The Hunger Games – Catching Fire

The Hunger Games was so good I was craving for more even before I finished it and thankfully I had bought the full triology right away so that I didn’t have to wait to get my hands on the sequel. The best about it: Its just as good as The Hunger Games.

Synopsis
(Disclaimer: Most of the following text is from Wikipedia with additions of my own)
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 country of Panem.

On the day that Katniss and Peeta are to start a “Victory Tour” around the country, she is visited by President Snow who lets her know he is extremely upset with her for breaking the rules at the end of the last Hunger Games, which permitted both her and Peeta to win. President Snow tells Katniss that when she defied the Capitol, she inspired rebellion in the districts. In order for Katniss’ loved ones to avoid retaliation by Snow, she must convince Snow himself that she and Peeta truly are in love. Something which only includes them declaring a common future together.

The first stop on the Victory Tour is District 11, the home of Katniss’ friend and ally, Rue,  in the Hunger Games before she died. During the ceremony, Katniss and Peeta deliver quick speeches to the people of District 11, thanking them for their tributes. When the speeches conclude, an old man whistles a tune that Katniss used in the arena to tell Rue 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, but suddenly the crowd reacts and the peacekeepers break in killing 3 people as Katniss and Peeta are rushed away from the square.

Katniss and Peeta proceeds their victory tour to all of the twelve districts and the Capitol. Once they arrive in the capitol they are interviews on direct TV by During one of the direct sent TV interviews with , 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 and convincing Snow of their relationship have failed.

Shortly after returning to District 12, Katniss encounters two runaways from District 8. They explain the situation of the districts and that 8 has rebelled and that they have a theory that District 13 was not wiped out by the Capitol and that its residents have gone underground.

As a way to get back at Katniss President Snow announces that, for the 75th Hunger Games, a “Quarter Quell” that allows the Gamemakers to add a twist, 24 victors from previous years will be forced to compete once again. Katniss resolves to save Peeta, who will almost certainly be the male tribute. Haymitch reveals that he had already agreed to help Peeta accomplish the same for Katniss, but still agrees to help Katniss.

After arriving at the Capitol, Katniss and Peeta look for potential allies among the other tributes. Katniss meets Finnick Odair, a 24-year-old man who successfully survived the Games at the age of 14, and Mags, Finnick’s 80-year-old mentor, both from District 4. She also meets Beetee and Wiress, an older couple from District 3 who are said to be “exceptionally smart” and adept at working with electronics. Beetee and Wiress tell Katniss that the Capitol leaves the control panels for their force fields vulnerable in plain sight.

The Games take place on a beach and jungle terrain, with a dome shaped force field enclosing the tributes. The arena is set up to resemble an analog clock with one lethal event occurring every hour on a twelve hour cycle. When the Games start, Katniss and Peeta form an impromptu alliance with Finnick and Mags. They try to find the arenas parameters, but Peeta runs into the force field at the edge, stopping his heart. Finnick is able to perform CPR to revive him, although Peeta is weakened from the incident. At noon, lightning strikes a tree nearby, and the next hour the Gamemakers release a poisonous fog in the group’s location. The fog causes muscle spasms and prevents them from running while carrying Mags and Peeta. Mags sacrifices herself so the other three can escape. After Mags’ death, lightning strikes again at midnight and the group is attacked by monkey muttations, but all three survive, thanks to the female tribute from District 6 sacrificing herself to save Peeta. Katniss, Peeta and Finnick join forces with Johanna Mason, a sarcastic and often cruel victor from District 7, an injured Beetee, and Wiress, who is in shock and repeatedly mumbles “tick tock”. From Wiress’ words, Katniss realizes that the arena is arranged like a clock, with the Gamemakers’ disasters occurring on a timed chart, signaled by the lightning.

While gathered at the central cornucopia the careers attack the group, killing Wiress, and a battle ensues until the Gamemakers cut it short by shifting the terrain. Beetee devises a plan to harness the arena’s lightning to supposedly electrocute the rest of the career tributes. At night the group splits to prepare for the plan, but is attacked separately by the remaining tributes. Katniss is knocked out and has her tracer removed by Johanna. Johanna then leads the two remaining careers away from Katniss. An injured Katniss directs the lightning at the force field’s control panel with an arrow tied to the wire, destroying the arena forcefield and resulting in her temporary paralysis.

When she wakes up, she is being transported to District 13: a place that is widely thought to no longer exist. She is joined by Finnick, Beetee, and Haymitch, but learns that Peeta and Johanna have been captured by the Capitol. Katniss is informed that from the beginning, there had been a plan among most of the tributes, Haymitch, and head Gamemaker Plutarch to break her and Peeta out of the arena. The book ends when Katniss’ best friend, Gale, comes to visit her and informs her that, though he got her family out in time, District 12 has been bombed and destroyed.

The Hunger Games on the web
http://www.thehungergames.co.uk/
http://www.thehungergamesmovie.com/ 
http://mockingjay.net/ 
Wikipedia 
Catching Fire  
Scholastic
IMDB

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