Sunday, 12 February 2012

62/111 - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

This is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and follows on almost immediately after the first book. It’s not quite as good, in my opinion, but I still worked through it pretty quickly so I guess I must have enjoyed it.

In this volume, Katniss has made it out of the Hunger Games alive, however her rebellious nature has gotten her in trouble with the president of the totalitarian state, and it’s clear that he has plans for her future. She and Peeta are entered into the next round of the Hunger Games with victors from previous years, making the challenge of winning that much more difficult, however there is a resistance movement who also have their own plans for Katniss.

It was enjoyable, but also kind of clumsy in some areas. Same as last time, I didn’t like the way Collins tries to set up this love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and her friend Gale. I don’t know, it just rang false for me, maybe it would have helped to have chapters with them narrating, or a third person narrator. Because you’re in Katniss’ head the whole time and she’s sort of indifferent to the advances of both the guys, it makes it kind of hard to care about the love story element. It’s a little dumbed down. I’d like to think that if she were a real girl she’d actually have more of an opinion and more agency in which guy (if any) she chooses for her partner. There’s no passion, no turmoil, just vague indifference to either of them. I find it prudish.

Another dumbing-­‐down which also featured a lot in the first book are the overly long descriptions of what Katniss is wearing, and fashion shows seem to be an integral part of this storyline for some unknown reason. She has her own stylist, as apparently her looking fabulous is absolutely key. There are several passages in which her beautification and her outfits are described in painstaking detail. Skipped it.

This one felt a little weird because it’s the second one of the trilogy, the troubled middle child, and so doesn’t really round off in the way you want it to. So, onto the next!

Next time: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 

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