Friday, August 24, 2012
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Well, the odds have not been in my favour. I still can't stand Katniss Everdeen. Surviving the Hunger Games hasn't given her much perspective, and she remains fatally boring to read about. Kindness confuses her, she's unsure of her own emotions and needs to carefully consider any physical responses she has to people and situations (like her first time feeling aroused). I suppose this is a way to bring readers into her mind and allow them to see through her eyes, but I have a hard time buying it. She's just so dense; wouldn't these instances just throw readers out of the scene, and cause them to think "Geez, Katniss. He's acting all weird because he likes you. And you're acting all weird because you like him. Come on!" That was my experience, anyway.
I want to compare my experience of this book to my experience reading Strange Flesh by Michael Olson. That book featured a mostly bland protagonist and a diverse and interesting cast of secondary characters who ended up carrying the story. Catching Fire is the same way: Katniss is vaguely irritating and boring, but you care about the plights of the other characters, who for some unfathomable reason seem to want some form of relationship with her. And so, you keep on with it. But Strange Flesh had sex and toys and an online murder mystery to keep me engaged. Catching Fire had, well, I'm not into spoilers.
One thing that has to be said about this book--and the whole series, really--is that the pacing is excellent. It's hard to find a convenient place to put the book down for a break. Interesting event follows interesting event follows interesting event. And Suzanne Collins didn't get bogged down describing the events of the Victor's Tour. She paraphrased in quite succinctly, and got the book moving towards the big twist--gasp! But I won't tell you what it is, I'll leave it to social media and an overheard conversation on transit to take care of that for me.
On Goodreads, I rated this book 2 stars, "it's ok." Which pretty much sums up how I feel about it.
Genre: young adult science fiction
Copy source: personal library