Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

(Cover picture courtesy of Suzanne Collin’s website.)

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 as 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 of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.

Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and, like most second books, it is not nearly as good as the first book.  Don’t get me wrong—Catching Fire is still a decent novel in its own right.  But in the context of the series, it is not as good as the first book.

In Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins has broken her own rules (although there is a good reason for it) and centred it on the worst aspect of the first book: the romance.  Throughout the novel, Katniss seems to grow more found of Peeta, but she is hot and cold about it.  One minute, she ‘loves’ him, the next she hates him.  I understand that his happens in real life, but fiction is supposed to make sense and being stuck in Katniss’s point of view makes it very frustrating.

Katniss was a very strong female protagonist in The Hunger Games—and she still is in Catching Fire—but she does not change very much throughout the course of the novel.  The other characters like Peeta and Haymitch do get more backstory and change a bit, but Katniss remains static.  There is, however, a significant amount of development in Finnick, a minor character who suddenly gets a very interesting backstory.  If only Suzanne Collins had developed Katniss like she developed her minor characters in this novel.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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  1. Internet Novice

    I’ve heard really good things about the Hunger Games Trilogy but 3/5 doesn’t seem like it would live up to the hype. Would you consider hunger games a worthwhile series? I’m way behind on my reading but with a newly purchased nook I’m eager to keep my reading list full. Thanks for the review!

    • Carrie Slager

      I still think The Hunger Games is a worthwhile read because some people actually like the ending. I personally don’t, but you might like it. It’s not that it’s really a bad novel (because it’s actually decently written), it’s just that some things aren’t as good as they should be.

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