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Catching Fire

A book by Suzanne Collins

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Even the strongest can die - a dark and distant future that rings all too familiar

  • Oct 21, 2009
Rating:
+5
Katniss and Peeta's unprecedented sharing of victory in the last hunger games managed, inadvertently, to demonstrate to all of the twelve oppressed colonies that the capitol's wishes can be defied. Now, when they'd really just like to spend time with and take care of their families, the tyrannical president has other plans, designed to demonstrate conclusively that even the strongest among the colonies can be crushed.

This riveting sequel to the intense beginning of Suzanne Collins' post-apocalyptic saga, The Hunger Games, repeats elements of the first story, but only to ramp up the intensity and to show the larger political implications of what in the first book was primarily a story of young people coming of age in dangerous times. Whereas Katniss and Peeta were victims who rose to the challenge in the first series, now they have to choose. They have to decide whether to act selfishly, and merely to save their own lives and those of their loved ones, or whether to rise to the challenge of fighting against an evil regime, for all who remain oppressed.

My children and I read Suzanne Collins' powerful Gregor The Overlander series as they came out, waiting impatiently for each new installment and then eagerly reading through them quickly as soon as they were published. It looks like we've got another dark but gripping series to look forward to. We loved Hunger Games and couldn't wait for this one. I picked this up as soon as it came out and my 14 year old daughter read it within 24 hours, and my 12 year old son finished it within 48 hours after that. Both then looked eagerly online to see if there was news of when the next installment would be released, my daughter, especially was very upset when she realized it would likely be a long time. I was very busy when we got the book, so I waited a few weeks after they were done, until I had an evening free and thought I'd just dip into it. I couldn't stop and read the entire book before going to sleep in the early hours of the morning. It's that good.

As I wrote in my review of the first novel, the series feels somewhat like what I felt reading John Christopher's Tripods series when I was about the same age as my son. Reading that I could understand, almost for the first time, what it would be like to be on your own, to have to make the choices of an adult. The difference here is that the enemy is not just the alien - it is human, and the human oppression in this new world, and the ease with which it is forgotten by the oppressors, is not so distant from that in the world we inhabit. This is a powerful series that is not only gripping and intense but also serves to highlight questions that young people on the brink of adulthood ought to be asking themselves: why do we go to war? why do some people hate others? why is there oppression? why do so few people do anything about it? how can one young person make a difference?

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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
Nathan Andersen ()
Ranked #69
I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (www.eckerd.edu/ic), and am co-director of … 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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