I’ve been patiently waiting for someone to publish the second and third volumes of the Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games series in paperback. I read the first volume in the series back in June and figured that with the success of the film, the paperback editions would come out shortly. I was wrong. A simple bit of research shows that an initial paperback edition was published, but was quickly sold out and not republished. I was patient. I waited.

In interim Whirl picked up the first book and tore through it. Before I knew it, she had returned from the bookstore with the hardback editions of the second and third books, explaining “I’m sorry, babe. I just couldn’t wait to read what happens.” She offered me some cool consolation, “You can read them right after I’m done?” I’d waited this long, I could wait a little bit longer. I didn’t have to wait long at all. Whirl finished the series with her characteristic speed and efficiency. Less than a week later and I had Catching Fire in my hands.

Catching Fire picks up six months after the ending of The Hunger Games. Like the first book, this one is told from a first-person point of view. Without giving much of the plot away, I will say that this book portrays a much broader picture of the world in which the characters live — geographic, political and social distinctions are all described. As a result we meet a number of new characters, and catch up with several who survived the first book. Some are more intact than others. The stakes are higher, the drama escalates appropriately and I’m still not sure who is wearing white hats and who is wearing black. And I appreciate that immensely.

Shortly after I started reading this volume, we watched the film adaptation of the first novel directed by Gary Ross and starring Jennifer Lawrence as the protagonist Katniss Everdeen. I quite enjoyed the film and am looking forward to the subsequent installments in the series. I think the inclusion of Suzanne Collins in the screenplay adaptation helped considerably in the transition from a first-person narrative to a limited third-person, cinematic perspective.