The review for this book (and the third in the series) has been a long time coming. I read it about a week after finishing the first book and then read the third immediately on from that. That's pretty much the only way to read them. The first book really does 'finish' so you can leave some time between reading that and the second. However when you've finished the second, I can promise you'll need to read the last book straight away. I was lucky enough to have both on hand at the same time and I actually put down book two, as I picked up book three!
So here are my thoughts on 'Catching Fire'. ***SPOILER ALERT***
This book is basically another Hunger Games. While the plot (the fact that our main characters are thrust back into the arena) is a do-over of the first book, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, it was a shock to both the victors (Peeta & Katniss) and the reader. It could easily stand on it's own in terms of plot and story. We're introduced to new characters, including several of the previous victors of the Hunger Games.
The story is fantastic and fast-moving, keeping you page turning right until the very end. Which, let's face it, wasn't an end at all, it was almost as if Collins had written to a point said 'That's enough for novel length' and chopped it to start number three from there. I don't mind a good cliffhanger, don't get me wrong, however it felt like in this case, there was no resolution after the climax. In fact, the novel was cut off at the climax... leaving you scrambling to get your hands on book three just to read the resolution. I guess this could be a good thing, but in my opinion it could have included a small resolution to say the least.
I don't know how I could split them up more differently so I can't complain, however I felt some kind of resolution at the end of the book would've benefited the novel. All in all, an intriguing read and I still loved following the story. I've actually purchased myself a copy of the first book, and as soon as money allows, intend on purchasing books two and three.
A great read I'd recommend to anyone that enjoys a fast-paced, page turning read that leaves them on the edge of their seat - especially at the end.
Three and a half out of five (would've scored higher if the ending wasn't so abrupt).