-dropping if it lives up to the promise of the first two novels.
Recommend to: Everyone who read The Hunger Games already