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Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Member Name: dawnymarie
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Date: 10/07/12, updated on 10/07/12 (117 review reads)
Advantages: Continue a suspenseful journey with the girl on fire
Why read this one?
Having recently enjoyed the first book in the trilogy I had to read this one - I was desperate to know what was going to develop next for Katniss, Peeta and Gale. The books are on offer at lots of retailers at present and I ordered from Amazon for £3.49 brand new. Bargain.
Having endured the reality TV death trial, The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta return to apocalyptic District 12, their home. Now that they are victors they will live with their family in victors housing - much different from the struggle for life that they had prior to the games. It will soon be clear that all is not well for Katniss - somehow she has undermined the authority of President Snow and he is far from happy. This man can make her life a living hell if he has a mind to - or hurt those that she loves. Rules are changing in District 12 as ruthless Peacekeepers are installed and soon inflict cruel punishments on residents. News of uprising in other Districts causes ripples of rebellion and the Capitol means to stop it in its tracks - as it did all those years ago with District 13 which no longer exists - or does it? A cruel twist at the anniversary of the games means that previous victors will enter the arena again. A decision that is unpopular with the population of all districts and many in the Capitol who have grown to love them. As Katniss is the only female victor in District 12 she is a competitor but who will join her? Haymitch or Peeta?
Let the games begin....again....
Katniss is already worthy of my affection after her performance in the last games. The way her personality developed and the choices that she made endeared her to me and I empathised with her. This time around she is not much older but is living with the horrors of the experience and attempting to adapt to a new way of living. I like the beginning chapter of the book which gives more insight into the effects that competing in the games has psychologically. Her relationship with Peeta is cool, though I can still pick up on the feelings that they have for each other. For the cameras they are loves young dream but off camera they are barely tolerating each other. I enjoy getting to know Peeta more as his traits and personality get more coverage - I understand his motives and have respect for his selflessness. His love for Katniss is difficult to miss and influences his decisions. Haymitch, too, will become more rounded during the course of the prose - I get plenty of 'aha' moments when I discover what has happened in previous games that he was a participant in. He is drunk whenever he can be and can be abusive towards Katniss - but he is one of her most tenacious protectors - I want to know why?
After a visit from President Snow - who was snake like and smelt of roses and blood - I'm left wondering why his breath smells of blood. Maybe all will be revealed in this book - or maybe the next? All the same I'm intrigued by that snippet. He is a cruel, cold hearted man and in my mind's eye I have a clear image of what he looks like - it's not pleasant. He makes a great villain for this prose. He has a plan to get without Katniss and she understands that loud and clear without him needing to express it verbally. It's coming but it will have to be done in the right way so as not to cause suspicion. Either way, she must die and the sooner the better it seems.
I was wondering what Suzanne Collins could possibly throw in to the tale that would not be too much like the first novel. I didn't know what to expect really but was surprised and fascinated by the twist that she came up with. Katniss must enter the arena again as one of the victors on this special anniversary games. I guessed that Peeta would be volunteering himself as he wants to protect her, which meant that Haymitch would be mentor and outside protector, once again. The format of preparation is the same but was approached differently so that it held my interest and the age range of victors and interaction with each other was most interesting. The difference with these competitors is that they already have killer instincts, capability and skills and they know that their opponents are aware of their special skills - this was intriguing. How would they play the game now - no surprises, it had to be a mental strategy and one of those was to make friends and allies. This was an entirely different game and the 'girl on fire' (Katniss) would have her work cut out.
The pace quickens once the victors are placed in the arena, I could feel the tension, unease, confusion and fear as Katniss eyed the new environment and contestants - who is her enemy? Haymitch advised her to think on that ... Know your enemy! Sure enough there is a frantic scuffle and bloodshed in the first hours as clans are formed and loners run for their lives. I am surprised by the outcome of the first few hours but relieved to see that Katniss and Peeta have survived. This arena is completely different from the one that Katniss was in last time. Everything is alien to her. There is more to it than meets the eye and for the sake of their lives they are going to have to work it out .... Quickly! The Gamemakers have excelled with this arena and the viewers will have plenty of thrills to come.
Is Katniss alone? Is she with Peeta or have they teamed up for this one - if they have how will they be able to kill a friend? Will Gale be able to forgive her for her 'love struck' performance with Peeta? Will Katniss grow to love Peeta for real? Can she save him? Can he save her? Will they both survive? So many questions that I want answers to, this book had me in suspense and I couldn't put it down.
The love triangle theme that is developing is most interesting but also provides insight into the minds and hearts of two young men who love 'the girl on fire' Katniss and will do anything to protect her - they are prepared to die for her and even work together to keep her safe. This has been done before in other books, movies and series on TV but still Suzanne has made it feel fresh and interesting in this prose - I care about all three of them, how can there be a happy outcome? I want to know.
I enjoyed discovering this new land and its limitations, dangers and puzzles. From the description I had a good idea of what the elements where like in this dangerous location. Suzanne had my interest and the pages turned very quickly. I liked the developments, that were hinted at in the last book and early on in this book, which bring a new dimension and whole lot of possibilities to the continuing tale. The books, so far, have linked together very well and I am eager to continue.
The ending of this book is fast paced and dramatic - it brought something that I could have thought of as the signs where there when I think back - but I didn't! It surprised me and left me anticipating a great read for the final book of the trilogy - Mockingjay.
Many more retailers and some have it on half price or two for £7.
If you have read the first in the trilogy, 'The Hunger Games', then yes - I can highly recommend. You will most likely be eager to discover what happens next and with this prose you have a treat waiting for you. I found it hard to put down, filled with suspense, once the games began and gained some background knowledge that makes the characters come to life even more. It was great to be back with Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch - the latter is really growing on me too. Gale is developed more in this part of the trilogy and that was really nice to get to know him a little better. The love triangle is intriguing, but the concept of the games and previous victors was fascinating and really held my attention. I couldn't put this down.
Recommended by Stephen King - that was good enough for me. Suzanne knows how to tell a story, whilst keeping you in suspense. I am impressed.
Published on Ciao
Summary: Suzanne tells a good story