The sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire improves upon Collins’ first foray into Katniss’ dystopian, post-apocalyptic world of the Districts. I’ve been waiting to read this one for awhile and it did not disappoint.
After having won the Hunger Games with her district partner Peeta, Katniss should be living the good life. And she is. In high contrast to the horrible poverty she and her family lived in before the Hunger Games, Katniss now resides in the Victor’s Village in District 12 and never wants for anything. Her family has everything they’ve ever wanted now–a nice house, new clothing, medicine, and most importantly, food. As a victor of the Games, Katniss has got it all.
Except, of course, the company of her best-friend-maybe-more Gale, who is understandably upset. A large part of Katniss and Peeta’s victory in the Games depended on them tugging the heartstrings of the TV viewers by putting on a very convincing act of two young, desperate survivors head-over-heels in love with each other. In reality, they’re friends (although there is a large amount of unrequited love on Peeta’s side) and Katniss wishes everything could go back to the days where she and Gale were still best friends, and worked together to hunt game for their families.
What Katniss doesn’t know is that unrest is brewing in the Districts, which have long been held under the cruel, tyrannical rule of the Capitol. Because of her defiance in the last Games, she has become an unknowing symbol of the rebellion, and her family and friends are under threat of death from the Capitol’s President unless she can find a way to quell the rebels. How to do this? Put on the biggest, final act of her life by appearing as one part of the happiest, most romantic couple with Peeta that the world has ever seen. Marriage is on the horizon, and kids aren’t sure to be far behind. That is, until an even greater twist sends Katniss and her friends back into the Arena of the Games…
Wow. I don’t often write summaries myself (I’m so lazy!) but I think I made that one suitably exciting without giving TOO much away.
I really thought Collins came through with the sequel, because while I enjoyed The Hunger Games, I wasn’t as thrilled or in love with the story as most bloggers have seemed to be. But with Catching Fire, I felt that the events following Katniss’ victory were definitely believable, and the stakes were even higher.
Collins did a great job of evolving the character of Katniss–you could tell she was the same character, but had also gone through some changes due to the events from the previous novel. Very realistic and easy to believe. I also thought that her conflicting and confused feelings regarding Gale and Peeta were well written. The whole plot was very exciting and had some great twists that I definitely did not see coming. Collins is very imaginative and inventive about the situations she puts her characters through. I can’t wait to read the third novel in the series, which the author is apparently working on presently. I wonder how many more books there will be about Katniss and her friends.
Author Website: www.suzannecollinsbooks.com
Second Opinions: Angieville’s Review