(Warning: Review contains slight spoilers for The Hunger Games.) The second in a triology, Collins continues the story of Katniss and Peeta. The first dual victors of the Capitol's Hunger Games, the plot picks up with them living in the victor's village. Katniss struggles with her relationship concerns between Gale and Peeta and finds herself bored without the constant struggle to survive. However, the Capitol is not pleased with her and it doesn't take long for action to begin as tension rises in District 12, most of which is centered on or around Katniss. Like the first book, conflict rises gradually, and steadily increases throughout the book until the end. And, as in most "middle books" of any triology, it does its job in continuing the story to prepare the reader for the last book. I found the book to be equally well written and just as captivating as The Hunger Games. I read it straight through in two days. If there is any real criticism of this book, it is in the critical thinking skills of Katniss. Chronologically she is a year older, yet these skills as they pertain to relationships do not improve as one would expect. And this encroaches slightly on her ability to determine any revenge the Capitol will take on her and what role she may be playing for any rebellions afoot. In this regard, the reader would like to slap some sense into her. But it doesn't minimize the well written tale, again respectfully read by McCormick. The description of violence is somewhat more graphic than The Hunger Games, but still handled in a way that young adults should be able to manage. I recommend this book as highly as The Hunger Games and even suggest that if you haven't read either them, buy them both together. The cliffhanger at the end of Catching Fire will make you impatient for August 2010, the scheduled release date for the third book, title as yet unknown.
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...)
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.
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 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.
There's no doubt that she made a good go at writing a sequel that stands up to the first. Personally, I think it pales in comparison to the first, BUT it does make me think that there is the potential for a very good third book.
Both my sweetheart and I were happy that it didn't get hopelessly bogged down in the Gale/Peeta drama. Simply avoiding that pitfall is a mark of success as far as I'm concerned.
I think the plot was a bit choppy, but I also think the flaws are easily forgiven. Certainly, neither of us were bored. For the sequel to a young adult novel that could have completely degenerated into a teen love triangle, the author deserves credit for keeping her focus.
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.
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.
Where Book 1 was relatively novel in its presentation, Catching Fire is much more mundane. It was slow to start and eventually reached a relatively predictable conclusion. The conflicts presented were heavy handed, the shapes cut from construction paper with safety scissors.
I realize I sound like I hated the listen- that isn't the case. For what it is, it's really very entertaining. I like to see trilogies to their ending if I can and understand that with very rare exceptions the bridge between beginning and ending of a series can be tenuous at best.
Once more, worth a listen if for no other reason than the books are far better than the movies and their cultural impact cannot be ignored.
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!