Review: ‘Catching Fire’

by on October 15, 2011

in book reviews, Entertainment

Book Review: Catching Fire

 

'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins

In my previous book review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I more or less talked about how riveted I was with the story.  It was a book for which I actually made time for, as opposed to reading it when I had time.  When I finished the first book in the series, I don’t think my Kindle screen had cooled down much when I pounced on Amazon and snatched up the next two books in the trilogy, titled “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay.’

I always wonder exactly where a sequel could go if the first chapter in a franchise felt almost complete.  The first book didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but on an open-ended note.  Sure, The Hunger Games had an undertone of depression.  Face it, there could be only one victor, and in a sad state of affairs, some wonderful alliances were made in the games of the first book that you know, will end.  No two ways about it.

But like any reader of the series, we all know that Katniss had no idea what was going to happen with that trick she pulled with the berries in the first book. (Yep, I keep alluding, but I ain’t givin’ it up!)  She had no idea what that one deed, that one selfish and selfless act all at once, would inspire.  (No, I’m not telling you anything.  That’s a spoiler!)

CATCHING FIRE, Book no 2 of The Hunger Games Trilogy

In the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy, titled Catching Fire, we continue the story of Katniss Everdeen and the troubles she inadvertently started.

If you have not read the first book or are worried about being spoiled for the upcoming movie The Hunger Games, I think you need to step away now.  I can’t talk about the sequel without spoiling things from the first book.  Plus, I think details of the story moving forward could possibly take the wind out of the sails of the first story of the movie.  Sorry,  but I thought you should be warned.

The Hunger Games Trilogy on Amazon

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Catching Fire pretty much picks up where book 1, The Hunger Games, left off.  But we learn of the unrest that had been brewing in the background of this utopia that the Capitol had set up and tried controlling with an iron fist.

Katniss’s stunt with the berries, which forced the hand of the powers that be that ran The Hunger Games to declare two winners of the 74th Hunger Games didn’t go over very well at all.  And repercussions started to show up right away. The political control that the Capitol had over the tributes did not go away for Katniss or Peeta.  In fact, now that they were winners, there was more to do, or at least, it felt that way right up front.

The insidious President Snow did not like how Katniss manipulated the system, albeit, unintentionally.  Kat and Peeta were forced to start to follow through on their Games-spun love-affair, and like troopers, they played their parts.  More so of Katniss, considering the personal visit she gets from someone who TELLS her to make it believable, since she’s the one that forced everyone’s hand.

But the unimaginable happens.  The year following The 74th Hunger Games, is a special games marking the 75th games.

It was “decided” that the 75th Hunger Games will have 24 victors from previous years.  The names supposedly chosen at random, but alas, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark find themselves once again in the sport of the Capitol.  But being tired of the political subterfuge, this time around, Katniss plans to do everything in her power to keep Peeta alive.

Though the games are old and familiar, they are insidiously different and much more controlled by the Capitol than the previous games.  The contestants are pushed harder to run than before and things aren’t left to chance.  Except that something takes place in the games what no one saw coming…  tributes working together.

Tributes working together brought a whole new feel to the games for this reader.  You never knew what was up, why they were doing it.  It’s The Games, so my presumption was one of “keeping the enemy close” tactic, so when the time was right, they would be an easier target.  I was kept on edge right up until the end of Catching Fire.

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'The Hunger Games' district 12 seal

 

Catching Fire once again keeps us going, gets us deeper in Katniss Everdeen’s dark, depressed outlook on her position with the games and the Capitol and her relationships that are confused by all media manipulation for the games.

The title of the book makes more sense near the end than it does in the beginning, but it does make sense, and once again, we are enthralled by the story to the point of making the time to read Catching Fire because you really can’t wait to see what happens or what could happen.  I kept thinking to myself “Seriously?  Where the h*** is this going?”

This second book of The Hunger Games trilogy keeps you hungry for what you want to know and feeds you right into the third book.

And again, Catching Fire was a wonderfully fun read.

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Follow my updates for The Hunger Games movie here at Cinema Static on Brusimm.

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