Still hungry? Listen to more Hunger Games.
©2009 Suzanne Collins; (P)2009 Scholastic, Inc.
"Collins expertly blends fantasy, romance and political intrigue (so who needs vampires?)." (People Magazine)
"Catching Fire not only lived up to my high expectations, it surpassed them. It's just as exciting as The Hunger Games, but even more gut wrenching, because you already know these characters, you've already suffered with them." (Stephenie Meyer)
"...enough action to please Hunger Games fans and leaves enough questions tantalizingly unanswered for readers to be desperate for the next installment." (School Library Journal, starred review)
After reading the first book in this trilogy, I couldn't wait to read the second. I thought it was just as rivoting as the first. I disagree with another writer who thought the narration was horrible. I found it just the opposite and thought the narrator did a fine job of portraying the different characters. Yes, the voices were somewhat absurd sounding, but I imagined they would sound that way, after hearing what absurd characters they were (by the descriptions of just how they looked). This is an excellent book and you won't want to put it down.
This is the second book in a series of 3 books. I definitely will be listening to the last in the series as well.
However, the relationship between Katniss and Peeta gets really tiring and unsatisfying to read. I have to say though that my least favorite thing about this trilogy on audiobook is the narrator. A bit too dramatic for my taste and could she make the male characters sound any more moronic? Still, I finished the series.
If you're reading this and wondering whether you want to get involved in this take my word it's worth it written for young people enjoyed by us old timers
Why doesn't Audible allow us to edit our own reviews? They politely tell me to go hang myself.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
The Hunger Games was one of the most gripping young adult novels I've read in a while. Set in an unspecified year in the distant future, the story revolves around a teenage girl selected by lottery for a cruel to-the-death televised game show that's run yearly by an authoritarian capitol district to punish the impoverished citizens of production districts for once rebelling against it. Collins exploits her premise masterfully, turning the traps of the arena, the clever, sadistic manipulations of the games' overseers, and the fragile alliances of the other players into nail-biting twists and turns.
The Hunger Games is also one of the smarter, more classroom-friendly young adult novels out there. Though the book contains plenty of typical sci-fi elements, its world is clearly not intended as a prediction of a likely future. It's more of an Orwellian alternate reality that reflects, indirectly, on today's world, challenging the reader, in an unobtrusive way, to think about how far we are willing to go for entertainment or how an unjust authority might use people as pawns.
Catching Fire is roughly the sequel I would have expected. Since the world of the Hunger Games is already familiar to the reader, the book lacks the shock value of its predecessor, but Collins does a good job of keeping up a sense of fear and tension. While Katniss's victory in the Games has given her a certain celebrity, it's also gained her the enmity of a government that could squash her under its thumb at any time, and isn't coy about pointing that out. Still, Collins holds off on the inevitable confrontation, developing some of the character relationships she established in the first book, introducing some interesting new characters, and digging deeper into the tensions between the districts and the Capitol. It's a bit slow-moving until the action-filled final third, and doesn't so much advance the plot as get all the pieces in place for the third book. Katniss continues to dither over her internal conflicts, including her feelings for the two boys in her life, Peeta and Gale (which is just as well, because the latter never gets much screen time). But, I blazed through it and want to find out what happens in the sequel, so I won't criticize the second-book syndrome too much.
Overall, the series has a few flaws. Some of Collins' sci-fi inventions are a little hokey, the portrayal of the villains lacks much depth, and she indulges in a bit of unnecessary melodrama (the sort where characters act obtuse just so the author can explain to readers who don't get it what's at stake). Also, I remain curious how the citizens of the Capitol, who are certainly shallow and self-centered, but don't seem especially bloodthirsty, aren't more affected by the cruelty of the Games. Is the recent "reality TV" trend really a gateway to a world of Roman Colosseum-style horrors?
These are minor gripes, though; Catching Fire continues a gripping series and I look forward to the final book.
I originally listened to Hunger Games just to learn why if was so popular, and did not intend to listen to the other stories in the series. Before I was finished with Hunger Games, though, I knew I had to hear them all.
Collins does a good of cranking up the action for the sequel without feeling like just a juiced-up rewrite of the first book. Catching Fire definitely does not stand on it's own, though, and seems abruptly cut off at the end (maybe if you consider it like paying two credits for a single book you can just have Mocking Jay ready to play and pretend like it was just a break in the files).
McCormick again does a great job with the narration.
If you enjoyed the first book of the series, then it is pretty likely that you'll like this one as well. However, I do recommend reading the first book prior to this one to get the backdrop for this story, though the author does a good job reminding of events in that book.
