Since it probably pays to have Katniss Everdeen teach you the rules of survival in a post apocalyptic world (once the Don has inevitably makes a hash of things), I read the Hunger Games series.
Six months after the Hunger Games finished, Katniss and Peeta are back in the arena for the Quarter Quell – a version of the Hunger Games where all of the competitors are previous winners. It’s all part of President Snow’s diabolical plan to keep the districts in line and under control, of course.
On top of this, we’ve the added dilemmas that Katniss faced in the first book – Gale or Peeta? How can you be friends with people you will eventually have to kill? How can you take part in the Hunger Games and still be the same person who entered it?
All of these ideas are a lot to chew on, there’s plenty to get covered in just one book. The problem is, Collins already did it in book 1. What’s left for catching fire is a lot of Katniss rationalizing her behaviour, examining her choices, and thinking about the future.
Catching Fire only really gets going in the last 150 pages, when the tributes enter the arena. That means you got 300 pages to get through where the plot isn’t going anywhere. I suppose it gives the ending an added kick of excitement (since its the only excitement in there), but it’s not what I wanted after the highs of book 1.
If I was in the business of giving out stars, this would get 2. If I could give out stars for just the last 150 pages, it would easily get 4 out 5.
So that’s my recommendation: read the last 150 pages so you can understand what happens in the third book.