Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is the follow-up novel to Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Like The Hunger Games, Catching Fire centers on an impending rebellion against an apparent oligarchy or dictatorship. It has action, death, trickery, loyalty, love, abuse of power and much more. In some ways, it is as good as The Hunger Games. In other ways, it falls short or exceeds the first novel.


Catching Fire begins in District 12 where Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are preparing to tour the 13 districts and Capitol City to celebrate their victory at the Hunger Games. There is an element of wariness and disdain about the whole process. Katniss is being pressured by President Snow, who sees her past actions in the arena as subtle rebelliousness. Katniss wants to protect her family by doing as Snow says. However, from the beginning, the reader gets the sense that Snow is not to be trusted and that things will not go according to plan.

In a great twist, Suzanne Collins places Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark back in the arena. This time, they are fighting in the annual Quarter Quell. This is an amped up version of the Hunger Games that is played every 25 years. The theme is the same. It is a message to the districts that rebellion is futile. The Capitol is too strong. However, something has changed–something Katniss and Peeta did during the Hunger Games has brought rebellion to the districts. Uprisings are occurring while Katniss and Peeta are preparing to battle for their lives. . . again.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins brought a semi-fresh idea to the table. It was easy to become engrossed in the novel because the concept of a televised fight to the death was not new, but it was being done in an entirely new way. Once you find out what the Hunger Games really are, you cannot help but read on to see what happens. In Catching Fire, the horror Hunger Games is not fresh, so it was time to see if Suzanne's storytelling could draw out this brilliant idea into a series. She delivered.

The one area in which Catching Fire exceeds its predecessor is the ending. A surprise twist followed by a cliffhanger was the perfect way to keep readers rabid for more. By the end of this book, it is easy to be curious about what Katniss' fate will be. Will Peeta get what he so deserves or will Gale, who is also worthy, be the one to live happily ever after? Will any of them live at all? Will the Districts rebel? Why does Snow's breath smell like blood? Yes, that's a thing.

In short, Catching Fire was a page-turning follow-up to an extraordinary novel. So much more could be said, but you will just have to read the books.

Shelly Barclay

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