Saturday, May 14, 2011
CBRIII: Book#25: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen has done the unthinkable: she has survived the Capitol's Hunger Games and was able to help fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mallark survive as well. The Games have never had two winners but the fabricated romance of Katniss and Peeta was a key to their survival. Unfortunately, Katniss's choice to defy the Capitol has put her on very thin ice. Her choice to kill herself and Peeta with poisoned berries rather than kill him or be killed by him has made President Snow look weak. And weakness could lead to uprisings in the Districts, which is why the Games are held.
Katniss and Gale have been unable to renew their friendship since Gale now works in the mines. Gale is also referred to as Katniss's cousin to alleviate rumors of a romance with anyone other than Peeta. Now that they are back home and President Snow is upset, Katniss has to keep up the facade. It doesn't help that Peeta and Katniss now have to tour the 12 Districts and the Capitol in their duties as winners of The Hunger Games.
Adding to things is the Quarter Quell, which marks every 25 years of the Games. In this 75th year, the Districts wait to see what special horror the Capitol will pepper their Games with for the audience. Katniss and Peeta will need to mentor the young tributes chosen for this Game, a thought that neither of them relishes. However, the Games take an unprecedented turn before they ever begin.
Once again, I tore through this book. Collins is a gifted writer and the story, characters, and tense situations never seem forced or too far-fetched. The reader is privy to little more than what Katniss, as narrator, knows, and this works to great effect. I don't think I'd enjoy the books as much if I were able to discern what was happening. Most of the fun is in the gradual reveal of different people's motivations, feelings, and actions. I wouldn't want to be forewarned.
I urge anyone reading this that hasn't read the books to READ THE BOOKS. You'll understand all of the fuss surrounding the casting of the movie version and be better informed when they are released. They're also enjoyable books that you can blast through quickly. DO IT.