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review 2018-12-29 02:12
Catching Fire - Audiobook
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins,Carolyn McCormick

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Audiobook

Library Copy

I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air.

- first sentence


I decided to continue my re-read with the audiobook for book two. While I enjoyed listening to the book, I was disappointed with the narrator (Carolyn McCormick). She totally missed the character, and after listening to Tatiana Maslany narrate the special edition of The Hunger Games, it was even worse. McCormick's narration was irritating and didn't fit Katniss's character at all. Her voice is breathy, whiny, overdramatic, and grating. I think she would be good in a different book, like maybe a historical drama.


I knocked off one star for the narration, but I loved the story and would have given it 5 stars.

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review 2016-07-24 01:22
Loved this book
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

I enjoyed this entire series of books.  This one actually made my emotions come out. I got angry, happy, I even cried once or twice. Wonderful series.

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review 2016-07-20 18:27
Catching Fire (THG #2)
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

The aftermath of Katniss Everdeen’s rebellious performance at the end of the 74th Hunger Games has consequences far beyond what happens to Peeta and herself in Catching Fire.  Suzanne Collins’ middle installment of The Hunger Games trilogy is all about how a dictatorial government responds to rebellion.


The story Katniss Everdeen begins just as she’s about to begin her Victory Tour with Peeta to the other Districts and the Capitol when President Snow expectantly shows up at her new home and threatens her to perform well or else.  Katniss fails to stop the growing unrest in other Districts and the Capitol cracks down everywhere, including District 12 which makes Katniss realizes that while her life was bad before now it would have been impossible.  Then the stipulations for the 75th Hunger Games sends both Katniss and Peeta into the arena with 22 other previous victors.  And in the arena, Katniss begins to realize that there is more than one game going on.


Unlike its predecessor, Catching Fire is more about the aftereffects of decisions than fighting to survive.  Throughout the entire book, there seems to be more going on behind the scenes than Katniss knows and the reader is able to connect things a little ahead of her at some points.  The twist and turns inside the arena might have been meant to surprise the reader, but an astute reader will realize that they are being set up for another book and the realization that the threat to Katniss and Peeta is very small clamps down on the dramatic tension gets closer to the end.


While I enjoyed Catching Fire, there was not the same quality or tension as there was in The Hunger Games though while I’m intrigued to know what is going to happen in the final book of the trilogy my enthusiasm is not at the same level it was after the first book.

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review 2016-07-15 03:17
One of my all time favorites
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

That twist at the end!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-07-09 13:03
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

I was already impressed by the first part of this trilogy, Hunger Games. But Catching Fire topped that one by far - might be because the movie didn't go in depth, it didn't waste time getting Katniss and Peeta back into the arena, so there was room left for improvement.


The book, on the other hand, focuses much more on the aftermath of the first Hunger Games, on Katniss trying to move on, on the threat posed by Snow and the Capitol which is much more immediate and intimate (the threat to her family and Gale, punishments like whippings, starvation, turning people into Avoxes and presenting them to Katniss, Cinna's elimination in front of Katniss's eyes) - on her trying to run away, but slowly realizing that she has a bigger role to play, that what she meant as a ploy to get both Peeta and herself out of the arena alive kindled hope and resistance around Panem. It's kind of like her focus shifted from narrow to wider (to narrow again after the Quarter Quell was announced and her main goal was saving Peeta) which makes the events in the second games more like a continuation, a culmination of what began in District 12 and the victory tour, rather than the main focus.


It's also the little facts about earlier Games that turn this into a fascinating read - such as how Haymitch won his Games, or what happened to Finnick's girlfriend. I know I shouldn't keep comparing book to movie, but the written story develops much more smoothly and consistently. You learn more about the other districts, and the way they're run by the "Peacekeepers" (and the way Katniss realizes that District 12 actually wasn't so bad off till a change of guards occurs - leading to Gale's punishment and Katniss's change of heart from flight to fight). The revolution is an underlying thread, even during the preparation for the Games (such as Plutarch's little appearance at the party, Cinna's creating the dress), and the events at the Games move consistently towards the climax, not catching us by surprise. And the idea of a surviving District 13 is introduced much earlier in the story when Katniss meets runaways from District 8 in the woods. So, the whole plotthreads are laid out, and they come together beautifully. But Katniss herself feels like a failure: She might have incited the people with her actions, but she failed to meet her final goal, saving Peeta who she thinks is much more suited as leader since he's much more aware of the bigger picture and better equipped with handling media and people. Especially since their personal relationship remains unsolved.


Even though the Games themselves aren't the main focus here, Collins takes time to introduce the other victors/tributes - and she doesn't forget to show that, even though most of them are now mentors themselves, they still suffer from the aftermath, turning to drugs etc. I think this is the one thing you wouldn't expect in books for adolescents: There is no happy end, as we've already seen with Katniss and Peeta, but that point is emphasized with other victors. There's only one little nitpick, if you even want to call it like that: What exactly is the motivation of the other victors, trying to save Katniss and Peeta, joining the Revolution? Essentially, they're willing to sacrifice themselves - did they plan that revolution for years, and now that Katniss has openly defied the Capitol, they think their time has come? And if Plutarch is part of the revolution, did he have contact with the mentors of the other districts prior to the end of the Games? Couldn't he have told others what would await them in the arena, not just hint obscurely during that party? Of course, given what happened to Seneca he had to tread a fine line, but given that the Games were in part a highly organized conspiracy I find it difficult to believe that he wouldn't have been able to get more information to the tributes (therefore saving more of them). I guess this background information is part of the story that gets lost due the 1st person PoV.


Now, we have Katniss on her way to District 13, an open revolution, a destroyed District 12, and Peeta imprisonned in the Capitol, likely tortured, likely brainwashed and used as leverage on Katniss. Quite a bleak ending. Fortunately, there's still Mockingjay to come.

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