The narrator. I read the first book but my preference is to listen to my books as I'm a busy person. The voice of the narrator threw me off. I felt like she was reading the book to me as most narrators tend to bring you into the story with them. I had trouble getting into the story as her voice and the way she read the story was very distracting. She improved with the second half of the book, and I hope she is better with the third book but I'd have not chosen her in the first place. I enjoyed this book as it gets into the heart of the struggle that the people go through. I held my breathe wondering if
Katness and Peeta were going to make it to the end. All in all I felt that this book was an excellent stand alone book and not just a bridge to a third book. I look forward to getting into the last installment in this series.
I enjoyed reading this series, so did my 14 year old daughter, so thought we would get the audio books to listen to. Sadly, the narrator just doesn't do it justice. She sounds like a robot, and sounds FAR too old to believably convey the characters of Katnis & co - she makes Katnis sound like a 40 something stepford wife!
I still recommend the recording for those who can't/won't read the books. My daughter enjoyed listening but would laugh out loud now and then at the dreadful narration. Listen to the sample - if you can handle it, go for it!
Say something about yourself!
The narrator is wonderful! I love Carolyn McCormick! Her reading is so clear and her voice and inflection is so deliberate and appropriate.
Mockingjay! Because its the 3rd in the series.....and Carolyn McCormick also narrates that one :) . From another author, I would have to say Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, they are great audiobooks.
I appreciate the mood change you can feel of the story through her narrating.
Of course this book makes me cry! But I also laugh of loud because Haymitch and Katniss' interactions are priceless!
I really liked this, so please don't take the headline for my review as complete. That said, it's hard to believe this was conceived as entirely original, and not tacked on to book one. The Hunger Games was so perfect, it would be hard to follow, and harder still to get it correct for everyone's preferences.
An admirable stab at the job, but not quite there. In some senses, I'd kinda prefer it ended with the finale of THG, but then, I'd be wrong, because when compared with almost everything else that's out there, "Catching Fire," is a more than capable combatant.
I've read some folks don't enjoy Carolyn McCormick's rendition. Just go and sit in the corner, dunces hat on. Ms McCormick is perfect, ya heer? Now and again, you can hear how she's taken up with the emotion of the reading, and that comes across the microphone, speakers, thousands of miles.....and right into your heart. Most Audible readers are professional, so you rarely hear them about to blubber 'cos the action got to 'em.
Here you do. Listen to the part (in THG) where Katniss makes her first kill, then the scene with Rue and the flowers. McCormick isn't making that up, her voice is breaking. I found it admirable, a thing of wonder and delight to be reminded there's a human the other end.
You can hear every word clearly, the characters are identified without ridiculous accents and Ms McCormick isn't McCormick, she's the story-teller.
Really, if you like good stories, this can't be out of your library:)
As with many trilogies, the second book just doesn't live up to the expectations set by the first. This is not a bad book, by any means, but it could certainly have been better. The pace was a bit slow at times, and the main character seemed to lack depth in this book which made it difficult for me to connect with the main character in this book.
First and foremost, if you have not read/downloaded the Hunger Games first, you will find yourself lost by this book.
Catching Fire is great sequel to the first story, propelling the reader into to all the places where I'd hoped after the first one ended. The stakes are higher and the scope is as well, focusing more on the entire territory of Pannem and less on the District or Arena. That said -- it definitely was the "middle story of a trilogy"... coming to a conclusions which really was just meant to set up the third book. But hey -- it was certainly as addictive as the first one. Last word of warning, and one which may other reviewers seem to miss prior to downloading -- THIS IS A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL! The dialogue is simple and the plot is concrete (there's nothing subtle about it). That's the audience it was written for. Not sure why there are so many people reviewing it as if it weren't intended to be that way.
Tell us about yourself!
