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Catching Fire: Book two of The Hunger Games trilogy
Catching Fire Classic - Suzanne Collins
Member Name: louisechackett
Catching Fire Classic - Suzanne Collins
Advantages: nice continuation, character development
Disadvantages: slow start
When I saw the film trailer for The Hunger Games it was enough to grab my attention and to make me decide to purchase The Hunger Games books written by Suzanne Collins. There are three books and the second in the trilogy is called Catching Fire and will be the focus of my review today.
Catching Fire is, as I mentioned, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy and it picks up on the lives of Katniss and Peeta as they adjust back to life in District 12 after The Hunger Games and begin to prepare for their victors tour of the other eleven Districts in Panem as winners of the games. What Katniss is relatively unaware of initially is the fact that her spur of the moment pact with Peeta at the end of The Hunger Games has been seen as an act of defiance against the Capitol by some District member and a potential uprising is in the air. This leaves President Snow looking for some solution to stop the rebels and he will literally stoop to anything to try to keep the control over the Districts of Panem. I don't want to go any further in to what happens in the book as I feel it may spoil the plot should you wish to read it!
I have to say that it did take me quite a while to get in to Catching Fire. I read it after reading the fifty shades of Grey trilogy which completely sucked me in and left me wanting more and so I think potentially this influenced how tricky I found it to initially feel absorbed when reading Catching Fire. I do have to say though that I do think that the book started quite slowly. The first half of the book focuses on life back at home and is taken at quite a slow pace where as the second half of the book is much more exciting and left me wanting to carry on reading and know what would happen next. I would go as far as to say that the second half of the book felt a little rushed in comparison to the first half and I personally would have liked to have read more of the gripping story in the second half.
Throughout the book you can tell there is a feeling of solidarity be it with Katniss and Peeta or Gale but also on a larger scale as people see Katniss as a symbol of hope that their lives may become better if they could break free from the control of the Capitol. Whilst you can pick up on this the author does an excellent job of making you realise how very easily this solidarity could fall apart with some manipulation from the Capitol which is shown in various examples in the book. There is often an uneasy, almost expecting tone throughout the book as Katniss realises how her actions can and probably will reflect back on to innocent people and those that she loves. It is interesting to read Katniss battle with these feelings as to what is best with regards to protecting those that she loves.
The author allows her characters to develop on this book and I think I really began to see Katniss as a real person who I could empathise with. Obviously she is left haunted and confused by her experience in The Hunger Games as anyone would be but what makes her seem more real is her conflicting feelings for Peeta who became her rock in the games and Gale who was her rock at home. We see her battle quite regularly with her feelings in this book and I don't think she knows what to do as she is scared of losing either of them. Various occurrences in the book cause Katniss to develop heightened feelings for both Peeta and Gale and I guess this makes her seem a more "real" seventeen year old girl than the tough, closed but also vulnerable hunter we met in the first book.
I think Peeta is allowed to develop the most in Catching Fire and we see him develop a very strong protective nature. Peeta is very clever with worlds and I think potentially he could do more to cause an uprising that Katniss but together they are seen as the ultimate team. In this book you are left with no doubt at all that Peeta truly loves Katniss and that he would go as far as to sacrifice himself to save her. I feel this makes him very endearing to the reader and found that I was really rooting for him as I read the story and just willing Katniss to fall in love with him too.
Another character I feel needs a mention is President Snow. We briefly met him in The Hunger Games and don't see a whole lot more of him in Catching Fire yet the author has done an excellent job of making it feel as though he is always watching and can step in at any moment and make life difficult and I think this adds quite a sinister feel at points.
When I did get in to this book I really did enjoy it. The first couple of hundred pages I did find slow going for the most part but then suspense and action came to the fore front and really gripped me. I would say that you probably need to read the first book in the trilogy before this one to get a real feel of why characters are the way they are and such like but I would recommend this book and would say persevere if you find it slow going to begin with. The book is well written and I read it in a week and only tend to read some nights in bed and so it isn't going to take over too much of your time should you wish to read it. The book is currently selling on amazon for £3.59 and I feel it is well worth this price.
Thank you for reading my review!
Summary: A good book!