Author Website: http://suzanne-collins.com/
Price: Rs. 295 (discounted to Rs. 227 at Flipkart)
Publisher: Scholastic Books. Published in September, 2009
*This review might contain spoilers for those who haven’t read the book yet*
Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games series, continuing with the story of the nation of Panem, ruled by the Capitol. The Capitol’s furious at sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen for being smart enough to challenge the power of the Capitol in the annual Hunger Games. Even though what Katniss did was more from instinct and humanity, it started lighting the spark among the people in different districts, especially District 11, where Rue had belonged. There’s a threat of rebellion and the Capitol would do whatever it can to subdue it.
A visit from President Snow from the Capitol is enough to make Katniss realize that the games aren’t over yet. They’re keeping an eye on her every move and it seems that her family, Gale and Peeta’s families aren’t free from risk either. The Victory Tour shows evidence that the other districts are trying hard to keep patience with the Capitol. Katniss’s sub-conscious move against the Capitol has stirred feelings of rebellion in the districts. The bomb’s dropped when the Quarter Quell is announced- a version of the Hunger Games that take place after every twenty-five years. That’s when the action begins! A new, dangerous arena where unique threats lurk at every corner, powerful tributes who have survived before and lots of surprises!
|Catching Fire book cover|
Catching Fire being the second book, it took no time in re-introducing the characters, the situation and the danger. Readers can instantly connect with the book as soon as it begins. Though I thought it went a bit slow in the beginning, with lots of descriptions about people, places and what not. For me, the real thing began after about 100 pages, with shocks and surprises thrown at you at every page. That’s when I was totally hooked on to the book!
We come to know so much more about the different characters in this book, so that we can easily create a mental image of them. I liked the way Peeta’s been portrayed- strong, yet sensible, silent and understanding. He’s not impulsive like Katniss and takes it upon himself to keep her alive in the arena. Haymitch does a turn as well- boy, is he smart and clever! I could connect really well with the way Katniss feels all the time- vulnerable and lost before the Quarter Quell and confused during the games and after. Gale was pretty much lost from the book, only making an appearance in the beginning and the end, so I haven’t been able to understand him much. I so loved the way Katniss was being projected as the Mockingjay, the symbol of rebellion!
I loved the way the districts begin an uprising, how the Capitol tries hard to subdue them, the secret about District 13, the fear and desperation among people to survive, the love for each other that they feel, the breathtaking action, new discoveries in the arena and the intellectual way they tackle the difficulties. Though I personally found the arena in The Hunger Games far better. In Catching Fire,the Games had more of the ‘Sinister Game’ element. This time it was very short and far more cruel. But maybe that’s what it was meant to be. Now I can’t wait to read the final book in the series, Mockingjay, which will explore more on the uprisings, the secrets of District 13 and more action!
Recommended for: Teens and adults, those who love action and heart-pounding surprises!