“Catching Fire”, by Susan Collins


Catching FireFew months ago Suzanne Collins left us speechless with the first book of the Hunger Games series. Back then, July of 2009, we thought that there’s a new bright star shining in the world of literature. Now that “Catching Fire”, the sequel to Hunger Games, is published, we can definately say that this is most brilliant star!

Platypus Publications published in Greek “Catching Fire” on December 2009, and Penelope Triada is responsible for the excelent translation. Suzanne Collins devotes this book to her parents Jane and Michael Collins and her parents in law Dixie and Charles Pryor.

At the end of the first book both Katniss Everdeen and Pitta Mellarc are declared winners. This is the first time ever District 12 has a winner. The rules stated that there can be only one winner but the two teenagers were so deep in love that they couldn’t hurt the other one. They could both be winners, or they could both die, suiciding in front of the whole Panem watching them. Their love is not exactly a true fact, but they support this scenario with all their might, or the consequences for them and their families will be horrifying.

The two winners return to their homes, or should I say to their new homes. The Hunger Games prize is a carefree life in luxury. But things do not continue as their victory ensured. Firstly, the two of them have drifted apart and pretend to be a couple only in front of cameras. Secondly, Gale Hawthorne – a very close friend of Katniss who is secretly in love with her – is angry with Katniss for her relationship with Peeta. And Capitol considers their last action in the arena a revolutionary act, they must be punished but the punishment could start a revolution. So our heroine, is on her own, and tries to let the time pass by going to the forest, setting traps and hunting with her bow. Just like she did to get food for her family before winning the Hunger Games. But now she gives what she catches to Gale’s family that is in need. Katniss finds refuge in the forrest and in her old how…

Although time is ticking away, I allow myself a few minutes to sit in the kitchen. It has an abandoned quality with no fire on the hearth, no cloth on the table. I mourn my old life here. We barely scraped by, but I knew where I fit in, I knew what my place was in the tightly interwoven fabric that was our life. I wish I could go back to it because, in retrospect, it seems so secure compared with now, when I am so rich and so famous and so hated by the authorities in the Capitol.

But the time passes and the two victors must do their Victory Tour, traveling around the Disctricts and in the Capitol. However, the things will be different from what they expected. The Victory Tour is neither as our heroes imagined, nor as Capitol had planned…

I stand there, feeling broken and small, thousands of eyes trained on me. There’s a long pause. Then, from somewhere in the crowd, someone whistles Rue’s four-note mocking-jay tune. The one that signaled the end of the workday in the orchards. The one that meant safety in the arena.

Every person in the crowd presses the three middle fingers of their left hand against their lips and extends them to me. It’s our sign from District 12, the last good-bye I gave Rue in the arena.

Katniss pin, the Mockingjay, becomes the symbol of the struggle against Capitol. The rest… on the pages of the book…

When I read the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, I loved it from the start. Time has passed till the publication of Catching Fire. I was wondering if the author could continue the story and write a sequel that matches the original. Well, not only did she wrote an amazing book, but she surpassed herself. It’s a very interesting book full of suspense.

I started reading “Catching Fire” late in the afternoon. Having read about half of the book, I thought to myself: “it’s a very good book, but I should sleep few hours before the alarm rings, and the rest tommorow”. But, a plot twist surprised me and the dawn found me reading the last lines of the book.

Wonderful, unique, exciting, highly addictive, extremely interesting, well written… it is even better than the first book .. do you want more? “Catching Fire” is waiting for you at the bookstores. In about a year the third, and final, book will be published in Greece. I am waiting to see if Suzanne Collins can get even better… I am betting that she will!


The synopsis at the back of the book:

Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy.

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.