27 April 2011

REVIEW: CATCHING FIRE

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
UK Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, Dystopian

Summary: In the controlled and poverty driven country of Panem, those in the Capitol live in luxury whilst those in the 12 districts live in poverty and desperation. The brutal sport of sending children out to kill each other in the Hunger Games is run as a reminder that the Capitol rules.

As a survivor of the games, Katniss is now coming to terms with the impact her survival with Peeta has had on the Capitol and its repressed Districts. Seen as a symbol of rebellion and hope, Katniss realises she has sparked an unstoppable change in people, and is threatened by the President unless she can diffuse the likely rebellions in other Districts. Soon enough however his threats become a reality when the Quarter Quell reveals that once again Katniss must face the Hunger Games.

Can anyone escape the Capitol’s control? And can Katniss once again survive the Hunger Games?

Review: On reading the first in the series I picked up similarities to another story, Battle Royale, and felt that The Hunger Games was a similar slant on the theme of televised slaughter of young children. Having read this book, I can now see Suzanne Collin’s writing come into its own, the Panem world develop, and Katniss’s character grow and mature.

We delve further into the relationships between Katniss, Peeta and Gale, and the love triangle that exists between them. Katniss obviously loves and cares for both of them but in very different ways. Personally I like both Peeta and Gale, and like Katniss can't decide between them. The possibility of marrying Peeta, who is like her opposite - self sacrificing, open, honest and caring - scares Katniss,  as she tries to see what future there could be with either in a changing and dangerous world

The plot is made up of twisting turns, dramatic revelations, and brutal developments in the Capitol’s control of Katniss and District 12. Once again there is a sense of trepidation and shock at Katniss and Peeta entering another round in the Hunger Games, and what threats there might be. The suspense of what will happen during the games as well as to those that Kat loves builds with every page and keeps you glued to the story.

The theme of the series is one of repression, control and the fight for freedom. Success and hope of a rebellion rises and falls at different points in the story. With the Quarter Quell it seems that President Snow is determined to rid Panem of Katniss as well as other symbols of hope and survival. However there is a palpable feeling that change is on the horizon for citizens of the districts who are no longer willing to live under a regime of repression and poverty.

A gripping story, The Hunger Games will leave you thirsty for more.

Rating: 4*

1 comment:

Vivienne said...

I didn't enjoy the rest of the series as much as the first book, so glad to hear that you did.