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)
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Katniss and Peeta return triumphantly to District 12. After 6 months, they embark on a tour around the other districts as dissent and tensions rise. An outraged President Snow concocts a special treat for the 75th Hunger Games.
This book is slow to start with the "couple" touring on the train and adjusting to living in their victors' houses in a separate village while the townspeople continue to exist in squalor. The love triangle grows more complicated with Gale now back in the picture. Mid-way through, the story gains speed with an interesting twist and never stops. Couldn't download the third quickly enough.
My only complaint is how old the narrator sounds. I grew accustomed to it in the first book and it doesn't detract too much from the fantastic story.
I loved this book and I will talk about content, but first I must give praise to the audio itself. I often read the books before I listen to them, so I don't expect to be so spellbound by the audio. However, with this book, the narrator (Carolyn McCormick) is great and helps to engage me even more than when I read it myself. I had listened to the first book "The Hunger Games" before reading the second, it had the same narrator, and I could hear here voice in my head as I read. I made a point of listening to both back to back and it was pure pleasure. In "Catching Fire", I found myself laughing and crying with the book. The narrator is consistent and spot on with her inflections and voicing.
Now for content, I had been anticipating this second book in the trilogy since the moment I finished the first. It continues just a short time after the first and covers all that has happened in between and then continues on with the story Suzanne Collins so expertly weaved. The book is perfectly title as it descibes exactly how the temperment of the Districts has developed. I don't want to spoil it for people with too much. The love triangle between the Katniss, Peeta and Gale is further fleshed out, but, of course, is not resolved. The author does a wonderful job of this, and I, myself, can't even decide who is the one to choose, I can't take sides.
I don't know how helpful this review will be, but I cannot praise this book enough. It left me more than eager for the final book and I am sure that I will need to read it again in the mean time.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
One thing I must say between books 1 and books 2 of the Hunger Games books is how seamless they seem to flow into each other. As most would agree, the first Hunger Games was excellently put together so a continuation was very much welcomed.
The narrator grew on me, she did a very good job voicing the different characters that are introduced (which were quite a few). She did very well to show the tortured nature of the characters in this book.
Catching Fire introduces a lot of very interesting new characters I must say. The tyranny of the Capital and of Snow becomes even more evident in the title. The story progresses very quickly I find and certain aspects of the book seems a bit rushed if you ask me, however much was not lost in this title and it was very much enjoyed.
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.
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.
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 can't really add much to the reviews of the story that have been previously written here. It is suspenseful, interesting, and made two days of a road trip much more interesting. I look forward to the third book, except I won't be listening to it from Audible. The narration here, by Carolyn McCormick, was simply dreadful. Katniss is alternately a world-weary 50-year-old, and a whiny 10-year-old - and not as a point of character fluctuation but of wildly shifting narration. At points in the story where Katniss might be serious, she is simpering; sarcasm comes across as self-doubt. It's amazing what a voice can or cannot do for a character. Other characters also did not fare well; McCormick seemed to have not read the "stage directions," so a solemn remark sometimes came out as a shout. By the end, I was gritting my teeth in frustration and sometimes outright laughing at the terrible, erratic vocalization.
The story is quite interesting, though, and I will look for it in another form elsewhere.
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.
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.
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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