Bloody Bear’s Reading Corner: Catching Fire and Mocking Jay

I just finished Catching Fire and Mockingjay, the second and third books in the Hunger Games Trilogy.

Without a doubt I loved Hunger Games, the same applies to Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  If all three had been in one omnibus I wouldn’t have slept for four days straight…of course I probably would’ve gotten them finished much sooner if I hadn’t slept.  Catching Fire and Mockingjay are compelling page turners.  If you like Hunger Games then you will not be let down by Catching Fire or Mockingjay.  The last two books go together like a Part 1 and Part 2 finale for the trilogy.  That sounds like it makes sense and as it should be, but here is the deal.  You could read Hunger Games and never read Catching Fire or Mockingjay.  You would have a complete story, Catching Fire ends and you HAVE to read Mockingjay.  There is no reading Catching Fire and then saying “Hey, I am done now.”  No, you have to read Mockingjay.

Without giving it all away, Catching Fire starts up shortly after Hunger Games ends.  Within a few pages Katniss is tossed right into the spotlight again and forced to enter into another Hunger Game.  This Hunger Game is special in that winners from past Hunger Games are the participants.  There is a reason behind this special game and that is one of the things I really enjoyed about Catching Fire you get to see more of the world of Hunger Games.  You get to see how the world works, doesn’t work and the movements that allow the Capitol to remain in control.

The Hunger Game itself takes up the last half or so of Catching Fire.  Unlike Hunger Games where there was a lot of focus on the build up to the game, Catching Fire shows how experienced entrants deal with the build up, which is less focus on being nervous and training and more of a focus on preparation and planning.  When the game gets underway the pacing is the same as in Hunger Games.  Fighting, running, surviving, traps and friendships are covered with lighting speed.  Yet you still feel connected to the old characters and to the new characters as well.  A few of the deaths are as moving, just like in Hunger Games.  As the deeper plot unfolds the actions of many of the characters are given new light and depth making them even more moving and the reading more compelling.  Catching Fire ends with a cliff-hanger of sorts.

Mockingjay picks up where Catching Fire ended.  Katniss, everyone in fact, finds themselves in a new situation that has a games aspect, but is not a hunger game.  She has to learn how to deal with her new situation and her role in the world at large.  I am not going to divulge too much, because there are still some people who have not read the books.  The pace in Mockingjay is slower at first, but there is a reason for the slower pace, it mirrors what is going on with Katniss and a couple of other characters.  Worry not though the pace builds up to a crescendo of action and revelations.  Up to this point in the series the plot twists and surprises were sparse, but Mockingjay does toss in a few “What the!” moments.  Mockingjay ends the trilogy on the right note.

My recommendation is, that if you liked Hunger Games then pick up BOTH Catching Fire and Mockingjay at the same time, you will thank me for that bit of advice.  If you loved reading Hunger Games, then be prepared to lose a few days of your life reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay, but you will not mind the loss of time.

Oh, one last thing there were still no recipes.


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