Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE HUNGER GAMES AS IT IS THE SECOND BOOK IN THE TRILOGY.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic (1st December 2011)
Blurb:

MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOUR

KATNISS EVERDEEN SURVIVED THE HUNGER GAMES. NOW THE CAPITOL WANTS REVENGE.

Against all the odds, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are still alive. Katniss should be relieved, but now there are whispers of rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

As the nation watches Katniss and Peeta, the stakes are higher than ever. One false move and the consequences will be unimaginable.

Rating: ** (2 stars)
Review:

Having enjoyed The Hunger Games as both a book and a film, I jumped into Catching Fire hoping to recapture the magic. Catching Fire is, after all is said and done, the second book in the trilogy so I wanted to know what happened to the Katniss and Peeta next. To be honest, Catching Fire was not what I expected at all.

I spent the first two hundred and ten – yes, you read that correctly 210 – pages of Catching Fire struggling through a narrative with little action and a greatly reduced admiration and like of Katniss. I started reading this book not long after I read The Hunger Games in late July of 2012 and it took me until the beginning of February 2013 ro finish. I will admit that there were months where I did not touch the book, but I struggled through reading a chapter at a time until I reached page two hundred and ten – or chapter thirteen. However, once I reached this point and the real action of the book started to take place I remembered why I so enjoyed The Hunger Games and thought Katniss was an interesting character.

Like The Hunger Games, the events of Catching Fire are narrated by Katniss. However, Catching Fire is a much slower book. Collins takes the time in Catching Fire to let us know as readers exactly what life is like in District 12 for Katniss after she and Peeta won The Hunger Games. Collins also takes Katniss and Peeta on a “victory” tour of the Districts. I think this section of the book is supposed to be really tense, and that certain events in it are supposed to horrify and disgust the reader. However, much of this section read like a history text to me – I could see, or guess, where Collins got her inspiration for different scenes from – and I personally feel that she tried too hard and spent too long trying to elicit these reactions from me. I also found it difficult to keep my interest in Katniss. In The Hunger Games Katniss is a girl of action and cunning, and honestly I didn’t see much of that in the first twelve chapters.

Chapter thirteen was a turning point in Catching Fire for me. From this point the book worked, and worked well for me. Collins had a neat little twist in the plot, and the fallout and the way it was written was amazing. The plot just had so many twists and turns in it, that I had to keep reading so I could find out what was going to happen next. Katniss and Peeta meet some really interesting characters, who I hope to see more of in the final book. The ending of Catching Fire blew me away. It made me want to read the next, and final book, in the trilogy – I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

  1. I think what annoyed me in Catching Fire was that it followed the exact same plot as in THG: before the games/preparing for the games/at the games. Granted, the last part was action-packed, but again, I could guess how it would end (=with Katniss and Peeta alive). As for Mockingjay, I hated it, lol, so I’m curious to hear what you think…

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    • I agree that Catching Fire follows the same plot as THG, which was disappointing. I think I will be borrowing Mockingjay from the library rather than buying it. At least that way if I’m disappointed with it I can give it back.

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  2. Pingback: Looking Back at 2013 on The Flutterby Room | The Flutterby Room

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