Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Narrator: Carolyn McCormick
Publication Year: 391 (audio length: 11 hours 41 minutes)
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
Source: Audiobook purchased from Audible.com
From the cover:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
I thought that the first book in this trilogy was brilliant, and kind of expected the rest of The Hunger Games series to go downhill from there, as lots of trilogies tend to do. Instead, I loved Catching Fire even more than I loved The Hunger Games.
It’s hard for me to say too much about this without giving away plot details, so I’m going to keep it nice and simple. I liked this installment of the series in large part because the relationships between Katniss and the people around her (particularly Gale, Peeta, and Haymitch) were fleshed out more and gained a level of complexity that they really hadn’t possessed in the first book. Collins also managed to incorporate more information on the other districts and about the way that Panem functions, without making it read too much like “filler”.
The only negative thing that I can really say is that it didn’t feel like Katniss really matured that much. I mean, she gets into more complicated scenarios, and she starts making some better choices – but most of those choices are brought about with heavy influence by other characters, and her internal dialogue hasn’t really changed that much from what it was in The Hunger Games.
It wasn’t really that much of a setback, though, because I still found Katniss interesting, and really wanted to find out what would happen between her and Gale/Peeta. Between that and the development of the story, I finished listening to the audiobook – almost 12 hours long – in less than two days. Catching Fire held my attention more than most books, and definitely more than most audiobooks I’ve listened to. And that’s saying a lot.