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162 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la revolution
Soon to be a major film series. Something I found out after reading the first one. I can see it being a good film, although reading up on that and the books more, it seems this series is less of a hit with the male population - on the premise that this book mentions romance.

So, to clarify. I'm a man. I'm not young adult, and I'm not one for reading romance...
Published on 11 Oct 2011 by simon211175

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow burn
SPOILERS

What happens after Katniss and Peeta win the Hunger Games and return home? For me I felt the only way forward was for the two of them to begin or join a rebellion that leads to overthrowing the Capitol and the totalitarian regime that created the Hunger Games. And it seems that Suzanne Collins' thinking is along those same lines too except she only...
Published on 14 April 2012 by Sam Quixote


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162 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la revolution, 11 Oct 2011
By 
simon211175 (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catching Fire (Kindle Edition)
Soon to be a major film series. Something I found out after reading the first one. I can see it being a good film, although reading up on that and the books more, it seems this series is less of a hit with the male population - on the premise that this book mentions romance.

So, to clarify. I'm a man. I'm not young adult, and I'm not one for reading romance novels. The Twilight series are just wrong in my opinion.

Now we've established that, I can hopefully persuade you that these books are not romance novels. Nor are they just for kids.

This book picks up a few months after the close of the first (The Hunger Games). Peeta and Katniss are still playing up their romance for the Capitol crowds, and getting ready for their tour of the districts. But word is spreading of an uprising in the districts, and now President Snow is looking for blood.

I won't go in to more detail about the plot - you can read that in the product details above, and to be honest, if you've read the first book, and are already here - why haven't you bought this yet?

I've read some reviews saying this book isn't as good as the first one. I disagree, partly. The plot, and the writing are as good, if not better than the first. It lets itself down slightly by The Games being not as involved as the first book - but then I don't think they really are meant to be. They serve their purpose to get us to the start of book 3 (Mockingjay (Hunger Games)), and they do it well.

If you have read the first book, you should read this right now. You'll enjoy it, I promise. If you haven't read the first book, you need to go do that before reading this one.

I for one, am off to the third book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow burn, 14 April 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
SPOILERS

What happens after Katniss and Peeta win the Hunger Games and return home? For me I felt the only way forward was for the two of them to begin or join a rebellion that leads to overthrowing the Capitol and the totalitarian regime that created the Hunger Games. And it seems that Suzanne Collins' thinking is along those same lines too except she only gets to the rebellion until the final few pages of the book.

In the meanwhile she has Katniss and Peeta do a victory tour of all 12 Districts (this takes up the first 100 pages), then Katniss spends a lot of a time thinking about the love triangle she's in with Peeta and Gale (yawn), which goes on for another 100 pages with a glimpse into the next book's destination, District 13, where the rebels are based, before plunging back into tedious non-action until the Capitol announces all previous Hunger Games winners are to be pitted against each other in another Games. So Collins spends nearly 300 pages treading water, going over the events of the first book, what little that goes on in this book, until Katniss and Peeta wind up in the arena again.

It took me two sittings to read the first book, I was so enthralled by it, and nearly two weeks to complete "Catching Fire". The Games twist in this book is that it's not just kids in the games but adult and old people but because Katniss has a team to support her, the Games this time around are less interesting and are mostly the characters reacting to the environment.

The path to rebellion is finally picked up at the end but it took an entire book (the longest in the trilogy) to get there and, looking back on it, I don't think it needed to be even half as long as this was. It could've easily been a much shorter book and then split between "The Hunger Games" and "Mockingjay", but then trilogies are all the rage aren't they?

"Catching Fire" is a disappointing second novel with some nice moments that are few and far between though with a satisfying finale that sets up the third and final novel nicely. I hope "Mockingjay" is awesome because "Catching Fire" sure wasn't.
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as the first one, 12 July 2009
By 
So, the 'Hunger Games'. What a blazing book that was; 'Battle Royale' meets 'Big Brother'. But the first book only really got the story started. The main attraction of the book were the Games themselves, and only tantalising glimpses of the dystopian world were given.

In Catching Fire, we delve deeper into the history and mystery of this futuristic world. We learn a a few things about how Panem came to be, but also many more questions are raised. Did you think things would become less complicated for Katniss and Peeta after the Games ended? Far from it. Everything becomes far more complicated, and events spiral beyond their control.

The genuinely terrifying President Snow, a snakelike being who smells of blood and roses, is as threatening and hateful when he's not present as when he is. He's angry at our heroes, and getting angrier by the day as the unrest in the downtrodden districts grow. Katniss and Peeta are playing figurative chess with their lives as well as their loved ones. But there seems to be no escaping the power of Snow, and the revenge he brings crashing down upon them is horrific, devastating and, I will admit, completely unexpected.

In fact, that's the whole thing about 'Catching Fire', although the first 'Hunger Games' was an excellent book, it was a little predictable. This isn't. Every chapter seems to end on a plot twist, and your breath will catch in your throat as you fear for what could happen next.

On the downside, 'Catching Fire' is the second part of a trilogy, traditionally the weakest book in three because it neither has the advantage of starting the story nor finish it. Stories are followed up from where they left off, and some are started but not finished, obviously ready for the final installment, but 'Catching Fire' doesn't feel like it's own book. Plus, you could practically split this book in half, each half in very different places, with different stakes and different characters, and both almost completely inconsequential of each other, so it can feel a bit...tacked on at times. Plus 'Catching Fire' does sometimes retread familiar ground, making it feel a bit lazy here and there.

But honestly, these are just nitpicks. If you liked the first book, as I did, then you'll be just as delighted (and terrified) by this one. And, without spoiling anything, the last few chapters could be some of the finest, scariest, most heart-stopping moments I've ever read, and left me gagging for the final book.

