Friday, April 13

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Scholastic and is used solely as an aide to the review.

Warning: Spoilers for 'The Hunger Games.'

The 74th Hunger Games have concluded but the dangers are far from over. The Capitol is angry in the face of defiance and they seek to calm the districts...but what was once a spark has now become a flame, spreading throughout Panem.

Katniss is being paraded throughout the districts in hopes that she will bring calm to the people once again. However, it may already be too late to extinguish the the rebellion she has inspired. With the Quarter Quell approaching, Katniss may be pulled back into the world of the Hunger Games as a mentor. Can she bring herself to face the horrors of the arena once more?

Her entire family and district is at risk. Will she choose to remain subdued or fight and risk everything she loves?

I'd heard from plenty of people that they weren't that impressed by Catching Fire but I loved it. While the book might seem to some like something of a lull in comparison to 'The Hunger Games' it is coursed with a powerful but subtle emotion that is not pushed onto the reader.

Before I started the sequel, I wondered if I would be pulled into the Team Peeta/Team Gale issue but I'm still Team Katniss. If I had to choose, I'll admit that I fail to see the appeal of Gale as a character, let alone a love interest. Peeta is clever and charismatic. Gale is something of a downer.

I was a bit underwhelmed by the title 'Catching Fire' when I first discovered it. All I could think of was someone trying to catch something intangible. I didn't give it much thought, I just found it a lot less striking than the other titles in the trilogy. I feel differently now. It captures the change in Panem so well - a glint of hope igniting into an unstoppable fire, symbolising the passionate movement of the people.

It might be easy to claim that 'The Hunger Games' used high death stakes as an easy out for tension and conflict to provoke a reaction from the reader but 'Catching Fire' is proof that if it weren't for the emotional stakes and the excellent character dynamics, it would have been a shallow failing of a novel.

My favourite moment in 'Catching Fire' is when Katniss visits District 11. I won't try to describe how well it was written or how it affected me as a reader. It is something you must read and experience for yourself.

One thing I can say for sure is that Suzanne Collins proves in 'Catching Fire' that she certainly knows how to work the midpoint of a novel. I've bought my copy of 'Mockingjay' and am intrigued to see how the trilogy ends.

1 comment:

Meika Usher said...

Catching Fire is my favorite of the trilogy. It's so intense and powerful. Plus...Finnick.