Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Katniss and Peeta return triumphantly to District 12. After 6 months, they embark on a tour around the other districts as dissent and tensions rise. An outraged President Snow concocts a special treat for the 75th Hunger Games.
This book is slow to start with the "couple" touring on the train and adjusting to living in their victors' houses in a separate village while the townspeople continue to exist in squalor. The love triangle grows more complicated with Gale now back in the picture. Mid-way through, the story gains speed with an interesting twist and never stops. Couldn't download the third quickly enough.
My only complaint is how old the narrator sounds. I grew accustomed to it in the first book and it doesn't detract too much from the fantastic story.
I loved this book and I will talk about content, but first I must give praise to the audio itself. I often read the books before I listen to them, so I don't expect to be so spellbound by the audio. However, with this book, the narrator (Carolyn McCormick) is great and helps to engage me even more than when I read it myself. I had listened to the first book "The Hunger Games" before reading the second, it had the same narrator, and I could hear here voice in my head as I read. I made a point of listening to both back to back and it was pure pleasure. In "Catching Fire", I found myself laughing and crying with the book. The narrator is consistent and spot on with her inflections and voicing.
Now for content, I had been anticipating this second book in the trilogy since the moment I finished the first. It continues just a short time after the first and covers all that has happened in between and then continues on with the story Suzanne Collins so expertly weaved. The book is perfectly title as it descibes exactly how the temperment of the Districts has developed. I don't want to spoil it for people with too much. The love triangle between the Katniss, Peeta and Gale is further fleshed out, but, of course, is not resolved. The author does a wonderful job of this, and I, myself, can't even decide who is the one to choose, I can't take sides.
I don't know how helpful this review will be, but I cannot praise this book enough. It left me more than eager for the final book and I am sure that I will need to read it again in the mean time.
I've recently returned from living and working in Alaska. I, my beautiful two dogs, and wonderful three cats travelled together.
After the Hunger Games which was a one of a kind work, both sequels Catching Fire and MockingJay are interesting reads but fall short of the thrilling, imaginative caliber of Hunger Games. They would be more enjoyable if one did not compare them to Hunger Games.
I can't really add much to the reviews of the story that have been previously written here. It is suspenseful, interesting, and made two days of a road trip much more interesting. I look forward to the third book, except I won't be listening to it from Audible. The narration here, by Carolyn McCormick, was simply dreadful. Katniss is alternately a world-weary 50-year-old, and a whiny 10-year-old - and not as a point of character fluctuation but of wildly shifting narration. At points in the story where Katniss might be serious, she is simpering; sarcasm comes across as self-doubt. It's amazing what a voice can or cannot do for a character. Other characters also did not fare well; McCormick seemed to have not read the "stage directions," so a solemn remark sometimes came out as a shout. By the end, I was gritting my teeth in frustration and sometimes outright laughing at the terrible, erratic vocalization.
The story is quite interesting, though, and I will look for it in another form elsewhere.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
One thing I must say between books 1 and books 2 of the Hunger Games books is how seamless they seem to flow into each other. As most would agree, the first Hunger Games was excellently put together so a continuation was very much welcomed.
The narrator grew on me, she did a very good job voicing the different characters that are introduced (which were quite a few). She did very well to show the tortured nature of the characters in this book.
Catching Fire introduces a lot of very interesting new characters I must say. The tyranny of the Capital and of Snow becomes even more evident in the title. The story progresses very quickly I find and certain aspects of the book seems a bit rushed if you ask me, however much was not lost in this title and it was very much enjoyed.
Well, she did it. The author made the 2nd as good as the first.
It is quite an emotional ride, the characters are even more engaging than they were in the first book.
There are some developments to the story that you expect after reading the first, but there are also some great surprises.
Being that it is told in first person, it was very important to keep the same narrator and I am glad they did.
- AND you should be warned.
If you are in it for this one than you are *definitely* in it for the next!
(I hate waiting for the next in a good sequel, Ms Collins, please hurry...)
compelling, rebellion, suspenseful, enjoyable.
Nearly anyone. I don't think she's necessarily a bad narrator, but in this case she didn't have any sense of the characters she was playing.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I have previously read the book, the narration by Carolyn McCormick made this listen almost unbearable. She has turned Katniss, a character with profound personal strength, who had to provide for her family at the young age of 13 or 14, into a whiny, simpering basket case of a girl you want to give a good firm slap. Instead of introspective pondering about the significance of events unfolding before her, this Katniss seems hopelessly lost in self doubt, self pity, and self loathing. I was taken aback at how the narration could so change a character. I don't think Carolyn McCormick really has any grasp on the characters she was reading, because I feel like she read an entirely different book than I did.
I will try not to give anything away and simply say that I'm not as enthralled with this one. I cannot believe in the story, in the decisions of the characters, in the logical progression - I expected more sooner, or if not more, than an explanation of why the characters would choose the way that they did, especially the main character and the rest of the tributes.
I read the first book in this series and couldn't put it down. I decided to listen to the second one so I could get back to having a life instead of reading non stop. I had a very hard time getting past the narrator. She's a good reader. She would be fine reading a different book but she does not fit this character at all. I don't understand why in the world they selected her for this series. It's incredibly distracting and takes a great deal away from the story. I would give this book four stars if the narrator was different.
If you liked the first book, "The Hunger Games," you will like the sequel. It keeps up the gut-wrenching tension despite its predictability, just like the first book. Although most of the new characters introduced are not as engaging as those we met in book one, you will grow to like some of the returning characters even more.
Katniss continues to be a bit slow to figure out things that will be immediately obvious to the reader, and the ending is easy to see coming. However, it's hardly an ending at all; the last sentence may as well have been "To be continued..."
I still think Carolyn McCormick's narration is a bit too chipper at times, and Katniss in particular sounds entirely too breathlessly girlish when she's fighting for her life.