Catching Fire: A Book Review
If you've read or seen the "Hunger Games" then it is almost natural to read "Catching Fire". What started out as a trilogy for teens has taken off as a trilogy for everyone (The Hunger Games was a New York Times bestseller).
The "Hunger Games" introduced us to the main characters, Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawethorne and Haymitch Abernathy. Yes, Katniss' mother and sister play important roles as do others but those four are the main characters. Katniss is the narrator of all three novels. She starts out at 16 in "Hunger Games" and is 17 in "Catching Fire."
Yes, "Catching Fire" starts off where "Hunger Games" stopped. If you haven't seen or read "Hunger Games" you might want to stop here as this is a spoiler for "Hunger Games". Katniss and Peeta have won the Hunger Games and head back to District 12...this is the first time two tributes were allowed to win.
"Catching Fire" opens with Katniss at home waiting to meet the reporters at her new home in the Victor's Village. Winners in the Hunger Games, and their families live in the Victor's Village in their District as a reward for winning. They are rewarded with a beautiful house and lots of food. However, they don't just stay in their home, they have to go on a Victory Tour, appearing in each District including the Capitol. Katniss sits on a rock in her beloved woods, Gale is at work in the coal mines. When Katniss takes her 'catch of the day' to Gale's mother (Hazelle) she is embarrassed because of the Capitol making her play through a romance with Peeta.
She visits the Hob, where she's done trading for years...her pelts or animals for other food or needs of her family. There's no longer a need to trade for food for her family but she wants to see Greasy Sae and the others. This time she goes with money and is able to actually purchase things...from as many stalls as she can. She also buys liquor for Haymitch.
Catching Fire Movie
- In pre-production.
- Extras will be hired in Atlanta, GA, on the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu and Kauai, and possibly in North Carolina.
- Harrelson said he was impressed with the finished product, given the short timetable the screenwriters had for penning it.
- There was no question that Sam Claflin landing the role as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was going to skyrocket his career, and get him a whole bunch of new fans across the world.( http://catchingfiremovienews.com/)
- Main characters Katniss Everdeen is back and facing new challenges. The first is that she needs to proove that she’s in love with Peeta and that her defiance of the Gamekeepers in The Hunger Games was down to mindless love. ( http://catchingfiremovienews.com/hunger-games-finnick-and-annie-episode-04/)
There's a brief introduction to Cray, the District's Head Peacekeeper. When Katniss finally returns home there is an surprise waiting for her...President Snow. They exchange unpleasantries including what a revolution would do to the Districts and the Capitol, her relationship with Peeta and her 'cousin' Gale. Katniss realizes she has no privacy and there are cameras somewhere in the woods showing her and Gale when they hunt and talk. President Snow threatens her and tells her she has to convince him she is actually in love with Peeta, that way he knows others will be convinced. His veiled threats against Gale twist her heart and tighten her chest...fear is again with her.
Her prep team arrives to, what else, prepare her for her journey to the other Districts. When she sees Cinna she feels more hopeful. Every victor is supposed to have a talent, Cinna offers to help Katniss with a 'passion for designing clothes' (he'll do all the work). Effie Trinket arrives to oversee the 'journey' and keep everyone on schedule.
The first outdoor photo shoot is at Katniss' house. Peeta arrives and Katniss feigns absolute joy to see him (though she is somewhat happy). When she runs to him he almost loses his balance, he hasn't quite mastered his artificial leg yet. The shoot goes well and then its off to the train. On the train she's able to get Haymitch alone and tell him about President Snow's visit. Haymitch tells her she's in this for life. Her fake relationship with Peeta can never end. Even when the tour is over they will be mentors for the next Hunger Games and every year the Capitol will revisit their 'romance'. He knows the truth about Gale but also knows the consequences of not doing what the Capitol wants. He tells her, "You could do a lot worse, you know." (Referring to Peeta.)
Katniss and Peeta talk, alone, on the train and are able to bring their friendship a little closer.
Each District brings it's own horror. District 11 (Rue's District) is harsher than even Katniss imagined. Peeta offers one month of his winnings every year to the people of District 12...Katniss finally speaks through her fear and thanks the tributes from District 11 (Rue and Thresh).
"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 explains.
Things do not go well for the people of District 11 after this. People are shot on the spot. As the action continues outside, Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch sneak into a secluded area to talk and as they do Peeta realizes Katniss and Haymitch were working together during the games and he wasn't privvy to it. Haymitch agrees to now keep Peeta in the loop but always protect Katniss.
When they go to dinner Effie is upset..a rare happening. She doesn't like the way they are being treated here in District 11...and so the tour continues.
When they are back in the Capitol they are again interviewed by Caesar Flickerman (midnight blue suit, hair, eyelids and lips). President Snow shows up, surprisingly, at the interview and quietly, imperceptibly, lets Katniss know she has not succeeded in his eyes.
The food at the grand party following the interview is indescribable. Music, crowds, food...everywhere. During the course of the evening they meet Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamekeeper (the man who tripped backwards when Katniss shot the arrow into the apple in the pig's mouth during training). He intimates about a holograph type image on his watch and tells Katniss a little about a secret meeting.
The last stop on the tour is District 12 (a tribute's home district is always last). Katniss explains her friendship with Mayor Undersee's daughter Madge. Katniss also gets a glimpse of news about an uprising...something on the Mayor's TV no one but the Mayor was meant to see.
Katniss manages to get Gale to go to her father's old cabin by the lake where they discuss running away with their families but when she lets slip news of a possible uprising Gale says no, he will never go. He wants to be part of the uprising to help all families, not just his. Gale leaves and she runs into Peeta. She tries to convince Peeta to run away with his family...as they return to the village they find a large crowd. Peeta tells Katniss to go home but she wants to see what's happening...Gale has been flogged and a new Head Peacekeeper is in charge. Things have taken an ugly turn in District 12.
Catching Fire Movie Poster
I don't have to tell you things begin moving faster from this point. I don't want to turn this into a spoiler for Catching Fire! Signs of rebellion are all around Katniss but it doesn't sink in right away. Of course Katniss and Peeta's wedding isn't ignored and there's much talk about the wedding dresses. The most shocking news of all is the announced Quarter Quells..."On the twenty-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that their children were dying because of their choice to initiate violence,every district was made to hold an election and vote on the tributes who would represent it." "On the fiftieth anniversary, as a reminder that two rebels died for each Capitol citizen, every district was required to send twice as many tributes." "And now we honor our third Quarter Quell...on the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors." (All said by the president.)
This was totally unheard of! Victors were never made to fight again! District 12 had three living victors, Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch....Katniss knew this was President Snow's way to get her back in the arena and probably make sure she is killed. Back to the arena! A worse scenario of a Hunger Game than the one they had already encountered. But, with the rebellion roiling and so much happening there is more to these Hunger Games. The location, the tributes....these are not children, some of these tributes (victors) are elderly. As the games play out there is intrigue and Katniss realizes these tributes are trying to protect her. The arena is fierce and as they progress Katniss realizes there is a force field...
If you read The Hunger Games, read Catching Fire to find out how these Hunger Games play out and what happens to Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and Haymitch!
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