I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting a lot from ‘Catching Fire’ by Suzanne Collins having not been blown away by ‘The Hunger Games’ (see previous post). However, something happened to Collins in between writing the first and second volume of this now acclaimed (thanks to the movies) trilogy for young adults. I don’t know what it was that happened but suddenly I found myself engrossed by the story of Katniss and Peeta the winners of the Hunger Games.
The plot has a wider scope – the story isn’t just about the fate of the two ‘lovers’ but about their families and in fact the future of all the Districts and the Capitol. Katniss has become a figurehead of a growing resentment towards the Romanesque government and many districts are on the brink of open revolution. Katniss has essentially become the embodiment of the Mockingjay and it’s no surprise that this is the title of the third book. I actually found myself blown away by the audacious ‘costume change’ during her interview prior to entering into the arena for the special Hunger Games to mark the Quell – in which a collection of previous contestants have to fight it out to the death once more Battle Royale style. It’s damn hard not to give spoilers but I think I’m doing okay so far.
Anyway the bulk of the book is taken up with the build up to Katniss re-entering the Hunger Games with Peeta and the threat against her family and friends posed by the Capitol. Once inside the arena there is the usual mixture of automated perils and the threat from the career contestants. However, this time Katniss seems to have an abundance of allies and it is interesting how the story unfolds to reveal that the fight is much wider in scope than she first thought.
I toyed with reading the final book in the trilogy straight away, but have talked myself out of it in favour of a Philip K Dick book. I am going to watch the ‘Hunger Games’ film at some point soon (I have to wait for it to come around on the roulette wheel of whatever LoveFilm is called now) and then ‘Catching Fire’ that is sitting ready for me on Netflix.