Back in October half term I read The Hunger Games and I foolishly waited all this time to read the second in the trilogy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. However having watched the film a few weekends ago I decided to raid the school library to pick up the second instalment.
Katniss Everdene survived The Hunger Games, however in doing so she unwittingly deceived The Capitol and became the catalyst for rebellious talks from the various districts that make up the futuristic country of Panam. On her victory tour Katniss begins to witness the quiet mummers of rebellion and begins to wonder how she can play her role in this act of defiance against The Capitol. But before she can act Katniss finds herself back in the deadly arena facing twenty-three new Tributes of a completely different calibre.
Before writing this review I went back to look at my initial thoughts on the first novel, reminding myself of the reasons I loved it and why I found it so engaging. One of the things I wrote about was Katniss as a heroine and how refreshing it was to have a strong and independent female role model within teen literature. I still agree with this and feel it is a feature that comes through in Catching Fire as much as it did in the first novel. Katniss’ fit to survive and defy The Capitol at any cost shines through and is a key device that helps the narrative progress. Despite the unimaginable world of The Hunger Games Collins still writes about aspects of teenage life that those in the real world can relate to, most obviously the ill fated and complicated love triangle. It is always in the background of Katniss’ thoughts and motivations, and I love that although it is a key part of what spurs her on it does not become the primary focus of the novel and nor is it rammed down the readers’ throat every 5 seconds.
There were parts of the novel that I had to reread as I wasn’t 100% sure what had happened, and I am sure when I reread it (which is inevitable) I will pick up on lots of little hints that I missed on first reading. However this is part of the magic; there is nothing better than a book that grips you from the off and that you are desperate to turn each page to find out what happens next. I am a little sad that I don’t have the third book ready on my bedside table ready to go right away, but patience is a virtue and all that. I can’t decide if I want to dive right in to the last instalment, or if I will change pace and read something else first, saving the excitement for a few weeks time. What a pickle!