The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - Book Review

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - Book Review

Catching Fire is the second book of The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Like its predecessor, it takes place in Panem; a post-USA country with a dystopian feel to it. As a power play the government at the bourgeoisie Capitol organizes an annual tournament where twenty-four tributes from the oppressed twelve districts of Panem fight each other to the death on live television, with only one survivor emerging victorious. 

The one-survivor rule is however broken for the first time in the first book; The Hunger Games, as Katniss Everdeen and her on-screen love interest Peta Mellark both survived the games through a smart arm twisting move by Katniss. 

Her act of defiance goes unnoticed neither by the public nor by President Snow, the brutal head of the Panem State. In Catching Fire, Katniss realizes, much to her shock, that she has become an icon for a slow but steady rebellion. The pin in the shape of a Mockingjay bird that she wore during the games becomes a symbol of resistance.

Gale, Katniss’s best friend who’s had feelings for her from early on, is an enthusiastic supporter of the resistance, unlike Katniss whose fears overshadow her hopes for an actual change. 

Katniss and Peta are forced to fake a happy relationship for the cameras and must be as convincing as possible, regardless of what they actually feel. If they do not sell the illusion of a couple hopelessly in love with each other, they would be risking the lives of each other, and both their families. 

Rumors about a District 13, which was thought to have been eliminated by the capitol years before, are spreading across Panem. It is said that the district still exists in the shadows, leading many desperate residents from all districts to attempt migrating to it. 

In an attempt to squash any possible revolt, President Snow announces that for the 75th Hunger Games, the contestants would be selected from the pool of previous survivors. This eventually means that Katniss and Peta are both going back to the Arena and this time, with no hope of them both coming out of it alive. 

Haymitch, the couple’s coach and a former survivor of the Hunger Games, orchestrates an alliance for the two with other contestants. As the Games proceed, Katniss knows more about the other tributes; their stories and their fears, but most importantly she finds out that no one actually survives the Games; they are all tied by threads of fear and threats, bound to be President Snow’s puppets. 

This book has a different vibe from its prequel, it carries a revolutionary tone stemming from the anger and oppression, it hints at the possibilities of change. Collins continues to write in Katniss’s voice, maintaining the first-person narration. The pace of the book varies from one chapter to the other -the earlier chapters move slower than the ones after the Games begin. 

Catching Fire is a very exciting read with a variety of well-established characters that add a lot of depth and meaning to the story. The ending is shocking and unexpected; you would flip past the last page looking for more, not believing that Collins left everyone hanging, waiting anxiously for the following book. Catching Fire gets a 9/10 rating as it ticks almost all the boxes, gripping from start to finish.

Book Details

Title: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Format: Paperback
Author: Suzanne Collins
Language : English
Publisher : Scholastic Press
ISBN: 0545586178

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