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Archer's Asylum

I'm a big bloke (7ft tall) and I am forever reading. This will mostly be my thoughts as I am reading and possibly a review or two. You may know me as Archer.


I am basically a lurker. My life revolves around my wife, my cats, Books, and entertainment.


I'm working on building and setting up a forge and I'm generally one of those people who can be found causing or in the middle of mischief somewhere...

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2)

Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins 1.5 stars *Head­desk and weary wave*Hey there…Fuck, could this book be any­more rushed if it tried? I mean seri­ously? It was not the end­ing that the first half of the book deserved. At all!I really, really enjoyed the set up of this book, much the same way as I did the set­ting up of the first of this tril­ogy. I feel cheated. I feel wronged. And I’m not angry about that. Rather, I’m those words that no child wants to hear from their mother… I am very disappointed.This series, as of the first 2 books, deserves to be so much bet­ter than it is. It deserves to be up there with well writ­ten YA titles the likes of which are all too rare as of late. And it isn’t. Once again I was inun­dated with pas­sive story telling that kept the reader, me, feel­ing very much detached from the action of the story. Once again I was relayed every sin­gle piece of rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion by Kat­niss and her bland, sim­plis­tic and (more so when think­ing about Peeta, Gale, Pres­i­dent Snow, Dis­trict 12… and pretty much any­one more intel­li­gent than her) increas­ingly self absorbed, whiny narrative.I think that the biggest cause of this prob­lem is that tense of the writ­ing. First per­son, present tense… I can think of no surer way to kill any and all inter­ac­tions between the reader and the main char­ac­ter. I felt pretty much no emo­tional con­nec­tion to any of the char­ac­ters what­so­ever. Which is a pity because some of them are damned lik­able but they aren’t given the chance to become the fleshy, rounded, full char­ac­ters that they deserve to be. They more and more appear to be just set dress­ings put in place to piss off Katniss.I liked the rev­o­lu­tion­ary tone of this novel a whole lot, no really I did. I love rev­o­lu­tion sto­ries. They show in one tale both the best and the very worst of human­ity. Yet here all we seem to see is the very best of inten­tions… doing pretty much fuck all. Why? Why can’t this be made more sat­is­fy­ing? Why is there so much hype over the graphic nature of the games? Why is there this point­less love triangle?The games, this time the 75th, don’t kick off until well after the halfway point… Dafuq? What? If this instal­ment is sup­posed to be the spring­board into the rev­o­lu­tion­ary story that I now sus­pect that the third is meant to be, and if a plot setup in the games is meant to be the spring­board into that rev­o­lu­tion proper… then why is so much time spent with Kat­niss feel­ing sorry for her­self, in bed, try­ing to pick between two boys? Rather than the games and their after­math? And in the games, why did it feel that Kat­niss and Co spend the vast major­ity of their time on the beach… eat­ing fresh seafood and gifted bread?Once again I was expect­ing at least some graphic death in this, espe­cially from what I had been promised by other read­ers, but there was none. You see more graphic vio­lence in Tom and Jerry for Christ’s sake. Yes I admit, I was glad that Kat­niss was finally start­ing to think like a killer, rather than just a girl hunt­ing in the wood. But again, I think she only actu­ally kills one, maybe two peo­ple. The rest of the death hap­pens again, largely out of her sphere of vision. There were some parts that almost got me excited. Mutated blood­thirsty orang-utans, acidic nerve gas fog, the hint of some sort of unknown beast… but we are told of the first two exam­ples only once, and not in any great detail.I under­stand that it takes time to start a rev­o­lu­tion but really, can we try to bal­ance the two areas of the sto­ry­line? Please? Can we at least make it inter­est­ing? This book was start­ing to stag­nate by the point of the games open­ing… by the end I was thor­oughly bored and felt that I had been forced out of the book with­out being given an end­ing that was rounded and finished.I’m not going to say that this is the worst YA book that I have read of late because really, it isn’t but it should be bet­ter. Once again I almost liked it. It was OK… It would make a good brain balm after a heavy read. But really and truly… it fails to deliver in my opinion.Happy Read­ingArcher.