Summary: After winning the 74th Hunger Games in the previous novel, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12, the poorest sector in the fictional country of Panem. On the day that Katniss and Peeta are to start a “victory tour” of the country, she is visited by President Snow. President Snow explains that he is angry at her for threatening to commit suicide with Peeta at the end of the Hunger Games, which permitted them both to win. President Snow tells Katniss that when she defied the Capitol, she created talk of rebellion in the districts. He threatens to kill her family and friends if she cannot prove to everyone in Panem that her act was not one of defiance, but that she was instead driven by an intense love for Peeta.
The first stop on the victory tour is District 11, the home of Katniss’ friend and ally in the Hunger Games, Rue, before she died. During the ceremony, Katniss delivers a quick speech to the people of District 11, thanking them for their tributes. When she is done, an old man whistles a tune that Rue used in the arena to tell Katniss that she was safe. The song acts as a signal, and everyone salutes Katniss using the same gesture that she used to say farewell to Rue. Katniss is taken away, but not before she sees Peacekeepers shoot the whistling man in the head. Katniss and Peeta then proceed to travel to all of the twelve districts and the Capitol. During an interview, Peeta proposes to Katniss publicly, hoping to settle the dispute between Katniss and President Snow. Despite this, Katniss learns that their attempts of subduing rebellion in the districts have failed. Shortly after returning to District 12, Katniss encounters two runaways from District 8. They explain a theory that District 13 was not destroyed by the Capitol due to District 13 possessing a nuclear arsenal, and that stock footage of 13 is played instead of new film on television. Later, it is announced that for the 75th Hunger Games, 24 victors from previous years will be forced to compete once again. This is in honor of the Quarter Quell, an event that occurs every 25th year of the Games, and allows the Capitol to introduce a twist. Knowing that she and Peeta will both be competing in the Games a second time, Katniss decides that she will devote herself to protecting Peeta.
Review: As with any first edition, the sequels usually are not as good as the first. This is NOT the case! Suzanne Collins sequel, Catching Fire, as just as good as the first, if better! The Quarter Quell has come around and a boy and girl from each district is selected to participate. Being the only female tribute winner, Katniss knows she has to go back in, not even a year later from The Hunger Games. Haymitch is selected as the male, but Peeta stands in his place. Haymitch again takes on the role of mentor. The teams are dumped into another arena, this time surrounded by water. They must swim towards the cornucopia to start. Some turn on one another, others start an alliance. Finnick, Mags, Joanna, Katniss and Peeta all team up. Wiress and Beetee join in as well. As they are fighting together to stay alive they are learning things about this arena that are different from the prior. Katniss recalls a conversation she has with the head game maker and realizes he gave away a hint to how the arena will work; in a clockwise pattern. From tidal waves to killer fog to mockingjays that drive you insane, the group is in for another thrill ride of survival. As they are teamed up Katniss’ sole mission is to save Peeta, rather than herself. Does she succeed? Does she save him and herself again? What happens to the other tributes she’s teamed up with? As an up and down thrill ride you’ll find yourself visualizing the arena and being part of it with Katniss. The end will shock you!
Interview with Suzanne Collins about the hunger games trilogy: