*** Please dont read if you haven’t yet read The Hunger Games or Catching Fire! Im going to talk about events that happen in the book so you have been warned!!! ***
Catching fire is the second novel in the hunger games trilogy. It is set shortly after the first novel ended with Katniss and Peeta preparing to embark on their victory tour of Panem. There are whispers of uprisings which makes Katniss the number one target for President Snow as well as the 75th Hunger Games to contend with. The novel touches on many themes, including survival, government control, rebellion and interdependence vs. independence (Wikipedia).
After outsmarting the Capitol in book one, Katniss has inadvertently become a symbol of rebellion and hope for the districts. She has become the Mockingjay. I dont think I will look at berries in quite the same way again…
I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this book, after how book one ended I was really hoping Katniss and Peeta would (without sounding mushy!) be on a more positive footing. So much was built up in book one about Peetas love for Katniss, as a reader you really wanted her to believe that the feelings he said he had for her were genuine. So for it to be crushed right at the end made me want to find out even more what had happened. I suppose you wanted them to survive so much, it wouldn’t have made sense if it wasn’t with each other.
Throughout the novel, Katniss begins to understand the web of lies the capitol has woven to keep the districts inline. She also learns that because of her actions, and unwittingly becoming the face of the rebellion, she has put many people she cares for in danger. When President Snow visits Katniss, you start to understand the power of the capitol. It seems strange that whilst this is a fictional rebellion, it is very real and present in many countries in the world today. You begin to understand the magnitude, cost and power a rebellion can have; as well the heavy prices that are paid for it. I read a quote in Empire magazine from the Director Gary Ross,
‘At first she’s just fighting to live and in the end she finds something she is willing to die for’
I dont think it could be summed up better.
One of my favourite moments of this book was when Katniss and Peeta painted in her family book together. You realised as a reader that although their their feelings towards each other weren’t the clearest, they needed each other. I suppose this relates to reality in a way, as when you have gone through a shared experience like Katniss and Peeta (or university, an attack, a disaster or lost someone close), its the bond you have with the other people that shard that exact moment or situation with you. Although they have moments of closeness when they return to the capitol, they are never in a way that is anything but friendship and support. They are dependent on each other.
You learn a lot more about her bonds with her family and Gale this time around. I like Prim! She seems so level headed and maturing so quickly through out the book. Although Katniss was so worried about leaving her, maybe its her absence that has made her stronger? Im unsure what to make of Gale. Katniss and Gale have been so reliant on each other before the games to keep their families alive, that it seems the most logical choice for them to be together. They are very similar in that they both resent that capitol for what they have subjected their families to but have always been too small to challenge it; until now. I think that seeing her bond with Peeta in the first book, has threatened Gale. Haymitch is another character that develops, you learn more about him and his past. Although at times i’m sure they wouldn’t agree, his friendship with Katniss and Peeta is pretty clear to see. Again they all have a shared experience in the games.
As Katniss and Peeta head back into the games, I thought they were all going to drown within the first 5 minutes! I found it hard to keep track of who everyone was at first, a lot of news names. I love clever plots and the plot here was very clever. I won’t give too much away!!
All in all, it was a great follow up to The Hunger Games. I enjoyed reading more about the characters interactions when Katniss and Peeta returned to district 12, but it was good to see their determination for each others survival again in the arena.
Theres so much more I could talk about,
Have you read Catching Fire?
What did you think?
You can find my Hunger Games review here!
You can find my Mockingjay review here!