The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Rating:
5/5

Name: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins

Year: 2009

Genre: Adventure, Dystopia, Science Fiction

After last weeks review of the first novel in The Hunger Games trilogy, here is my review of the second novel in the trilogy. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Plot

(Note: This review contains spoilers for the first novel – you have been warned!)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins six months after the events of the first novel. Katniss and Peeta have managed, against all of the odds, to survive The Hunger Games together (after Katniss’s trick of attempting to take a few poisoned berries rather than kill Peeta which meant the Games were cut short and they were both declared victors).

Now, she and Peeta both must go on a Victory Tour to visit all of the districts they managed to defeat in The Hunger Games. The stakes are much higher for Katniss however when President Snow visits her in District Twelve and informs her that her actions in The Hunger Games may have started the first sparks of rebellion and she must convince both the President and the entirety of Panem that what she did was the act of a girl madly in love with Peeta and ultimately prevent a rebellion before it starts. If she fails, the cost would be unbearable, especially with the 75th Anniversary of The Hunger Games looming around the corner…

Thoughts

Overall, this novel has massive improvements on the first novel in the trilogy.

From the beginning the book has a much more sinister and dark undertone than the first novel managed with Katniss debating whether her actions in the games were the right thing to do, especially with her feelings of guilt over Gale and the early visit from President Snow at the beginning of the novel serves to make this tone all the more prominent.

Also one of my criticisms of the first novel was that the other characters in some ways barely got a mention and as such the novel’s events seem a bit inconsequential. In this second novel however Collins completely changes this with the Victory Tour allowing us to see all of the other districts and the shocking events in District Eleven in particular prove how tyrannous the Capitol’s control of Panem really is. The fact Katniss’s actions in the first novel have such consequences make this novel a more richer experience than the first one.

Also the novel allows us to see more of the Capitol’s ways within the Victory Tour which helps in particular to make the villain more visible and more of a physical presence whereas in the first novel the Capitol is a bit of an unknown entity in the same way as the districts. Also the twist in the middle of the novel revolving around the 75th Hunger Games leaves you in no doubt of the Capitol’s evil core and will make you want to read on though I do not want to go too in depth into the novel’s second half as I am a bit of a tease and I would like you to read it….

Verdict:

Overall, a fantastic second novel in the trilogy which ups the ante on the previous novel’s foundation.

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