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).
While this book in the trilogy is still an exciting tale, I found myself being irritated by the narrator's acting and the repetitiveness of the writing.
Drama! -- I thought the narrator did a pretty darn good job on the first book. For the second book she seems to wail and overdramatize every event in the book turning Katniss into a whiny, unsympathetic brat rather than a 17-year-old, resourcefully enduring terrible events.
More drama! -- Like the narrator, the writing also is a bit overdramatic and repetitive. Blood, blood, blood. Every third sentence seemed to have blood in it. OK, we get it. There is a lot of bloodshed. The overuse of the gore and the narrator's delivery didn't add to the story. Rather it was distracting because it seemed so lame. It made me chuckle thinking of Hyperbole and a Half's tale where Allie tries to come up with a scary story to tell her little sister.
Repetition -- The author recaps Katiniss' thoughts again and again as if we are unable to retain any memory whatsoever. This made it seem like she was trying to pad a few extra pages in the book. It didn't advance any storyline. I'm ok with the slow start to the story, but after it started going this repetition ruined the flow and just felt like a waste of time. I'm hoping the 3rd book will be better.
I love to read. I also love to write. I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
Only two things detracted from this story. They were not major, but they were more than minor. First was the overplaying of Katniss' confusion over whether or not she is in love with Peeta and how she deals with it. I now officially feel as if I have been beaten sensless by this whole part of the story arc. It needs to be there, but it needed to be done in a less heavy handed fashion. It was almost too over the top. Secondly, the story is overly predictable. As soon as elements are introduced you know how they are likely to play out. As soon as you learn about the wire (for example), well, you knew where that was going to lead to. And come on, you know how the President is going to try to push Katniss and Peeta before that moment comes. I think Collins did as good a job as possible working around those problems.
Her performance of Katniss is still superb.
Look, I think the biggest problem this book had was trying to live up to the first one (which it didn't do in my oppinion) It's still good, but it suffers from how good I thought the first one was. Catching Fire is a quality story at about 3.5 stars, but aubile doesn't let you give half stars.
The trillogy really starts to insist upon itself towards the end of the second book. The saving grace for me is that based on the set up for the third book, which I plan to read some time soon, that the trilogy is going to rectify that problem.
I recommend this book IF you liked the frist one.