Series: The Hunger Games #2
Narrator: Carolyn McCormick
Published by Scholastic Press on September 9, 2009
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours, 41 minutes
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.
After the extraordinary first book, I couldn’t imagine the second being as riveting or action packed. While it lacked the excitement and suspense, it more than made up for it in political intrigue and angst.
Katniss may have outsmarted President Snow by finding a way for both she and Peeta to win the Hunger Games, she’s fully aware that he’s unhappy about it and a day of reckoning will come. It’s not if but a question of when.
We forget how young she is and Katniss is ill prepared to handle the emotions involving the two men in her life, Peeta and Gale. She’s trying to sort out her feelings while having to continue to play the part of a girl in love with her Games partner. I loved how she handled both and her way of thinking through the situation. There was an element of authenticity that elevated it beyond the normal young adult angst, which normally drives me nuts.
There’s an interesting twist in the story that plunges everyone into turmoil again. I didn’t think anything could rival the horror of a the Hunger Games but life got extremely complicated and dangerous for the courageous and intelligent Katniss.
I read the first book and opted to listen to this one and it was a great decision. While the narration at first seemed to be stilted, I soon adapted to the cadence and it ended up being pitch perfect for the story.
The bottom line
The mystery and suspense of this story more than compensated for the absence of breakneck action found in the first. Be forewarned that it has a cliffhanger ending, though I’m still trying to decide whether I’ll wait for the movie’s release before reading it. It’s more than a worthy follow up in the trilogy, just a different kind of excitement. My heart still raced and my spine tingled.