Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
During our summer road trip we listened to the audiobook version of Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” and my daughter quickly read the remaining books in the trilogy shortly afterwards. With the upcoming March 2012 release of the movie, I know I’ll probably be taking her to see all of them anyway so I figured I might as well read the rest of the books myself.
“Catching Fire” is the second book in the series and begins about six months after Katniss and Peeta emerged as the dual victors of the 74th annual Hunger Games, as they prepare to go on their Victory Tour of the other Districts. This year’s Hunger Games will be a Quarter Quell, which occurs every 25 years and usually includes some sort of miserable twist to the Games. The surprise for this Quell is that the Tributes will be selected from past victors, which means Katniss and Peeta are going into the Arena … again.
The secondary plotline continues to be the unrest in the Districts towards the Capitol. As the title suggests, Katniss has become the spark that could ignite a revolution and the Capitol will do everything in its power to prevent that. So where the first book focused more on the Games themselves, this story gives us more detail on the other Districts, their relationship with the Capitol, and the current political situation in Panem overall.
Just like the first novel, “Catching Fire” is laid out in three parts of 9 chapters each, and is an easy read (not surprising since it’s really young-adult literature). It seemed to end rather abruptly just and events were really picking up, but having started “Mockingjay” now I know it picks up immediately and keeps going, so it was the logical break point for the book.
Just remember who the Enemy is …