Welcome to the Hunger Games read-along! Beginning July 1st, 2010, we will be reading and chatting about one chapter a day of both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins in anticipation of the release of Mockingjay on August 24th.

In the unlikely event that this is your first read of these amazing books, welcome! And more importantly, beware of spoilers! There will be spoilers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Catching Fire Chapter 23

In which Wiress gets it, and so do Gloss and Cashmere.  Finally!  The first time I read this, I wondered how on earth we could still have 13 living tributes at this point.

What I do wonder is why the hovercrafts wait until the arena spins around before they recover the bodies.  And why they wait so long after to collect Wiress that Finnick has time to swim out and save Beetee, and Katniss has time to swim out to Wiress to retrieve the wire she clings to.  Something smells like Heavensbee.

You know what else smells Plutarchy?  That Johanna won't shut up about the wire.  I think there's a plan, and she knows what it is, and she's not too subtle, is she?  She's so unsubtle, she's making KATNISS think there's something up.

So Katniss figures out that everyone's trying to save Peeta.  Let's think back...are they trying to save her too?  She's allowed to go hunt in the forest herself, but they know she can handle her weapon.  In fact, it seems like they really just let her do her lethal thing, she needs no protecting.  She can run, she can shoot, she can swim.  I guess if they didn't see her in the training center taking out five flying plates at once, they might be a bit more protective of her.  Yes?  But now, Johanna won't let her go with Peeta.  Divide them up so at least one can live, right?

Okay, guys.  Now's the time to ring in.  The poll says one thing, but please tell me what you want from this blog after Tuesday.  I gotta be honest, the day to day thing isn't going to happen (unless I have help).  One open post?  A post every day with mostly "guest" posters?  Let's brainstorm a bit, because I'm sure there will be TONS to talk about.  It's just a matter of how long we want to talk about it, and in what format.


  1. Guest posters work for me. I'm going to be sad that I can't come into the office and spaz about it with you all in person, though :(

  2. Here were my initial thoughts upon completing chapter 23:

    Tactical mistake on Gloss’ part to kill Wiress first. If you have he element of surprise, you gotta go for the biggest threat, and that’s Katniss with the bow or Finnick. I kinda love how his death mirrored Marvel’s from THG almost perfectly, though. Like student, like mentor, I guess.

    Peeta drew my map!

    I got halfway through this chapter and so much stuff had already gone on in the arena that I had to stop and go back to launch and fill out my scorecard. I think we are already down to 9 by the end of this chapter. Brutus and Enobaria are what’s left of the Career pack. Then Katniss’ group has Katniss, Peeta, Finnick, Johanna, and Beetee. That leaves two out of: GD5, BD10, and BD11/Chaff. One of them was killed by/during the tidal wave.

    The more Johanna annoys Katniss, the more I hope she somehow gets out of this alive. Johanna is exactly what Katniss needs in an older sister.

    Well, finally Katniss notices. She’s about two chapters behind me. :P But is Peeta really THAT good with words that he can be the leader of the rebellion? (Peeta is John Connor?!?) How can his words be useful? Not in the districts, where they already have the motivation to rebel. Even if he can convince scared people that they have the ability to overthrow the Capitol, it would be worthless because it’s not true. As long as the Capitol has superior technology and loyal servants to use that technology (Peacekeepers), the Districts will never win a military campaign against the Capitol. Now, perhaps if he can convince the Capitol residents to see reality, maybe there’s hope there. But if part of Peeta’s ability to win support is based on being able to spin lies, doesn’t that make him a risky person on which to pin all hope of Panem’s future?

    I swear that at the moment I write this I have not read ahead into chapter 24. My theory is TRAP!!! Apparently Katniss hasn’t learned anything from using all those VHSes. Maybe, just maybe, the Capitol has some newfangled technology capable of replicating the human voice? An mp3 player? A cassette tape? A phonograph? I can understand the need to help Prim, just in case it’s not a recording, but it’s still a trap. She needs to settle down and approach more cautiously.

    Since my theory is that it’s a trap and she’s in one of the seven unknown zones, it seems kinda coincidental that they just happened to pick the active one to walk into. Of course, in their discussion of redesigning the arena they didn’t acknowledge that the Gamemakers probably *could* activate whichever section whenever they want to, even if they were unlikely to be able to move the wedges around magically.


    Responses to questions:

    Heather, I remember Katniss saying that everything happened really fast. They spun the cornucopia right after the cannons fired, so they couldn't exactly have been fishing out bodies while they were flying off into the water. And there were 3 bodies, so maybe they didn't start with Wiress?

    Johanna's bringing attention to the wire is odd, but Katniss interpreted as her feigning ignorance for her own benefit later on. I think the audience would see the same thing, recognize her M.O. from the earlier Games, and figure she was trying to do something similar.

    BTW, I put my version of Peeta's map up here.

  3. LOLZ at Heather's "You know what else smells Plutarchy?"

    Good point, PK9, about Gloss' death mirroring Marvel's death. Marvel kills harmless Rue and immediately receives an arrow in the neck :: Gloss kills harmless Wiress and receives an arrow in the temple.

    As for your comment: "But if part of Peeta’s ability to win support is based on being able to spin lies, doesn’t that make him a risky person on which to pin all hope of Panem’s future?" I'm thinking of leaders throughout history who were caught later in lies. I think Peeta has the makings to lead the districts to revolution. Let's see what happens!

    And did we all see on p336 where Jo calls Katniss "brainless?" Feel that sisterly love! (Agreed, PK9, Jo could make a good big sis for K.)

    As for the future of the blog, Heather I can't wait for our MOCKINGJAY chit chats, and I'm 100% on board with whatever you think is best. That said, I'll say that from your poll options above, I was thinking it might be nice to have one post a day that covers 3 chapters all at once, and I'm also down for some guest blogger action. I'd love to guest post and would especially love to read posts from Chloe, PK9, Rebecca, Allison, and Claire! If there are any applications of geometry in MOCKINGJAY, can we purtyplease have a place where I can read PK9's geometric analysis?

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  5. " I think Peeta has the makings to lead the districts to revolution"

    I agree, but I'm worried about what would happen if his lies were revealed. For example, one of the major motivating factors for any unrest in the Capitol is the "fact" that Katniss is pregnant. If someone reveals to the Capitol audience that Peeta was just making it up to play on their sympathies, then they could quickly turn into the staunchest supporters of President Snow's regime.

    Bleh... the previous comment was me, apparently I was signed in under a different google account. Well, now you all know my name =P.