Sunday, 10 June 2012

Book 45 of 2012: Catching Fire

Having picked up the Hunger Games trilogy pretty cheap, there was never any question that I was going to not read the others in the series, though when I finished The Hunger Games I wasn’t entirely sure what the next two books could possibly be about. In the past it’s probably the sort of book series that I would’ve gotten sucked into 110% but not having access to internet at home, and not watching TV, means that I’ve probably missed out on a lot of the movie hype so it’s not quite filtered through to me yet. I was a little bit spoiled for the first book, but I managed to largely avoid spoilers for the second and I’m desperately hoping that I won’t accidentally hear anything about the third; if you’re avoiding spoilers yourself, watch out, this review does contain them!

I knew I might be making a mistake when I started reading Catching Fire on a Tuesday, considering the fact that before work on the day that I started reading The Hunger Games I was sixty pages in (and was very grateful for the fact that I had a day off for my birthday the following day, mainly so I could finish it). Whereas The Hunger Games took me a little while to get into (though when I did, I was hooked), Catching Fire picks up shortly after the first book finished with Peeta and Katniss living in the Victor’s Village and trying to move on with their lives post-Games. Unfortunately for Katniss, her little stunt with the poison berries at the end of their Games has sparked a revolution which is putting her and her entire family in danger.

I had a funny feeling that Katniss was going to end up back in the Games; I was fairly certain that she wouldn’t be able to volunteer again as she had done before, but I suspected that there would be some sort of Grand Tournament… and I was right. I think that’s one of the good things about Collins’ writing; on the one hand, things can be a little predictable at times, but then at others it’s totally unpredictable. It means that even when you think you’ve got an idea of what’s to come, you never know if you’ll be right, because something could happen which is unexpected.

At the start of the Games I was fairly certain that Peeta was a goner. The funny thing is, no one is safe, you never know when something is going to happen to someone you’ve gotten to know. If a twelve-year-old girl can be murdered in the first book, then anything can happen in the second and third. Now there’s three males in the frame; Gale, Peeta and Finnick and I’m fairly certain that at least one of them will die before the end of the series. I’m just not sure who it’s going to be.

I did feel like the ending to this book was a little rushed. It all happened very quickly and it took me a moment to understand what was going on. I realise that part of that was probably intentional and part of it was my own fault; Katniss is suddenly in a very confusing situation and doesn’t know what’s going on herself, plus I was reading quickly to find out what was happening which leads to a bit of fuzziness on the exact details.

Whereas The Hunger Games felt more like a complete book, Catching Fire jumps straight into the action and although it ends at an interesting enough point, I felt like there was a bit of build up to the next book. It’s a bit of a bridge between the action of the first book and whatever is to come in the next one. That said, I’m really looking forward to reading that. Just have to time it right so I can sit and devour it in as short a space of time as possible!

What do I mean when I say I love Gale? I don’t know. I did kiss him last night, in a moment when my emotions were running so high. But I’m sure he doesn’t remember it. Does he? I hope not. If he does, everything will just get more complicated and I really can;t think about kissing when I’ve got a rebellion to incite.
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  1. Really enjoying your book reviews. Even if they're by and large books I haven't read!

    I must admit I normally run a mile from these book to film crazes like Harry Potter and Twilight, but The Hunger Games does appeal with its 'Lord of the Flies/Contender Series 7' vibe

    1. Glad you're enjoying the reviews, I quite like reading book reviews online because sometimes it gives me an idea of authors or books I should keep an eye out for. ;-)

      I'm just on the final one of the trilogy, Mockingjay, and although I don't think it's quite as gripping as The Hunger Games, I like it more than Catching Fire and I'd definitely recommend the series. It's kind of what Lord of the Flies would have been if the kids had wound up on the island with the instruction to kill each other.


Let me know what you think. :-)