Published by Scholastic Press on September 1st 2009
Sparks are igniting.Flames are spreading.And the Capitol wants revenge.
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 her 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.
In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.
It’s been a long time since I read this book. While I’ve reread HUNGER GAMES at least once, CATCHING FIRE I’ve only read in parts. Part of this is because it has a bit of a slow start. I’ve gone back and read the part about the Quarter Quell but skipped the rest. More on that later.
This is the book where I start having some problems with the main characters. That’s part of the reason I like to read the games parts and skip the rest. So let’s talk about that first.
Katniss: Katniss becomes a little more selfish and flip floppy in this book than in the first. Though her affections were always very static, now she seems to change with the wind. Gale Peeta Gale Peeta Peeta Gale, pick one damn you! She rarely considers anyone but herself and sometimes her family.
Peeta: Peeta is almost intolerable the entire book. He Hw spends the first part acting like a kicked puppy and the second as little more than a damsel in distress. He has almost no active role in the story and he and Katniss are never on equal footing. Their entire second games involves Katniss trying to keep him from accidentally offing himself.
Gale: Another character with Kicked Puppy Syndrome, Gale at least possesses some strength of his own. Sadly though it seems like he only exists to upset Katniss.
Haymitch: Haymitch remains my favorite character. His biting remarks and no nonsense attitude seem to pull Katniss out of her own ass more often than not. Here we learn much more about his backstory. How he won the games, what happened to his family, etc…
All the stuff before the games seems to take an eternity. There’s plenty of set up but also a lot of unnecessary plot drag involving one or both suitors being mad at Katniss. It beings everything down to a crawl. What really saves this book is the games themselves as Collins really ups the ante this time around. The arena is more dramatic, cleverer, and the victors more vicious than your average tribute.
CATCHING FIRE is all around more brutal. Emotionally and physically. We lose our beloved Cinna, Gale gets his back ripped apart by Peacekeepers, tons more people die. As the rebellion takes hold Collins does not shy away from describing the fall out for the characters as well as the other districts. This is not just a game anymore and Collins knows it.
This book isn’t bad, it just has some glaring issues which continue into book 3 and really make trouble there. The biggest thing for me is just how pathetic Peeta seems to become. He’s sweet, for sure, but that is his only redeeming feature.
So I suppose the only thing to do next is to pull out book 3 and really get down to the nitty gritty. Stay tuned.
What are your opinions on CATCHING FIRE? Share your thoughts in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,