In the second part of The Hunger Games Series, Katniss and Peeta have to go back into the arena. They try to fight for each other’s lives as neither could live with the other one dying. At the end, however, you realise it was all for nothing.
After coming home from the games, Katniss tries to get used to normal life again. Whatever normal means at that point, anyway. Her relationship with Peeta is almost none existent after telling him her affection was all for the cameras. And even her best friend Gale behaves weird around her, he discovered he had feelings for her which confuses Katniss mostly. And then there is the whole PTDS she suffers from, after surviving in the arena.
Before she and Peeta can head to their victor’s tour around all districts and the capitol, President Snow visits Katniss and threatens her friends and families lives. She has to perform her girl-desperately-in-love bit and convince the districts that what she did was not a rebellion. After a disastrous event in District Eleven, she and Haymitch inform Peeta of this. Even with Peeta’s help though, the spark Katniss provided with the berries couldn’t be extinguished. Soon after, President Snow announces that Katniss and Peeta must get back into the arena for the 75th Hunger Games.
This was actually a twist I did not see coming the first time I read Catching Fire. As there was a lot of talk about rebellions in the different districts I was more prepared for that and certainly not another games. It does work very well, though and also introduces a bunch of new characters that are a great addition to the already existing ones. In The Hunger Games you only get to know a handful of tributes (Katniss and Peeta – obviously – Rue and at least a little bit Cato), in Catching Fire you get to know more tributes and that makes the games even crueller.
Since it is a first-person narration again you never really know who to trust as Katniss is as mistrustful as ever. After the ending is revealed, I can’t help but understand Katniss’ suspicion in other people. After already being a pawn in President Snow’s Hunger Games, now she is being used by the rebels. Even Haymitch betrayed her which is probably the biggest betrayal Katniss could have faced.
All in all, Catching Fire is as good as its predecessor. I really enjoyed some of the new characters, especially Finnick and Johanna. The end as well as the whole second games for Katniss were actually surprising for me. As I have already mentioned in my review of The Hunger Games, I kind of wish the series would have ended here. Either with Katniss getting her wish of Peeta surviving or him getting his of Katniss survival. Mockingjay is not as bad as I probably made it out right now. but since I really didn’t like the ending I just wished for one that wouldn’t bug me as much.
So, what do you think of Catching Fire? Were you surprised by the twists or did you see them coming? And what about the ending? I would love to hear your opinion about it.