I loved Hunger Games; I urge everyone I know to read it, gave it to someone for Christmas, and turned my boyfriend onto it, so of course I couldn't wait for the second book and I wasn't let down. This book will be a bit slower going in the beginning because the last one focused mostly on the game itself and quickly became a frenzied page-turner. But now that Katniss is a champion we see more of her day-today life while getting an idea of what's going on with the government and the people who suffer it. But this doesnt mean I was ever bored, it's just differently paced. The best part about this "downtime" is that you learn more about the characters. I especially enjoyed hearing about Haymitch, so much so that I think he's my favorite character now. Be patient though-without giving away any spoilers I'll just say the second half really gets exciting, and the ending will blow your mind. I didn't see it coming, and I am literally counting the days until the next book comes out.
Enjoyed the first book. Second didn't appeal to me the same way. Third is mostly about the nightmares, the kisses, the nostalgia and was a big let down for me. Instead of elaborating on the war against the capital and uncovering the actors that double crossed her, the lead character wallows in pain, suffering and self pity. The author could have taken the subsequent books to a new level instead of using the same old formulas over and over again.
I like (not love, like Book 1) the story and character but the reader Carolyn McCormick puts too much of herself into Katniss. Her emotional renditions seem unauthentic and whiny quite often. I actually began to cringe when I felt she was ruining a given part, which increased in frequency over time. Also, I feel the story and situations become predictable in the 2nd and 3rd book of the trilogy. I found myself wondering what the story would be like if reading and avoiding the overlay of the reader (too heavy in general).
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
As I write this review, "Catching Fire: The Hunger Games Book 2" has almost 25,000 Audible ratings and, between Audible and Audible UK and electronic and print text reviews, more reviews than I have the time to count or read. I like the reviews by teenagers who are enthralled with Katniss Everdeen. Both of my children read the trilogy at 13, and absolutely loved it - even the one who only reads because her school makes her.
"The Hunger Games" trilogy envisions a post-nuclear North America where, three quarters of a century, teenagers are forced to compete to the death for both the amusement of the conquering 'Capitol' and as a way of keeping the vassal districts in fearful obedience. Katniss, scared and scarred by the avoidable but accidental horrific death of her beloved father, takes on the role of head of provider for her mother and younger sister. She is a tribute (competitor) in Book 1. In "Catching Fire", there is a 'quarter-quell', and the Capitol tries to rid itself of previous Hunger Games victors, who have become quite dangerous to the elite.
Should you 'let' your children read this trilogy? The answer is absolutely, hands down, YES.
Suzanne Collins' books are encoded with references to the Roman Empire (27 BC to 476 AD), and a casual nudge that the names of Capitol citizens ending in 'us' are Latin and have hidden histories will turn a fan reader into a history detective. The plant names Collins uses for the protagonists - Katniss, Primrose, and Hawthorne, for example - are well worth the search.
Katniss is an especially strong character because she has a strong moral base that overcomes her personal fear and doubts - and she knows her weaknesses and works to overcome them. And she's just plain kick-a** with weapons - no squeamishness about them at all.
Setting aside the historical and scientific references, the story is engaging and lively. Period.
The only question about these books is 'When' to let your kids read the books. If they've already seen the movies, of course. The movies are much more graphic. If the standard is nightmares, that won't work - these books gave me nightmares, although they were 'mom' nightmares that my children were tributes. I'd say the emotional standard is being able to tell fact from fiction, and perhaps at least a nascent appreciation of politics and political history. Vocabulary? Seventh to ninth grade, but a 7th grader would know what the words mean, and a 9th grader would understand the concepts.
Suggestion/life hack: if you've got a kid who just doesn't want to read, sit them down with a text copy and Carolyn McCormick's Audible narration. My oldest wouldn't have gotten through Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1929) without Frank Muller's Audible narrative (1994). Perhaps it was Remarque's then-and-still innovative use of the present tense, which Collins uses so adroitly in her books.
"The Hunger Games" Book 1 (2008) is 15 AR (Accelerated Reader) points; "Catching Fire" Book 2 (2009) is 16 AR points; and "Mockingjay" Book 3 (2010) is 15 AR points (source: arreader dot com).
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