I finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, which is the second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy, and I really enjoyed it.  I read the first book earlier this year and was just now able to get to the second book.

Catching Fire was very hard to put down once I really got into the book.  However, it did seem to start a little slower than I remember the first book starting.  I believe I was around 10% to 12% of Catching Fire on my Kindle before I really had trouble setting it down to do something else, but once I got past that point, the pages started turning faster and faster.

This book starts off right where the last book ended.  The main character, Katniss Everdeen, has not been home very long when this book opens.  You get to see how her life has changed before it really gets into the main plot of this book.  The action picks back up like you expect and keeps going to the end.

I like the way Suzanne Collins is able to make me visualize the the world, including the setting, the people, and the technology.  To me, they seem to be very believable characters, not just in the way they are described, but also in the way the character views them.  I enjoy the the way the author allows you to understand things going on that the character doesn’t, but then also surprises you with things that both you and the character didn’t know were happening.  For me, it is nice when I am not able to always guess what is going to happen.  Also, I felt like this book had some significant character development, and you could actually see the main character changing and becoming aware of more things going on around her than just herself, which is always fun to read.

There are a couple of things that I did not like about the book, but they were not big enough to detract from my enjoyment.  First, the story is told from the point of view of a girl that cannot seem to make up her mind about two boys.  This seems to be pretty popular in young adult fiction these days, and it can be very annoying.  However, it was not something detracted much from the book.  Other than that one thing, I did not have any problem getting into the story, even though it was from a female’s perspective.  Second, the main problem I have with the book is the fact that it does not end properly.  With the first book, I felt like it had a very nice wrap-up ending.  Yes you knew that there could be more story, but it was a strong ending and I would have been satisfied if no more books had come from it.  With this ending though, I know there has to be a third book, and it feels more like this is just a part one of a two part book.  The one good thing that can be said about it though, is that its a lot like LOST the TV show, where it did answer a lot of questions, but it added even more than it answered.  Please keep in mind that these two negatives were very minor to me.

Overall, I have to give this book five out of five bear paws!  I highly recommend it to anyone and think that everyone should give it a try.

The 2011 Nominees have been posted over at the ENnie Awards.  I always enjoy seeing the new games and gaming materials that are nominated for these awards.  A lot of times, they are games that I have not had the chance to play before and are usually a pleasant surprise.

This year, I am going to attempt to play or run each of the games nominated under the Best Adventure, Best Free Product, Best Game, and Best New Game categories.  I would like to see why they were nominated and post my thoughts on them.  After all, they were nominated for a reason, and I would like to give them a try.

Good luck to all the nominees, and congratulations for be nominated!