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Catching Fire is the sequel to The Hunger Games. It follows Katniss Everdeen’s and Peeta Mellark’s return home to District 12 in Panem country after the end of the 74th Hunger Games.

 

After finishing The Hunger Games I couldn’t wait to get started on the next book: Catching Fire. It was a page turner like the previous one for a majority of the time.

What I liked:

  • More insight into the other districts, their trades, their citizens
  • The other participants in the 75th Games. Though we get to know only a little of Mags, Wiress, Johanna, Finnick & Beetee I really liked them all.
  • Mags death was beautifully written. I was wondering from the start as to how would an 80 year old survive this bloodbath which are the hunger games. She didn’t but she died in a good way, if there is any such thing. I am glad no one chopped off her head or anything.
  • Cinna. Loved him!
  • The idea of District 13. People who survived!

What I didn’t like:

  • Peeta became too very boring & predictable in this book. He is always Katniss’s sidekick from start to finish as if he is nothing without her. Peeta was not at all developed as a character in this book. He just continues to do the same old ‘want to protect Katniss with every breath of mine’ routine. He was introduced as a man who could do wonders with his words. Then when the rebellion begins why not have him do something substantial? Like trying to convince the participants who the real enemy is! But then that would probably steal Katniss’s thunder…
  • Katniss undergoes the Harry Potter syndrome of becoming too very famous, being too very brave & rarely stopping to think about anything. All these things were better covered by J K Rowling in my opinion. 😛 At least we had Hermione, Draco & the Weasleys to spice things up when Harry was being his usual stupid self. Here we just have Peeta being useless & ever dependent on Katniss’s help & favours. Turning a girl into a macho hero & making the boy a damsel in distress doesn’t make things any more interesting than when the situations are reversed.
  • From book 1 the author has emphasized the strict control which the Capitol has on all the 12 districts. All means of communications are controlled by the Capitol. If that is the case what prompted the simultaneous uprisings in the districts which happen towards the end of this book? What is so inspiring about a girl ready to die on her own terms that not 1 but 12 districts rebelled in their own ways, something which they never managed to do in the past 75 years?
  • This goes for book 1 too (and will be applicable for 3 as well I guess!) but in Panem they use archaic weapons like bows & arrows & then even nuclear devices. How come we never see a pistol or a rifle? I missed them to be honest. So much easier to kill with a pistol than a spear/arrow.
  • The citizens of the Capitol are pampered & spoiled. But can pampering turn someone inhuman? For 75 years a majority of them have watched these games where children are slaughtered for THEIR supposed fun but no one rebelled there? Not a single protest asking President Snow to stop this inhuman practice? Instead we have them celebrating on the streets while the participants are cooped up & readied for slaughter? Can we even call them humans? Nobody teaches you that murder is wrong. You just know it. Then why didn’t they?
  • Haymitch. He is getting far too annoying with his know – it – all attitude.
  • Katniss X Peeta. I loved them in Book 1. They were just adorable. However after this book I think Peeta deserves better.
  • Being plunged into the hunger games again. I was relieved when Peeta & Katniss finally got out of that arena. So imagine my irritation when the two land up in the arena again! While I appreciate the genius of the tick – tock arena but I could have done without the actual games. They just didn’t measure up to the 74th Games in spite of being the mega important Quarter Quell.

The first book had raised my expectations sky high. The second one was a huge disappointment. Suzanne Collins could have done a lot better than this.

A 2.5/5

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