Six months have passed since Katniss and Peeta defied the Capitol by walking out of the Hunger Games arena as joint Victors. Since watching Katniss lavish attention and kisses on Peeta, Gale is keeping her at an icy distance. Since realizing that Katniss was acting when pretending to love him, Peeta ignores her completely. Lonely, dejected and guilt ridden Katniss prepares for the mandatory Victors’ Tour six months after the last Hunger Games, six months prior to the next. Unwilling but resigned to her fate, Katniss expects the whole business to just go by in a miserable blur so that she can return to her life. What Katniss doesn’t expect, however, is finding President Snow in her new home on the morning of her and Peeta’s departure. Somehow he knows the truth – that Gale is not her cousin as the press reported, and that Katniss and Peeta aren’t a couple. The girl who publicly defied the Capitol and made them look foolish cannot be allowed to remain unpunished – the people of Panem just might start thinking they can do the same. With a subtle rebellion rising, President Snow makes it clear that if Katniss doesn’t want to see her mother, Prim or Gale harmed, her job is not only to convince the world that she and Peeta are indeed madly in love (the only justifiable excuse for defying the Capitol), but it is also her job to defuse the rising rebellion she unwittingly triggered. The question is, having seen the total suppression of the people of Panem first hand, with hatred for the Capitol building in her day by day, does she really want to stop the rebellion? Even if it means certain death, will Katniss instead choose to become the symbol of the rebellion?
I literally cannot say any more without completely spoiling the book for first time readers. The storyline as it flows from here is completely unpredictable with surprise following surprise.
Catching Fire, the second installment of the Hunger Games Trilogy is no less exciting than the first. While fan favourite supporting characters such as Cinna and Caesar Flickerman make comebacks, interesting, colourful new characters are also introduced which gives the trilogy new life. However, Katniss (and the reader) still never knows who can truly be trusted, so the level of suspense doesn't lessen this time around. The love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale becomes more developed as the trilogy continues, and it is impossible to predict who Katniss will ultimately end up with. Suzanne Collins once again did a fantastic job of creating and expanding the world of Panem. She once again keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. With a full blown rebellion threatening the Capitol, no character is safe.
The film version of Catching Fire is already in the works. At this point we know that the first draft of the script has been completed, and that Director Francis Lawrence (Water for Elephants, Constantine, I am Legend) has officially been given the gig to take over the helm from Hunger Games director Gary Ross. Filming is earmarked to start anytime around August 2012, and Catching Fire has already been assigned a release date of 22 November 2013.