“Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)” by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Summary from Goodreads:
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
Catching Fire holds up better than other second of a trilogy books out there. Usually the second book is a transition book that gets you from book 1 to book 3 without providing a ton of substance. To a certain extent Catching Fire does transition the reader from the grittiness survival of The Hunger Games to the more political Mockingjay but it also slightly paints the picture of how the events of Mockingjay come to be. It doesn’t feel like it’s a “fluff” book.
I wasn’t totally thrilled that the book has a mild case of “second book syndrome.” Of course I realized that there would another Hunger Games. Duh. Book 1 didn’t resolve that issue but having a Hunger Games where previous victors would have to compete and Katniss is thrown back in? Seriously who didn’t see that (or something like that) coming? I did appreciate that the actual Hunger Games was different and unique. I also loved the little hints of what the previous games were. Maybe I’m a terrible person but I would love to know more about the previous games, the previous arenas, how the victors won, etc. How about some more info about that Collins? Pretty please?!
I liked the first half of the book. It was nice to be back in District 12 even if the conditions weren’t ideal. The reader is able to see how the events of book one shaped the current circumstances. The Victor’s Tour was a nice touch because we’re able to see outside District 12 and see how bad the other Districts are. I wish there had been a bigger focus on the politics and social unrest of the people. It’s hinted at but never fully explored. Honestly once Katinss was back in the area I kind of forgot a bit about it since it didn’t seem like a big issue. Of course when you read the cliffhanger at the end of the book you’re left shocked and thinking you should have paid more attention.
Yay for new characters! We are finally able to see more of Gale. I still felt Katniss’ and his relationship feels awkward. Once again mixed feelings about the other tributes. In book one, we really didn’t know them (aside from Rue) so their deaths were tolerable [and I hate saying that. Deaths shouldn’t be tolerable but that’s a whole other can of worms]. In this book, we got to know the tributes more so the deaths are more difficult. Of course the fact that many of them were adults with families and lives made their deaths more difficult as well.
The bottom line? A wonderfully exciting book in the series.
If you haven’t read this series yet, do NOT read this book unless you have Mockingjay on hand. Trust me, it’s for your sanity. 😛
I really need to write reviews closer to when I finish a book. I’m pretty sure there was more that I wanted to say but I can’t remember it now.