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.
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.
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.
Catching fire starts a blaze from the beginning. I couldnt wait to download it and wished it never ended. The second book was even better then the first. Suzanne you are brilliant and I am sure you will not let us down in the final book. I want more more more.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Five-star novel, five-star movie, five-star audiobook -- except for one thing. The narrator is the same one who brought The Hunger Games down a notch. But never mind -- the writing, the story, the characters, they will get you past it.
The best thing about Catching Fire, the thing that every sequel struggles with, is how to reprise the best thing about the original in a fresh and original way. The best thing about The Hunger Games is the hunger games. it takes a while for Catching Fire to get there, but the last couple of hours, once the 75th hunger games take shape, is the best part of the book.
Not that the getting there is any tribulation. If The Hunger Games, for an adult looking for subtext and as a lesson to its younger audience, is a primal scream against sending our kids off to die in war, the first half of Catching Fire takes the theme of economic, political and social elitism to the next level. And this came several years before the 1% and the 47% became catch phrases.
Do I have a choice? If I want to finish the trilogy, I have to listen to her one more time. She is a tad better here than in the first book, but that may be just because I was ready for her this time. She still brings the whole thing down, totally miscast as she is. Fortunately, I'm not a fan of James Patterson or that kind of writer, so I will likely not be running into McCormick again.
The big moments are all still there -- Gale's whipping, learning the details of the Quarter Quell, the wedding dress twirl, Cinna's beating. But the unexpected one, the one that really hits home, is the story of Haymitch's first time in the games.
I think that this was time well-spent simply because, as a reader, you develop an emotional attachment to the characters in The Hunger Games. You want to know what happens to those you labored over with worry while they were in the arena.
Current Fans: Of Course!
Those Who Felt Indifferent About The Hunger Games: Nope,
The ability to enjoy the story hands-free. Otherwise, I honestly by enjoyed my own in-head narration more.
This is the second book in the "Hunger Games" trilogy, and it tells what happens after Katniss and Peeta defy the Gamemakers and wind up both surviving. Needless to say, the President is not pleased, as their win has fueled unrest in the other districts. Although Katniss and Peeta are themselves pawns when it comes to the bigger picture, Katniss is the one who is scapgoated. She barely has time to see her family and friends back home, before she's thrown into the arena for a second round of the Games. This time she intends to keep Peeta alive, but as it turns out, her fellow contestants have their own agenda - and it's not as straightforward as Katniss assumes.
The second Hunger Games is equally, if not more, suspenseful than the first. Personally, I had a hard time believing one person could take that much physical and psychological punishment and still emrge halfway sane, but hey, this is fiction. And Katniss does begin to show signs of post traumatic stress syndrome.
I would have liked Katniss to be able to have one scene where she gets to enjoy her victory, or at least some of it. Or some scenes with her mother, sister and Gale that wouldn't result in her death/torture if she said one wrong thing, just to have some character development. On the other hand, this world's one of unrelenting grimness and fear, so it might detract from the atmosphere.
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.
You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.
At first I couldn't tell whether it was the story, or the narrator's slowish deliberate delivery that I didn't care for. After checking out the book version of Mockingjay at the library, I've come to the conclusion that my issues are more with the narration than with the story.
The narrator isn't bad, but she isn't good either. She cannot differentiate male voices and her lackluster delivery has a huge impact on the listenability of the book, at least for me.
Having said that, this is must read youth literature, raising lots of juicy issues and it's guaranteed to spark discussions on many fronts.