Friday, February 3, 2012

Review: Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #2
Genre: YA, dystopian
Published on September 1, 2009
Published by Scholastic
Pages: 391
Read From: 1.23.12 - 1.26.12

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 the way 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.


This one was every bit as good as the first, and acted as a sequel is supposed to: it does not detract from the series, it furthers the plot, and it is actually better in many ways. Part One is a little slow, as the Author establishes Katniss's emotions over events and how she feels about Gale and Peeta. Amazingly, this isn't as irritating as I was expecting. While Katniss's indecision and emotions got a little tiring, Peeta is stable and sincere enough in his feelings as to make up for it. And Gale isn't in Catching Fire enough for his quick temper to get overly bothersome.

Part Two, however, really picks things up, and Panem really starts to feel like a true totalitarian state: punishment is harsh and carried out immediately, people are getting arrested, and the Capitol is a much more prominent "we are everywhere" figure. In the first one, we had Katniss telling the Reader that yeah, this stuff happens, but in this one the Reader actually gets to witness it. I did have issues with President Snow meeting Katniss in her house; realistically, secret police would have escorted her to some secure and secret place. But the Capitol's response to everything is properly controlling, merciless, and brutal. The Quarter Queel is ten times more exciting than the Hunger Games in the first book, and the end has surprising elements and I am so glad I bought Book Three the next day.

Catching Fire was an absolute triumph.

Others in This Trilogy:
1)The Hunger Games
2)Catching Fire

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