The reason for 3 stars rather than 5 is that I found this story very "dark"... there was not as much "hope" for other than a "grim" conclusion to this chapter, lots of slaughter not only in the games this time but in the districts. and much pessimism. Also, I didn't like the direction that Katniss was heading... not so much "fight and anger", but "acceptance of fate (death?)", sadness, resignation. Was it me, or did she seem to be whining as times?
I hope the author keeps Katniss "strong" for the final book... I fear the scales are tipping, and that is a shame. I want a "leader" and "hero" from her character... not an overly sensitive crybaby resigned to doom.
Not as good as the first book, but the charactors maintain their role perfectly. Makes me ready for the third book.
First of all, let me just say that I love the narrator Carolyn McCormick. She's doing a great job and I love her voice, tone and rhythm for the Hunger games series! This first part of the second book was not as action packed as the first Hunger Games, but it was not in the least uninteresting. I wanted to keep listening until it was done! I am also very excited about the second part of the recording which promises all the action to come. I think this book was really enjoyable - would recommend it.
I'm really enjoying these audio-books. They are wonderfully read, and very well written. I think Suzanne Collins did a great job with the characters, especially Katniss. And just when I think I know how the story is going to go, she goes in a completely different direction.
"A gripping listen"
So, I already own the paperback and have recently purchased The Hunger Games on audiobook, so the next step would be to acquire this one, the second in the trilogy. A great Narrator makes this a much more enjoyable listen than some I've come across. We have listened to it a few times now and think it will become a great addition to our audio library.
"It gets interesting..."
This books needs no introduction. You can't not read it if you've read the Hunger Games. My comment is specific to the audible version: Carolyn McCormick does a fine job with the reading. Her voice adapts well to all the different characters so it's always pretty clear who's talking. The slightly husky tone to her voice adds an edge to the prose, and definitely makes you feel that you're listening to more than a kids' book. A pleasure to listen to.
"A thoroughly gripping book"
I would surely listen to Catching Fire again. the story is fast-paced, the characters are well developed, the language is beautiful and the symbolism in the story is impossible not to get inspired by.
The mere thought of drawing a parallell between the symbolism in this book and the rampant development of entertainment in the modern world is gripping.
No, I have not.
The story itself makes my heart race. The overall theme of the book is a mix of inspiring and depressing (in a good way!)
Nope, I'm good.
"Not as good as the first book"
The first book is so gripping that I can't imagine not reading this second installment, but, although decent, it wasn't anywhere near as good as the first book. Katniss lacks the cleverness that got her through the first games and the plot contains too much same old same old to make it special.
This was as good as the Hunger Games,but i never exspected the ending like it was cannot wait to listen to the final book.
"Bit of bridge to the fantastic 3rd book"
As I've found with most trilogies the 2nd book tends to be a bit of a bridge betwen the excitement of the first book and the climax and thrill of the 3rd book. This one is a bit of a scene/background setter ready for the 3rd book, but is still unput-downable and is completely believable for a future American world
"Predictable - but still very entertaining"
As equally enjoyable as the first
Story – 3.5/5
Once again I found this story very entertaining, and I couldn’t switch it off. The only reason for not giving a very high score is down to a few issues that didn’t detract from my own enjoyment, but may do for others.
Catching Fire has followed on very nicely from the first book. It flows smoothly from the end of the first novel and the plot is equally, if not even more, intriguing than the first book.
I found the story to be incredibly predictable throughout. I am not sure if the small hints to how the book was going to end were supposed to be as obvious as I found them, but the ending didn’t have quite the impact that it could have had for me.
Once again, it is the little details that make this trilogy enjoyable. The known characters are developed further quite nicely with a few more intriguing characters entering into the mix. Whenever little snippets of history were told about these characters history, I was always left wanting more.
As with the first book, I didn’t find the love elements of the story very convincing, and there is more of it in this book if it bugged you in the first. I personally still didn’t find it putting me off.
Performance – 4/5
Carolyn McCormick is an excellent voice actor and narrator. If you enjoyed her in the first, you will enjoy her in this. All characters had distinctly recognisable voices, and she was able to portray the emotions of them very well throughout.
There were still the same issues of younger characters seeming too whiney at times by over elongating and over emphasising some words, but again, this may be a fault of the writing, and not the narrator.
Overall – 3.5/5
"Not the best"
I've listened to the first book and was enthralled.
It was a little too recap heavy for me. It was also repetitive and this lost some of my interest. It seemed like a bridge to the final book. I also lost some of my support for Katniss she seems to be very self absorbed in this book.
I was not fond of the Katniss' voice, it sounded a little weak and whiny, which I'm sure was not the intention for the heroine of the story.
Yes it was worth the listening time.
I afraid I'm not going to listen to the third book in the trilogy but I'm sure it will tie up lots of lose ends. I just fear it will be another chance to revisit the old plot and stories.
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