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Catching Fire

A book by Suzanne Collins

< read all 26 reviews

Wonderfully creative, fun, scary and thought-provoking

  • Nov 11, 2009
Rating:
+4
I'd heard of this book before I read it. It sounded intriguingly like a cross between Ender's Game, Logan's Run and A Canticle for Leibowitz. (You can tell what sort of books I enjoyed growing up on.) But it did have certain strikes against it:

1. It's written in the first person--not my favorite.
2. It's written in the present tense--something I've encountered rarely enough in reading that I naturally view it with suspicion.
3. It's the second book in a series and I haven't read the first.

However,
4. It's also fantastic!

The author, Suzanne Collins, does an excellent job of drawing the reader straight into the story. Perhaps first person present tense really does work--if used by a master. The point of view is flawless, and the character all too natural and believable flawed. Katniss tells her story as she sees it, and if the reader comes to believe something else might lie behind the events she relates, the writing just makes me more eager to see it play out.

As to this being the second in a series, I've rarely read a "sequel" that so effectively and naturally tells the past through its echoes in the present. I can't wait to find The Hunger Games and read for myself how Katniss, Peeta and Gale arrived at their present predicament.

The vicious games of the first book reappear in the second, with Katniss and Peeta battling again for their lives, while politicians and profiteers manipulate circumstance. Gale is a realist, wounded and angry, Peeta an idealist with a silver tongue, and Katniss, the narrator, is a fun, feisty, confused teenager, pushed into one relationship while seeking another, wise and savvy, responsible and kind, yet youthfully naïve.

The world of the Districts is vividly portrayed. I don't know if the first book would tell me more of its history, but the post-apocalyptic mixture of technology and manual labor is believably dark, with strong characters carving very plausible lives out of misery and despair. I want to know more, but I never get the feeling of secrets being kept from me--just kept from the narrator who desires to understand even more than I do.

The action scenes are fast and furious. The relationships are natural, deep, and lightly rendered. Inner turmoil in Katniss's thoughts and feelings play a vital part in the story but never take over. And the whole is a beautifully paced, neatly plotted, intriguing young adult tale of star-crossed love in a cruelly star-crossed world.

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More Catching Fire reviews
review by . December 09, 2010
Dystopia, Big Brother and post-apocalypse are themes that have been included in novels so often that it could well be a life's work for a librarian to prepare an exhaustive catalogue of titles. But, in terms of quality, the devil is in the details and Suzanne Collins has justifiably taken the world by storm. Suzanne Collins HUNGER GAMES trilogy, inspired by the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur, is an innovative, dare I say unique, young adult twist on the recurring themes of violence, cruely, …
review by . November 13, 2010
Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire, has survived the Hunger Games saving not only herself but also her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark.      But there can only be one victor in the Games and her desperate move has made Katniss a target not only of the Capitol's anger but also of the fledgling rebellion. Saving herself and Peeta set off a spark that is spreading quickly through the other districts. A spark that the girl on fire is not sure she wants to put out.      …
review by . August 29, 2010
"A visit from President Snow. Districts on the verge of uprisings. A direct death threat to Gale, with others to follow. Everyone I love doomed. And who knows who else will pay for my acions? Unless I turn things around on this tour. Quiet the discontent and put the president's mind at rest. And how? By proving to the country beyond any shadow of a doubt that I love Peeta Mellark." -- From Catching Fire    In the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss, Peeta, …
review by . June 16, 2010
Catching Fire is the 2nd book in Suzanne Collins’ fascinating Hunger Games trilogy. This book picks up where The Hunger Games left off. After winning the Hunger Games with Peeta Malarck, Katniss Everdeen is back in District Twelve with fame and fortune, but Katniss soon finds she has created an uprising in Panem, something she hadn't counted on. She may be famous for winning the annual Hunger Games, but she has become the symbol for a revolution that threatens to overthrow the government.   …
review by . May 10, 2010
"Catching Fire" is a rare case - a book where a sequel lives up to (and perhaps exceeds) the standard set by an excellent first book.    The story picks up only a few months after "The Hunger Games" leaves off, and wastes little time before setting of at the same breakneck pace, in unexpected directions. Suzanne Collins has a talent for efficient, clever plotting with lots of twists and turns, and she shows a unique understanding of her characters through clever one-off lines …
review by . August 27, 2010
My Summary (SPOILER FOR 1st BOOK!): After surviving the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta both try to live their lives as normally as they can. Only problem is that everyone is supposed to believe they're in love, some Districts are starting to unsettle and rebel against the Capital, and it all just might be Katniss's fault.    Katniss struggles with her feelings before she's off for the victory tour, unable to truly love Peeta, but things with Gale aren't going well either. Yet, …
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
Fantastic! Even better than Hunger Games. Awaiting the next one.
Quick Tip by . June 12, 2010
These are going to make great movies. Quick moving and well put together in action and characters
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2010
Suzanne Collins is a fantastic writer, bringing about some serious topics that gets you thinking without the reader even realizing it.
review by . September 25, 2009
In 2008, Suzanne Collins came out with The Hunger Games.  A startling dystopia about a sadistic capital that puts kids in an arena to fight to the death for the sake of entertainment.  The winner was given fame and fortune.  It placed us in the shoes of Katniss Everdeen, as she went into the arena with a boy named Peeta.  Against all odds, she survived... and so did Peeta.  What she's unaware of is that her little stunt which allowed them both to survive in the first place …
About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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Wiki

Starred Review. Gr 7 Up--Every year in Panem, the dystopic nation that exists where the U.S. used to be, the Capitol holds a televised tournament in which two teen "tributes" from each of the surrounding districts fight a gruesome battle to the death. InThe Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes from impoverished District Twelve, thwarted the Gamemakers, forcing them to let both teens survive. In this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified.Catching Fireis divided into three parts: Katniss and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games themselves. Slower paced than its predecessor, this sequel explores the nation of Panem: its power structure, rumors of a secret district, and a spreading rebellion, ignited by Katniss and Peeta’s subversive victory. Katniss also deepens as a character. Though initially bewildered by the attention paid to her, she comes almost to embrace her status as the rebels’ symbolic leader. Though more of the story takes place outside the arena than within, this sequel has enough action to pleaseHunger Gamesfans and leaves enough questions tantalizingly unanswered for readers to be ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0439023491
ISBN-13: 978-0439023498
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Children's Books, Teens
Publisher: Scholastic Press
First to Review

"Collins has done it again"
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