Book Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ by Suzanne Collins

Posted: 19 April 2014 in Book reviews
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Having survived the 74th Hunger Games, life for Katniss and Peeta was supposed to go to normal.  Well as normal as possible considering being the victor meant a lifetime of plenty and security.  One of their responsibilities as victors is a tour of all the districts to be shown off and to say a couple words about the tributes.  Shortly before they are to do this, President Snow shows up unexpectedly and threatens Katniss.  People have seen her win as a symbol of defiance rather than a gesture of love.  She needs to prove to him that it wasn’t an act of defiance.  A rebellion is on the brink and she needs to ensure it doesn’t happen.

The first stop in the tour is District 11.  What started out as a beautiful meeting ends with the murder of an old man and complete chaos.  Katniss speaks little form that point and simply tries to keep up the facade.  In the capitol, they even devise to have Peeta propose live in a last ditch effort, but alas none of it works.  She has no idea what it means for her, but what happens is beyond anything she could have imagined.

A new head peacekeeper is brought it and many changes happen.  The Hob is burned to the ground, production is halted in the mine, even Gale gets whipped for breaking the law (he took meat to the old head peacekeeper’s house without knowing he had been replaced).  Plans to run away are discussed, and even talk of rebellion is brought up, but every thing changes when the announcement for the 75th Hunger Games, the Quarter Quell, is made: the tributes would consist of previous victors.  She was going back.

The routine back at the Capitol wasn’t all that different from before.  The most obvious difference was they was the tributes interacted with each other.  Many had known each other for years.  And many were angry.  New skills were learned, displayed to the gamemakers, alliances were formed, and meetings were held, all leading up to the moment they stood on the platforms waiting for the cannon to sound.

The goal with these games, unbeknownst to Peeta, was to keep Peeta alive.  He was going to do everything he could to keep Katniss alive, but everyone knew he was the better person of the two and thus needed to live.  Katniss rushes to the Cornucopia and there acquires their first allies, Finnick and Mags from District 4 (the fishing district).  Katniss is ever wary of them, but becomes more trusting after Finnick saves Peeta’s life after his heart stops.  After losing Mags (who sacrificed herself) to a poisonous fog and then being attacked by muttations, they are joined by Johanna from District 7, and Wiress and Beetee from District 3.  Before Wiress dies, Katnis learns that the arena is built like a clock.  Beetee devises a plan in which they electrocute the water and surrounding area to eliminate their final opponents.  But things don’t go quite as planned.

Dun, dun, dun.

The sequel to ‘The Hunger Games’ may not be as action packed as the first one, but it does delve more into the unrest happening throughout the Districts.  It also explores the volatile love triangle between Katniss, Gale and Peeta.  A while ago, I was told that ‘The Hunger Games’ had twilight-esque love triangle and that nearly caused me to not finish the trilogy.  I am happy to report that it is in NO way similar to the garbage also known as ‘Twilight.’  As seen in the first book, Peeta is massively in love with Katniss, and that Katniss is conflicted with her feelings for either boy, but we don’t know how Gale fits in to the mix.  Now we do.  Yeah, he loves her as well.  And she seems to reciprocate the feelings, which obviously makes things awkward between her and Peeta.  Oh the drama.  Thankfully there is just enough of it to be tolerable not make you want to throw up.

I love the creative ways Mrs. Collin’s came up with for the way the tributes die in the games.  The clock idea was so clever and then the different methods to kill or torture them in each section.  Blood rain, lightning, poisonous fog, killer monkeys, tidal wave, mockingjays.  Brilliant!!!  I sit there and think that maybe the games were too short (considering they are the main point of book 1 and significant for book 2), but then I realise that the games weren’t the point.  They were the catalyst and were simply a means to an end rather than the focal point.  Realising that I understood that they were just as long as they needed to be.

We are introduced to a couple of new, important characters as well: Finnick and Beetee.  There is also Johanna, Wiress, and Mags, but their overall roles and considerably small compared to other two.  I like Finnick.  He is loyal and an admiral character.

All in all, it is a worthy sequel.  It is a fantastic read.  I couldn’t stop turning pages when I knew I needed to go to bed.  If you enjoyed the first one, then you will for sure enjoy the second.  Read it.  Enjoy 😉

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