I am a 28 year old man who likes to make use of a long commute by listening to sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks
As equally enjoyable as the first
Story – 3.5/5
Once again I found this story very entertaining, and I couldn’t switch it off. The only reason for not giving a very high score is down to a few issues that didn’t detract from my own enjoyment, but may do for others.
Catching Fire has followed on very nicely from the first book. It flows smoothly from the end of the first novel and the plot is equally, if not even more, intriguing than the first book.
I found the story to be incredibly predictable throughout. I am not sure if the small hints to how the book was going to end were supposed to be as obvious as I found them, but the ending didn’t have quite the impact that it could have had for me.
Once again, it is the little details that make this trilogy enjoyable. The known characters are developed further quite nicely with a few more intriguing characters entering into the mix. Whenever little snippets of history were told about these characters history, I was always left wanting more.
As with the first book, I didn’t find the love elements of the story very convincing, and there is more of it in this book if it bugged you in the first. I personally still didn’t find it putting me off.
Performance – 4/5
Carolyn McCormick is an excellent voice actor and narrator. If you enjoyed her in the first, you will enjoy her in this. All characters had distinctly recognisable voices, and she was able to portray the emotions of them very well throughout.
There were still the same issues of younger characters seeming too whiney at times by over elongating and over emphasising some words, but again, this may be a fault of the writing, and not the narrator.
Overall – 3.5/5
A nice ending to the trilogy, with a few surprises along the way
Story – 4/5
This 3rd book surprised me, but in a good way. It didn’t go in the direction I was expecting overall, which made it even more entertaining. There were a lot of new ideas applied, and she finished it off with an almighty bang.
Most of the issues with the first two novels were ironed out quite nicely in the end, and we were able to see a more ruthless side of people’s personalities. Suzanne Collins did an excellent job in not making the war seem black and white, with it bringing out a different side of people’s personalities. I felt that this was a better representation of human nature and a vast improvement in her writing.
Performance – 4/5
Carolyn McCormick is an excellent voice actor and narrator. If you enjoyed her in the first two books, you will enjoy her in this. All characters had distinctly recognisable voices, and she was able to portray the emotions of them very well throughout.
Overall – 4/5
It’s nice to see a film adaptation that has stuck quite closely to the book
Story – 3.5/5
I found the book to be very entertaining. In fact, if I was to rate it on my enjoyment of the story alone, it would have gotten a 4.5/5. There were, however, a few things that some readers may want to consider before reading:
None of the ideas are very innovative – in fact it is very reminiscent of “Battle Royale”. What it does do well though is allow a brutal concept such as a blood bath to the last survivor and make it accessible for a younger audience. This does have the knock-on effect of things being over-romanticised, and not necessarily realistic of human behaviour overall.
The little details make this book easier to enjoy, such as the sponsors, the various districts each having their own characteristics, family histories, and the sci-fi elements like genetic mutations etc. Not all of these details are fully portrayed in the film.
I didn’t find the love elements of the story very convincing, and found this to be quite annoying at times as a consequence, but this didn’t detract too much from the story overall, so don’t let it put you off.
I had watched the film first, and found the book more enjoyable, so I would recommend those who enjoyed the film to still give this a go. The extra little details that they don’t have time to include in the film will give you a better feel for the world they are living in.
Performance – 3.5/5
Carolyn McCormick was my first female narrator. For some reason I have always steered away from them, as I have always felt more comfortable with a man doing female voices over a woman doing male voices. She did an excellent job with all of her voice acting though, and as the narration was done by the female lead, she suited the story very well
She created a good atmosphere throughout the story and helped to portray the fear and sadness of the whole situation. I did feel that she portrayed a lot of the younger characters as a little too whiney by over elongating and over emphasising some words. This may be a fault of the writing though, and not the narrator.
Overall – 3.5/5