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
Brandon Sanderson does it again – yet another unique, in-depth magic system that left me wanting more. This time Brandon Sanderson tries his hands at young adult but is equally enjoyable for adults. Not my favourite from him, but I will definitely be listening to the sequels when they are available.
Story – 3.5/5
Wow – how many unique, easy to understand yet complex magic systems can one man come up with (apparently he has many more as well according to an interview). I get the impression that he develops the magic system, and then the story around it, but I could be wrong. If you like magic systems, then this book is definitely up your street.
This book reminded me a lot of Harry Potter actually. It is set in a school for magic users (or Rithmatists), weird things are happening around the school that a couple of students are helping to investigate, you still get your typical teenage issues that they like to moan about (teachers, what’s fair etc). In that respect you are not getting anything new. I would say though that the magic system is far superior. The limitations, rules and drawbacks are explained well enough in advance so that a powerful move cannot be overpowered later by an even more powerful one when the author decides he want to add something in a later book.
Performance – 4.5/5
Michael Kramer is probably my favourite narrator out there. Before I listened to anything of his, I was worried that his Southern USA accent would grate on me. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to get used to though and now I can enjoy some of the best fantasy novels on offer by a great voice actor and narrator.
There was one downfall of listening to this in audiobook form, there are clearly Rithmatic diagrams at the start of each chapter in the physical book that they attempt to explain on the audiobook. It didn’t detract from the overall story as you got a general gist, but I think seeing gives a more in depth understanding of the magic system. I got around this by looking up the diagrams on the internet when I wasn’t listening – I would recommend you do the same.
Overall – 4/5
Definitely suitable for adults – I am a 27 yr old man.
Apologies for the star ratings not matching the written review, I am forced to round halves on Audible.
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