The Irony of Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire (Book Review)

As we all know, Catching Fire is the second installation of a three books series of Hunger Games authored by Suzanne Collins. As much as I want to relish the hang over I got from the movie version of Hunger Games book 1, the bookworm part of my brain is itching to start the second book right away.

While Hunger Games is mischievous and tricky, Catching Fire appears to be mysterious and ironic. I am not sure how Suzanne Collins came up with the title, but I’m sure the fire here symbolizes the main character of the story, Katniss, she’s known as “The Girl on Fire”, seeing that she came from District 12 where they extensively use fire to produce coal as their main product.

The 239 pages book is full of action and mind fiddling scenarios that you would not want to miss a single turn of event in the story. I guess this is more exciting than the book 1, I felt the same intensity when I read the Harry Potter series, but I am not comparing them though.

I’ll be careful not to be a spoiler on this review, but I have to cite some part of the story to support my perspective about the irony of this book.

Ironic because……

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark who just won from the 74th Hunger Games would again return to the Arena for a Quarter Quell. Ok, let’s consider the fact that the reason why book 2 exists is because of another fight or games, but it’s ironic because after you made the readers believe that the two star-crossed lovers will now live happily ever after, you will summon them to another fight in the arena, and worst to fight with fellow victors, and if worse comes to worst, they’ll fight with each other. It’s just like you are watching a fairy tale movie, then the prince and the princess now live happily ever after, and then suddenly you will get them killed each other.  This is no fairy tale I know, but you are defeating the purpose of the concept of being a Victor. Nevertheless, the thought of seeing Katniss and Peeta in the arena again sparks my interest as a reader.

Ironic because……

The idea of Quarter Quell is sick. Quarter Quell is a milestone for Hunger Games, it is a special edition of the games every 25 years. For the 75th Quarter Quell, the tributes will be reaped from the existing pool of victors. Now, I will give Suzanne Collins a standing ovation for coming up with this idea, but not for the character who formulated the concept. Games would be more exciting and bloody if you will get the best among the best to fight in the arena, but gamemakers should have foreseen the possibility of defiance and rebellion because the pieces they are using in the game are not just ordinary pieces that they pulled off from random tributes of each district. They will be dealing with smart, strong and mighty victors. You are just like putting one bomb after the other, and you know what will happen if this will explode. This idea seems to be idiot in the expense of the character, but surely, Collins did a wonderful job to come up with this twist.

Ironic because…..

In order to defeat your enemy, you must be friend with them. I remember that old cliché which says the same thing about befriending your enemy so you can easily defeat them. Katniss and Peeta were advised to be friend with other victors so they can create a strong alliance. But being friend with the enemies made them unbearable to kill them.

But you cannot solve the mysteries behind these ironies unless you read the whole story. I think the whole perspective of the story will support the title fair enough to conclude that there are reasons behind the satire plot. And it is for you to find out if you will read the book. One thing is for sure, after you read the whole Catching Fire book, you would want to immediately start the Book 3- Mockingjay.