Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Read: May 2012
Discovered: After reading The Hunger Games
I read The Hunger Games because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. In the end I didn’t see the movie, but nevertheless loved the book. It was obvious, therefore, to get book number 2 in the series, and subsequently devoured it in less than 24 hours.
This is a rare thing for me.
Katniss returns to the arena in Catching Fire, but not before every twist and turn imaginable happens. You know there is something in waiting. That something is being built up to make the third book extra special.
Quite simply it’s a good read. It may not be genius, but it’s fun and clever and has some nice undertones beneath the surface.
If you read my review of The Hunger Games (Here), you will notice how I was worried for where the story might go. I was afraid of a Twlight style love triangle, but thankfully this needn’t be a worry. I won’t say too much more, because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have yet to read.
As with The Hunger Games, I’m a fan of the dark premise around this story. It’s unforgiving, but you get a good mix of characters and feel empathy toward most people and their situation.
I also think you get to know Katniss better in this book. It’s not all good, but you get a greater understanding of what’s going on in her mind. It’s a crazy scenario one could find themselves in, a future world like this, but the common issues of being a teenager are still there.
Compared to the first instalment, the action and fast pace takes a step back. It’s more detailed, in terms of the character and overall story, which is good, but does mean certain action and fast paced scenes are lost.
It’s hard to say this is a negative, as it’s also a good thing, but after reading the first book just a week or so earlier, the pace certainly takes a step backward.
I’m a big fan of each book cover in the series (at least those I bought). Because the names of all the books are different (and don’t share a commonality like Harry Potter), it makes Branding is even more relevant.
The covers are as simple as they come, but the common sign of the mockingjay in each cover is a great way to create a consistent message. The colours are also used to great effect, and overall you can’t fault the process of how the covers have been created.
My points are very similar to those made in The Hunger Games, so I won’t repeat myself – or at least try not to, anyway.
As I read the paperback version there is only so much that can be done. Once again there is good engagement with the other books, and some typical use of Reviews and Testimonials. Hardly groundbreaking, but good none the less.
There is little about the author in there, though, which is a shame because it would be good to learn more about Suzanne and her work.
Author Website & Engagement:
As I’ve already reviewed The Hunger Games, there is little I can add. In general the internet has been taken over with movie fever, so the majority of websites focus on this, more than the book.
My biggest gripe, once again, is the lack of involvement online from Suzanne Collins. Her site is outdated and engagement is poor to say the least. I’m sure she engages in other ways, but considering her audience is now a worldwide thing, it would be nice to see more through her site.
As I say, though, I discuss this more Here[hr]
Overall, I’m a fan of Catching Fire. It doesn’t quite have the same intensity as The Hunger Games, but the story is arguably more compelling. You get to know some of the main characters better, and overall the world they live in.
I love the undertones of the book and it’s clear from the outset some important issues will be looked at. It’s a great example of a series, and I can’t see too many people not committing to the entire trilogy.
The big downside is the marketing, or should I say lack of engagement. It’s because of this that I give…
4 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.
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