Warning: Although I try not to reveal too many things, there are spoilers in this review. I try to keep things I wouldn’t want revealed to me out of the review. However, it’s really hard to talk about a book and not to mention certain things. If you don’t want to know a thing, I suggest you skip this post and come back to it after reading the book.
Catching Fire is the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy. Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games on the first book. She should now return home, to her friends and family, and enjoy the rewards of being a victor. Only that’s not what happens. She’s not in good terms with the people in her life. Besides, the Capitol saw her victory as a threat, and now she must deal with the consequences of her actions.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this book. Usually the second book of a series, with a few exceptions of course, tend to disappoint. The big story was told, about the Hunger Games, and what could happen now? What could be worst than that, right? Would they now be on the other side of it, training other children to compete? Would they talk about the other side of things?
However, you do have a title that makes you wonder. Catching Fire. She was the girl on fire. Now it’s time to burn. And you do see it burn. The book is divided in 3 parts: The Spark, The Quell, and The Enemy. And I have to say the book is really engaging. Katniss grows in this book. She goes from a girl who knows things are wrong but doesn’t understand why her friend Gale insists on thinking about it, to a girl who can defy the Capitol, who can inspire a whole nation. She doesn’t quite see how she can be inspiring, but she’s definitely not the same naïve girl from the beginning of the first book.
This book, although not as action packed as the first one, continues to criticize society, as did the first one in the trilogy. It talks about how people underestimate the power they have and how much they can accomplish. Katniss gets to see more clearly what is going on, and she shows she’s not as immature as she was. She plans, she thinks about things larger than her own existence, than her own survival. She thinks big. When she says “If I can make it clear that I’m still defying the Capitol right up to the end, the Capitol will have killed me… but not my spirit. What better way to give hope to the rebels?” I thought “Now, that’s the spirit!”
I certainly recommend this book. Now, just one thing: If you don’t like cliffhangers, you’ll hate the ending. I have to say, if I had to wait months to read the next, I’d be furious! I finish the book and couldn’t wait to start the next. I had to grab the third one and start reading it right away. It’s a great cliffhanger, but a huge one, so just make sure you have the third one handy before you finish this one.
A few quotes:
“A mockingjay is a creature the Capitol never intended to exist. They hadn’t counted on the highly controlled jabberjay having the brains to adapt to the wild, to thrive in a new form. They hadn’t anticipated its will to live.”
“A spark could be enough to set them ablaze.”
“It must be very fragile, if a handful of berries can bring it down.”
“If I can make it clear that I’m still defying the Capitol right up to the end, the Capitol will have killed me… but not my spirit. What better way to give hope to the rebels?” (p. 243)
“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.”