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Publisher's Summary

Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.
Still hungry? Listen to more Hunger Games.
©2009 Suzanne Collins; (P)2009 Scholastic, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Almost as good as the first

I assume you have read book 1, the Hunger Games, if not you need to start there.

I liked this almost as well as the first book. SC has a good imagination and surprised me more then once. I did get quite irritated with the main characters' constant whiny attitude. I realize that a lot of teenagers are overly dramatic and whiny, but you would think as much as this girl has accomplished she would be more gung-ho. I would also think that as much killing she has done and bloodshed she has seen that she would be more mature for her age. I did think this book was more YA then the first.

If you like this book then I suggest that you listened to Barbara Demick's "Nothing to Envy". It is real life stories about people in North Korea, which strongly mirror the fictional world in Hunger Games. You may like it even more since, these are real stories.

I enjoyed this book and will be listening to the third book.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Dissent Rules

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.

80 of 91 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Even better the second time...

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.

116 of 133 people found this review helpful

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Great story - wrong reader!

Would you try another book from Suzanne Collins and/or Carolyn McCormick?

I have read Catching Fire (and of course all the others) and after listening to The Help was really excited to hear Catching Fire. But from the outset it was just all wrong. The reader sounds like she is forty rather than a Katniss. It is grating. I listened for awhile but am not going to be able to finish it - I was really surprised that with content like this they didn't choose someone younger and more in touch with the content. I'm sure Carolyn would be great with other content - but not this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mark
  • dolores, co, United States
  • 12-02-13

Story engrossing, narration nearly unbearable

Would you try another book from Suzanne Collins and/or Carolyn McCormick?

no

What did you like best about this story?

compelling, rebellion, suspenseful, enjoyable.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Carolyn McCormick?

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.

Was Catching Fire worth the listening time?

no

Any additional comments?

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Seamless continuation from previous title

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.

36 of 47 people found this review helpful

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FANTASTIC read. Just like the first ready for 3rd.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes this is a great read with a talented narrator. Great read.

What about Carolyn McCormick’s performance did you like?

She did great with the story, making everything easy to see and imagine.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I just want to listen to all 3 books in one setting but that would be impossible.

Any additional comments?

<br/> What fantastic books these are? I am truly a slave to these books until I finish the last one! I HAVE to read it now. Strong story with unexpected turn of events must finish the third book in one setting. Highly suggest reading these.<br/>

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Girl on Fire.......

This book is intense and picks up right where Hunger Games left us. You would think Katniss & Peeta would now be living the victors life BUT then the rebellion starts. Katniss becomes the symbol of defiance and President Snow won't have it ......and so it goes...

I really like this series and there was no way I would not read all three books but in no way is this book equal to the first, with The Hunger Games (book one) being near perfect it's makes it a hard act to follow. Catching Fire isn't as good as The Hunger Games but it's still a great read/listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Twice Bitten

I read the first book out of curiosity. I read this sequel (against my better judgment) because I enjoyed the film, which I thought was much more engaging and adult than the book. It is interesting that the plot of both book and film was much the same, but the visual presentation lifted the script from the book's basic level to something like a Star Wars franchise. I guess the promoters hope it is that successful!
The movie also made me realise that I was wrong about the narrator in my review of the Hunger Games. I defer to those readers who picked the performance as lacking something that I did not. Now, having listened to her a second time, it is clear to me, too. In fact, my 12 year old daughter (listening to the reading as we traveled to her school one morning) described it as "Reception Reading". I regret to say it has some of that Dick and Dora quality to it. Maybe it would be more engaging with another narrator.
As for the plot, it continued in its very predictable way. The penultimate Chapter was so predictable that I could barely listen to it, even though it is a mere 30 minutes long.
Unless I enjoy the next film, I will not be reading the third book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Engrossing story, terrible narration

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.

34 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Renee
  • 04-09-12

Fantastic series

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Aleksandra
  • 03-30-12

Really addictive!

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 09-02-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • jennifer
  • 08-25-12

Catching Fire

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mrs
  • 02-23-14

Not the best

Would you try another book written by Suzanne Collins or narrated by Carolyn McCormick?

I've listened to the first book and was enthralled.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

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.

Did Carolyn McCormick do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

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.

Was Catching Fire: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2 worth the listening time?

Yes it was worth the listening time.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Andre
  • 12-01-13

A thoroughly gripping book

Would you listen to Catching Fire: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2 again? Why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Have you listened to any of Carolyn McCormick’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, I have not.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The story itself makes my heart race. The overall theme of the book is a mix of inspiring and depressing (in a good way!)

Any additional comments?

Nope, I'm good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire Mills
  • 07-21-12

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

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 07-19-12

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • SDY
  • 04-26-12

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • charlie
  • 01-23-14

Absolute cracker

What did you like most about Catching Fire: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2?

loved the story line, absolutely captivating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Catching Fire: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2?

Fantastic build up to a huge twist at the end!

Which character – as performed by Carolyn McCormick – was your favourite?

Hamich

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

the girl on fire strikes back

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lachlan Peterson
  • 08-20-16

Excellent.

A fantastic and complex story matched with a brilliant performance. Packed with action and subterfuge, complex xharacters and motivation, and set in a facinating and foreign world that sometimes hits uncomfortably close to home.

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  • Elizabeth
  • 06-26-16

A must read.

Excellent. I can't wait to read the third book. compelling, surprising, romance, an emotional ride.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-28-16

An enthralling story, read perfectly!

Every chapter was a cliff hanger! It's un-put-downable (un-pause-able?) The narrator's expression and performance is wonderful, capturing Katniss's naiveté, understanding and determination in turns, with perfect timing.

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  • Thesle
  • 11-11-15

Book two of a trilogy

While the story here maintains interest, you cannot help thinking it is beak two of a trilogy, written just to fill the gap from book one, where a question was raised, and book three, where hopefully the question is answered.

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  • Jessica
  • 01-04-15

Poor narrator but great author

You eventually get used to the poor skill of the narrator thanks to the skill of the author. Carolyn McCormack keeps most of the characters distinguished fairly well but I think she has poor judgement with inflections. I kind of wish the author would take a director-type role in audio books sometimes.

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  • BENG
  • 07-07-14

Riveting and addictive story again

Would you listen to Catching Fire again? Why?

Yes, I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through. The characters are engaging, you get emotionally involved in the story. You can't stop thinking about what has happened and what could happen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Catching Fire?

When Peeta discovers a pearl in the oyster and gives it to Katniss.

Have you listened to any of Carolyn McCormick’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes her voices she uses for each character is consistent with the other book in which those characters appear. Enjoyable to listen to.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

??? They've made the films so just use whatever they used :)

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  • Clare
  • 02-27-14

The book is much better than the movie

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was my favourite book of the series.
Unfortunately the recent movie “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” did not live up to it's name. However, as a reader and lover of this series, I implore you to read this book. Don’t let the movie make you think the story goes downhill after book number one "The Hunger Games", trust me, it doesn't and it’s worth the read.

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  • Kira
  • 05-25-15

Catching Fire...

The final instalment of the 'Hunger Games' Trilogy. I honestly preferred this text on first reading, as a much younger person. I returned to the novel in audio form. The narrator is superb but the story is not quite as punchy as the first two novels. A finale, but also a cumulation of what possibly seems to be the effects of PSTD on a young person.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful