Book Review – The Hunger Games – Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
Title: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Copyright: Suzanne Collins 2009
In case you haven’t read my review of The Hunger Games (What do you mean you haven’t seen it? Look it up right now!) Anyway, as I said I started to read this trilogy as a study of YA (Young Adult) fiction. I know, woman in her 50s, YA? Hmmm, not the first combination the marketers had in mind eh? Or maybe they did as the books do have different covers for the YA and ‘adult’ markets.
I was advised to read them to understand the ‘formula’ for YA and this book, as did the first one, fit the formula very well.
That doesn’t mean it is any less of a book for it.
This is the second in the Hunger Games book trilogy, you will see from the image that I didn’t stick posts it’s all over it like I did when I read the first one.
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are still alive…As the nation watches Katniss and Peeta, the stakes are higher than ever. One false move and the consequences will be unimaginable.
Katniss has not just survived the Hunger Games but is a winner. She has been given a big house in her district in the Victor’s Village. As a result of her win in the arena or more accurately the style of the win, with her final act of defiance, she has unwittingly become the ’face’ of the district’s rebellion.
This type of figure head is not what the Hunger Games is supposed to produce. President Snow is definitely not amused.
I won’t give any spoilers other than to say there are various twists and turns, challenges and another Hunger Games. It’s hard to keep track of what will happen, what decisions Katniss will make. A real page turner.
The story is compelling and I found it a little less predictable than the first. I found it a bit darker too, maybe as the reader is thought to have aged a little since the first, it can be aimed at a slightly older ‘YA.’
The relationship between Peeta, Katniss and Gale is developed further, loyalties and romantic feelings between them being delved into throughout. Each time Katniss thinks she knows what she wants, something happens to make her doubt her decision. This did get a bit wearing as it happened alot, but then remember this is a book aimed mainly at the YA market. The decisions you are forced into as a teenager can be confusing and misleading. Ms Collins captured that feeling very well.
The formulaic plot is not neatly closed at the conclusion, very obviously leaving it ready for the next book.
As with The Hunger Games
Katniss – an independent girl. Skilled archer and hunter. Her back story is further enhanced with more snippets of childhood memories triggered along the way. In this book she seems to be quite self centred, although I guess after what she’s been through she’s entitled. As leaders tend to be she is very focussed and determined but not always compassionate, sometimes self-absorbed.
Peeta – the boy who fought for and with Katniss in the first Hunger Games. Totally devoted to and in love with her.
Gale – the lifelong friend who was left behind when the first Hunger Games took place. The boy Katniss loves, or does she? Now given an imagined relationship as Katniss’ cousin as the Capitol use Peeta and Katniss as the happy couple of Hunger Games winners.
President Snow – the powerful baddie, as usual with a very nasty baddie he has a creepy baddie fascination, this time with heavily scented roses.
Various new world and old familiar characters. The main additions who you get to know as you read this book are some of the survivors of the previous games.
The anonymous ‘Peacekeepers’ for some reason reminded me of Harry Potter’s Dementors. I guess it’s another part of the formula, just think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s storm troopers. An ever present dark, sinister and anonymous representation of an oppressive and authoritative force.
Yes, although only if you’ve read the first Hunger Games book in the series. I think it would be too confusing to read as a stand alone.
You may also like:
(If you use these, I earn a small commission. You are enabling me to continue writing, and keep this website and content free to you, thank you!)
I hope I’ve inspired you to buy a book and read more. Tweet me from your next coffee stop! If you are busy out and about and you’d like my posts to your email inbox directly, please sign up for the newsletter.