Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book 16: Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins didn’t disappoint in the second Hunger Games book. It took the plot-driven book to almost a new level.

I was so glad that my friend Susan had this book waiting for me when I finished up The Hunger Games. Especially after she was telling me that the second book was even worse then the first book in terms of cliff hangers at the end of chapters that you have to ignore. It’s more about finding out what happens next.

Catching Fire definitely took it up a notch. First Katniss and Peeta are dealing with the being the Victors. Katniss is visited by President Snow just before going on their Victor’s Tour. He threatens that they have to convince the other districts that their actions in the arena were caused by love only and not acts of rebellion. The tour doesn’t go as planned. Then to make things worse, they find that Quarter Quell is not going to have new tributes that Katniss and Peeta will help to mentor. Instead it will be the victors against each other in another round of the Hunger Games (and thus dooming Katniss to round two and pretty much ensures Peeta the same faith).

Now I won’t discuss the matters that happen in the Quarter Quell at all. That would be giving too many spoilers. But oh my word…. Once I got to the Quell, I was just having to read more and more. Then the final chapter. I literally texted Susan and asked: “omg, did that really just happen?” at midnight.  I was in shock and was hoping I didn’t have to wait at all for the next book.

The characters felt so much stronger in this book. The competitors actually started to stand out in this book. They weren’t just their and objects to kill. She actually interacted with them and knew their names. I liked how Katniss teamed up with more then one or two people. This time she really worked with basically a pack who didn’t really try to kill many of the other victors right away. Instead they were just trying to survive the arena (which was just as dangerous as the Victors since each hour there were new dangerous thrust upon them).

The one thing I felt that was weak was how the Capitol kept pressing on Katniss and Peeta to show the districts were crazy in love as a way to put down the rebellion. Rebellions grow over time and celebrity love lives don’t really have much say in that. It seemed a bit crazy that two children could help stop political actions that were at work. It’s a dystopian society and that causes unrest. But I love how Katniss was able to work out which districts were rebelling due to the shortages that were cropping up in the Capitol.

I really enjoyed Catching Fire. It was so addicting and I just had to finish up what happened Then the ending just shocked me after being shocked all the way through. Loved the way the plot just drives the reader into exhaustion and still finds ways to shock in nearly every chapter (not that chapter endings were all that noticeable since I just had to keep reading to find out what happens next). 

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