Mar 132012
 

Author: Suzanne Collins

Pages: 391

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: September 2009

Genre: Teen Dystopian Future, Science Fiction

Characters: 

Katniss Everdeen- District 12 winner of the 74th Hunger Games, and master of hunting and archery.

Peeta Mellark- Other District 12 winner of the 74th Hunger Games, painter and is in love with Katniss, but it is unrequited.

Gale Hawthrone- Friend of Katniss, also a hunter and may have feelings for her.

Haymitch Abernathy- Mentor of Katniss and Peeta but has had a drinking problem since he won the 50th Hunger Games.

President Snow- Despotic and Psychotic ruler of Panem, fears that Katniss is becoming a symbol for a rebellion

Finnick Odair- Ten years earlier had won the Hunger Games for District 4.  He is very handsome and vain and uses a trident for his weapon.

Beetee- Tribute from District 3 and is a technological genius.

Johanna Mason- District 7 tribute and is sarcastic and dangerous.

Synopsis: Katniss’ hard won victory in the 74th Hunger Games by forcing the Capitol to change the rules has made other districts realize that the Capitol is not all powerful.  Some Districts are even revolting against the Capitol.  When the time comes for the 75th Hunger Games the Capitol calls for a Quarter Quell which means that previous winners of the games must fight against other winners of the games. Since this means that Katniss must fight Peeta,  she vows that she will keep Peeta alive no matter what.  Other contestants have different plans and Katniss must deal with new and strange allies and her feelings for Peeta.

Analysis: Once I finished reading The Hunger Games, I went right out the book store and picked up Catching Fire.  I was excited to find out how Suzanne Collins would continue the story.  My biggest concern was how she would get Katniss back into the area.  I was worried that it would be a repeat of the first book where she took her sister’s place.  How wrong I was!  I loved the introduction of a Quarter Quell where old winners must fight each other. Also, the political intrigue that was briefly touched upon in the previous book takes a greater role in this book.  Due to this, the world of Panem is greatly expanded in the readers mind and it is no longer one dimensional.

Pro: 

  • Hints that other Hunger Games were not won with brute strength or weapon skill but people like Beetee,who won with his intellect.
  • Implication that the game itself is a key to revolt by selecting those that can fight, make loyal friends,  and work together.  Then concentrating them in one arena, causing a perfect storm that ignites the rebellion.

Con:

  • President Snow is a one dimensional villain and his actions only serve to make the resistance stronger.  It should have been obvious to just let Katniss fade away and not egg her on.
  • At times Katniss seems to be less of an active participant and is just carried along with everything.

Conclusion:  Despite the story dragging a bit at times, the payoff in the end was worth the wait!


Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters 4
Plot 3
Imagery 2
Read Again? 4
Average 3.25

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