Original review: http://onabookbender.com/2012/05/09/review-catching-fire-mockingjay-by-suzanne-collins/I was not really sure where Suzanne Collins would take this series after The Hunger Games, but what happened took me by surprise. Even with how widely popular this series has been and how many people I know who have read (and either loved or hated) this series, I have managed to isolate myself from everything. The only thing I knew about Catching Fire was that the love triangle came to play in full force.And it does. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Well, wait. So maybe I can never be completely satisfied with any story that has a love triangle, no matter how well executed they are. Let’s just clear that up (in case there was any ever doubt). But there are a couple reasons why this one works. 1. Peeta and Gale both represent paths Katniss can take for the future, and they both represent integral parts of her past. She could not be who she is without those experiences — or people. 2. Katniss is not your typical heroine; she’s more focused on keeping her loved ones alive than on romance. In some ways, this makes it makes the choice of which hero to choose less rooted in emotion and more in logic. Kind of. I caught myself switching sides occasionally, which is not something I do. It seemed to be more who is the right fit for Katniss more than anything else. The boyfriend said he was team Katniss. I see the logic in this.So, there. I’m team Katniss.As though the idea of a world that makes a concept such as the Hunger Games possible isn’t horrifying enough, Catching Fire brings even more stark horror to the world. The reach and strength of the Capital is stunning in its absoluteness. Just when you think there might be triumph, it is squashed. Ruthlessly, and with much blood shed. It took me the better part of the first part of the book to really get into the story, but once I did, I found it hard to put down. I cursed myself for not being able to read faster. Catching Fire is the type of book that has you wanting to seek out spoilers or flip to the back of the book. I’m going to resist the obvious comparison that the story makes you feel like you’ve caught fire and the only way to put out the flames is to read faster, and just move on. No silly analogies to see here. Run along now.If I remember correctly, I believe that Katniss bothered me a bit in The Hunger Games. Her characters grows (or perhaps adapts is a better word) in Catching Fire. Her feelings tend to swing wildly, but it is mainly in response to the politics of… well, everything that is happening in the districts. She cracks. She becomes human. She is absolutely determined to do whatever she feels is what is right. And this time, there is far more at work than she could guess, which leads to a nasty cliffhanger.But Catching Fire is still good. Very good. As good as or better than The Hunger Games.