This review originally appeared at http://bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com/ It doesn't happen too often, but I think this sequel was even better than the first book.Picking up months after the events of The Hunger Games, the characters are still dealing with the aftermath of their actions. I have to say, I thought I knew roughly where the story was going - but boy, was I wrong. I discovered this when I was about a quarter of the way through and came across a review of Catching Fire on a blog with a massive spoiler in the first paragraph.* It was definitely not something I was expecting to happen, and I felt a bit frustrated - but also curious to see exactly how it would work, if it did at all. Of course, work it did. Without giving anything away (ahem), I'll just say it was one helluva twist, organically woven into the tale and making for some awesome action. I was once again so impressed with Collins' writing - she definitely knows how to keep readers on their toes! The story just got more and more interesting, without expanding too much and over-complicating matters, as some series tend to do (I'm looking at you, Sookie Stackhouse). As for the characters, I fell in love with them in the first book, but found them even more amazing in this one. They just got stronger, and I found myself identifying even more with Katniss' actions this time round. To top it all off, there were a number of intensely powerful scenes that were so beautifully written, I immediately reread them just to try and absorb their awesomeness. I'm officially a Hunger Games addict - Mockingjay, here I come!*Spoilers without warning are one of my pet peeves. So unnecessary and unfair!