Thursday, 1 August 2013

Suzanne Collins' 'Catching Fire'

So, the second book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy?
This book is much more intense than the first one. You gain a real sense of the oppression of the general populace and the ruthlessness of the Capitol’s President and Peacekeepers, including just how intricate their plans and punishments can be. Katniss Everdeen happens to be in the middle of it.
The second book is placed about six months after the Games and Katniss feels the pressure from President Snow herself to do better because of rumours of uprisings. President Snow has confirmed her as the catalyst and she must now make amends or else everyone she loves could die; including the two boys she loves in different ways Peeta and Gale.
That’s about as much as I can give you, seeming the second book is full of more intense issues than the first, without giving anything away. This second book is actually well developed in terms of Katniss’ character and watching her mind work as she deals with not only what she wants with life, but how to take on the Capitol and the serpent-like President. Katniss still has her naivety in a world that feels so dark and doomed; so watching how she processes and thinks this through in the second book is well done.
An element to note about this book is the atmosphere of the Districts and the Capitol and how Collins gives the reader a strong feel of place. This offers the reader a sense of what it could be like in such a situation and is unsettling enough that you wonder exactly what you would do if in the same places or situations. The final element is the use of food in the book. It reminds me of older texts where during the Depression or wartime when authors wrote, their focus was on the extravagance of food to add a sense of richness and wealth to the text and time for the reader. Collins seems to add this element to her text, perhaps not only as homage to past writers, but because of the understanding of the horrors of realities during such times in the present or past reflected within her books.  
Besides this, my comments about the first book ring true for this one in terms of style, voice and characterisation. So far she has remained an author that sticks true to her work and is consistent in her writing; pulling punches and surprises where she needs to for the readers.
But how will the last in the trilogy stack up?

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