Friday, 27 January 2012

Cannonball read #06: Catching fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching fire is the second part in the Hunger Games trilogy. It is a young adult novel, although you wouldn't know it but for the age of its protagonist, Katniss. 

The books take place in a future society, where the privileged citizens of Panem live in luxury while the citizens of the 12 Districts live in misery, forced to work for Panem. Every year, every District has to send two of its (young) citizens to the Hunger Games, a brutal fight to the death, until there is only one person left. This is a punishment to remind the Districts not to revolt against Panem, and a way to keep them in slavery and crush their spirits.

For those of you who haven't read the first book, SPOILERS AHEAD.

Katniss and Peeta won the Hunger Games but they cannot rest in their laurels. Before long, President Snow shows up threatening Katniss that her loved ones will suffer if she doesn't diffuse the uprisings that are taking place in some of the other Districts. Unbeknownst to her, Katniss has become an icon for the imminent revolution. And things are only about to get even worse.

The first book in the trilogy was easy to read, entertaining and fun, but left me wanting more. It had so much potential for political commentary, but I thought that this was downplayed in favour of the ”love” story. I realise now that it might have been building up to the events of the second book, which was much stronger in its message. Of course, we see things through the eyes of an unwilling 17-year old, that is too caught up in her own problems to care about the world around her at first; but it is exciting to awaken along with her, to become more politically active as she does and watch her grow.

Collins created a fast-paced book with complicated characters. Motives and feelings are never simple, and they are even less so when life keeps throwing new challenges to the central characters. Loyalty, self sacrifice, love are important factors that lead Katniss and Peeta into conflict with themselves, each other and the people that are closest to them. I couldn't put the book down.

A surprisingly good follow-up. I can't wait to read the trilogy's third book, Mockingjay.


  1. Är faktisk imponerad av ditt läsande också. Inte min starka sida. Får bli i en annan period av mitt liv.

    Och WOW!! Över 5 mil är värt en tatuering :) Men vad, var, vem är den ständiga frågan. Vill ha en till, men har samma problem.