If 'Hunger Games' left you hungry for more, then 'Catching Fire' will set you ablaze. Essential reading, for young adults and adults too. Not for the faint-hearted!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so much to be read as devoured., 15 Dec 2014
By 
Dr. Michael Heron (Robert Gordon University) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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The Hunger Games and the followup Catching Fire are, in my experience, not so much to be read as to be devoured. Even though having seen the movie first dampened some of the impact of the story, it's still an incredibly well-paced, tense and beautifully characterised book. Katniss Everdeen is a wonderful protagonist - strong-willed but vulnerable, racked with PTSD but determined that in the end she'll face the Games on her own terms. Catching Fire is perhaps not as coherently plotted as the first, but makes up for that with some pitch-perfect explorations of the psychological damage that the events of the first book inflicted. Utterly compelling from start to finish.
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65 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still entertaining, but not as good as the first book., 19 May 2011
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Having survived the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is back home in Sector 12, not looking forward to her role as a mentor for the next year's games. She is surprised to hear rumours that her defiance of the Capitol and President Snow during the Games has sparked unrest and even discord in other sectors. When she and her co-winner, Peeta, conduct a tour of the districts, Katniss realises that her name and her emblem, the mockingjay, are being taken up as a symbol of rebellion and hope.

Determined to crush Katniss's influence, Snow arranges a special new Hunger Games event for the 75th anniversary of the games. All the living winners of the games must return to the arena for a fresh battle...

Catching Fire is the second volume of The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins' highly successful, post-apocalypse, dystopian YA SF series. Collins never intended to write a trilogy, so Catching Fire has some work to do to set up a bigger storyline that will be resolved in the following novel, namely the move from merely being a story set in a dystopia to a more epic story about the overthrow of the oppressive government.

For these reasons Catching Fire has some issues. We're more than halfway through the novel before the second Hunger Games kick off, and we're not able to spend much time with those games before the conclusion arrives. This is a shame as Collins addresses some of the weaknesses of the first set of games, with many more contestants being identified and much better-characterised than first time around. The arena is also far more ingenious, with many more deadly traps. The games section of the novel and the conclusion are both rushed in an attempt to cover as much ground as possible before the final novel, which hurts the quality of this book.

That said, it's still a fast-paced, readable and enjoyable book. We see more of Panem and get more of a sense what life is like for people living there, which is essential to better-establish the wider backdrop of the series. On the characterisation front, Katniss isn't always a sympathetic protagonist and often makes mistakes, which makes her more relatable and real. Other characters, like Peeta and newcomers like Finnick, are also given some solid scenes and character-building moments. The mutual hatred and anger between Katniss and President Snow is also well-handled. However, the Capitol and its rulers are rather dense in this book. Everything they do seems designed to inflame the situation and further the rebellion, which is weird for people who've been in charge for a century and have used the Hunger Games as a form of propaganda and control for seventy-five years, which requires some savvy knowledge of media and PR. Instead, the plot feels set-up ahead of time and both the reader and the characters are along for the ride.

Catching Fire (***½) is a drop down in quality from The Hunger Games, but still an enjoyable and entertaining novel. It is available now in the UK and USA.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darker than the original with a hell lot of plot twists..., 1 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. S. Merrill "Jonathan Merrill" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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The sequel to the brilliant Hunger Games once more begins in district 12, a town torn apart by poverty, forever in fear of its rulers, The Capitol. After surviving The Hunger games, Katniss and Peeta live a life of luxury and wealth in glorious mansions, no longer afraid of starvation. But do not be lulled into the lie that this is a happy ending, no, Katniss must live a life of deception, convincing The Capitol that she is madly in love with Peeta when she infact has feelings for her life -long friend Gale or shall face the consequences which are frigteningly clear: She and all she loves shall die. In the first novel, you are reasured that none of her family will come to any harm and that the only ones in any signicant danger are Katniss and Peeta. There are no such reasurances in this novel, so in one respect this is a scarier novel than The Hunger Games.
In terms of structure, this is quite a different beast to The Hunger Games, for instance while in the first novel most time is spent on Katniss preparing for the games and the actual event, focussing on the tributes tactics including her own and the events within the games. Giving you only a brief introduction to District 12 itself. Catching Fire focuses on the events outside the arena and the possiblities of revolution. The actual games are a little rushed. There is far less blood letting in Catching Fire but do not be tempted into the notion that because there is less violence the book is in any way lighter than The Hunger Games, as with most trilogies, the books only get darker and this is a very unpredictable and unsettleing read. There are truck loads of suspense and you cannot stop asking yourself centillions of questions surrounding President Snow and his ruthless, uncaring government. I prefer The Hunger Games only by half an inch because it is a little more satisfying and reveals this cruelly imaginative world for the very first time. If I don't start reading Mocking Jay anytime soon I think my head might explode.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling from start to finish, 18 April 2014
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another brilliantly written tale. downloaded book 3 without hesitation, can't wait for the next instalment.Katnis is a believabley true heroine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it!!!, 5 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Catching Fire (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely loved this book it was un- putdownable!!! glad I have the next one ready to read!! hope its as good..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second of the three, 1 Mar 2014
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I liked this however would imagine it's target audience to be early/mid teens? Am looking forward to the final book. It's a nice easy clean cut read that I would be happy to let my daughter read when she's a little older.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 19 Feb 2014
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I suggest if you start reading this book you have a free day or two to yourself I personally could not put it down and enjoyed every second of reading it
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Catching Fire (Hunger Games)
Catching Fire (Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (Audio CD - Sep 2009)
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