Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 25

In the twenty-fifth chapter of Catching Fire, Collins takes a momentary narrative break from the persistent intensity to set up the pieces of what will surely be an unbearable and painful finale. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Catching Fire.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to describe the growing sense of dread building inside of me, beyond just saying SHIT IS ABOUT TO GET REAL. After this, Collins has just two chapters to end this. Not only can I not figure out this book’s endgame, I am consistently confused as to what the hell is going on right now. If the end of the Hunger Games in the first book was unpredictable (and NO ONE predicted Cato or the muttations of previous tributes), I’m utterly clueless when it comes to Catching Fire. I feel like the first third of this book was one giant misdirect. With so much talk about the Victory Tour, uprisings, and District Thirteen, I thought I had a healthy sense of what this book would be about. Here we are, sixteen chapters later, and all that seems like chump change. WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED WHERE WE ARE NOW? I suppose the idea briefly crossed my mind once during the first chapter or so of Catching Fire, but it’s such a ludicrous concept. SURELY SHE COULDN’T FIGURE OUT A WAY TO RETURN TO THE HUNGER GAMES, RIGHT?

I think Collins is relying on us to be so utterly unprepared and uses chapter twenty-five to build up the anticipation to an inane level. The pieces are in place and I’m wondering what details and Chekov’s guns I missed in the story, but I’m avoiding reading old reviews or past chapters so that the surprise can punch me in the face.

When I wake, I have a brief, delicious feeling of happiness that is somehow connected with Peeta. Happiness, of course, is a complete absurdity at this point, since at the rate things are going, I’ll be dead in a day. And that’s the best-case scenario, if I’m able to eliminate the rest of the field, including myself, and get Peeta crowned as the winner of the Quarter Quell. Still, the sensations so unexpected and sweet I cling to it, if only for a few moments. Before the gritty sand, the hot sun, and my itching skin demand a return to reality.

It seems coded into the pages: It’s time to finish this. It’s time to stop delaying the inevitable. These Games have to end one way or another. I can’t imagine Collins starting off Mockingjay in the arena, only because it would feel just a bit too incomplete. I get the sensation that she’s building to something besides that, but it’s just a feeling. I suppose I don’t have anything to back that up. But the message is there: Katniss, you are unprepared. Readers, shit is about to get real.

Katniss, in a way, realizes this too, as she prepares to deal with a particularly difficult reality: eventually, she can’t ally with Finnick and Johanna, especially if they’re the only ones left. It has to come down to someone. So when is the best time to separate from them?

After receiving yet another identical set of rolls as the night before, Katniss suggest teaching Peeta how to swim while they have the chance, taking the opportunity to also discuss with him how they can leave the others.

“Look, the pool is down to eight. I think it’s time we took off,” I say under my breath, although I doubt any of the tributes can hear me.

Peeta nods, and I can see him considering my proposition. Weighing if the odds will be in our favor. “Tell you what,” he says. “Let’s stick around until Brutus and Enobaria are dead. I think Beetee’s trying to pull together some kind of trap for them now. Then, I promise, we’ll go.”

It’s not a bad plan, really, just unfortunate and depressing. But it also made me think that this explained the wire that Beetee needed so badly: he had been planning on a trap this entire time.

Beetee proves to be incredibly resourceful and I’m going to credit Katniss with initially showing interest in him and Haymitch with following through to make sure Beetee got to her through Johanna. He’s incredibly astute to the frank nature of their future: Brutus and Enobaria are clearly the best choice for their next job. When Katniss asks if they’ll have figured out the clock design of the arena, Beetee is way ahead of her:

“If they haven’t, they’ll figure it out soon enough. Perhaps not as specifically as we have. But they must know that at least some of the zones are wired for attacks and that they’re reoccurring in a circular fashion. Also, the fact that our last fight was cut off by Gamemaker intervention will not have gone unnoticed by them. We know it was an attempt to disorient us, but they must be asking themselves why it was done, and this, too, may lead them to the realization that the arena’s a clock,” says Beetee. “So I think our best bet will be setting our own trap.”

Well, now I’m curious. Clearly, the Gamemakers could see and hear the group discussing that the arena was a clock, but why choose a moment of battle? Don’t they want to see them fight? Or was it more entertaining for them to do this right then?

I find it strange no one lingers on this, but I’m ultimately ok with it because we get to witness how Beetee is the best ally in the entire history of everything.

He swiftly draws a circle and divides it into twelve wedges. It’s the arena, not rendered in Peeta’s precise strokes but in the rough lines of a man whose mind is occupied by other, far more complex things. “If you were Brutus and Enobaria, knowing what you do now about the jungle, where would you feel safest?” Beetee asks. There’s nothing patronizing in his voice, and yet I can’t help thinking he reminds me of a schoolteacher about to ease children into a lesson. Perhaps it’s the age difference, or simply that Beetee is probably about a million times smarter than the rest of us.

What we see is how Beetee lays out one of the more brilliant plans to attack their opponents. He leads the group towards realizing that the safest place in the arena is the beach, where they are, and that any sensible person would certainly try to avoid the deeper parts of the jungle, so they have to be watching them from the edge.

“Now here’s what I propose: a twelve o’clock strike. What happens at exactly at noon and midnight?”

“The lightning bolt hits the tree,” I say.

“Yes. So what I’m suggesting is that after the bolt hits at noon, but before it hits at midnight, we run my wire from that tree all the way down into the saltwater, which is, of course, highly conductive. When the bolt strikes, the electrcitiy will travel down the wire and into not only the water but also the surrounding beach, which will still be damp from the ten o’clock wave. Anyone in contact with those surfaces at that moment will be electrocuted,” says Beetee.

I hope Beetee is high fiving himself right now. Holy shit you are a genius sir.

“It will act something like a fuse, in fact. Except the electricity will travel along it,” says Beetee.

“How do you know?” asks Johanna, clearly not convinced.

“Because I invented it,” says Beetee as if slightly surprised.

I CAN’T. I CAN’T EVEN. HE INVENTED HIS OWN CHEKOV’S GUN askldfjas;lkasdf a;j as;fklj;lkasdf asd;lkfjsadfkl; I want to hug you, Suzanne Collins.

They all agree (Finnick and Johanna reluctantly) that this is the best plan they have. (I love that Johanna says that there’s no way the Careers can figure out this plan if they barely understand it themselves.) And so they trek off into the jungle for what feels like one of the last times. It’s a eerie moment, as the muggy environment begins to sit so heavily on all of them, trekking out deeper into the jungle to the tree that gets struck by lightning every twelve hours. Once they arrive there, they quietly settle into their duties as Beetee begins to examine the tree. I can picture this scene happening in the movie without dialogue, just the score, and it’s another one of Collins’s fine mental images she provides us.

At one point he snaps off a sliver of bark, joins us, and throws it against the force field. It bounces back and lands on the ground, glowing. In a few moments it returns to its original color. “Well, that explains a lot,” says Beetee. I look at Peeta and can’t help biting my lip to keep from laughing since it explains absolutely nothing to anyone but Beetee.

Here was my reaction to Beetee’s statement:

I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL.

About this time we hear the sound of clicks rising from the sector adjacent to us. That means it’s eleven o’clock. It’s far louder in the jungle than it was on the beach last night. We all listen intently.

“It’s not mechanical,” Beetee says decidedly.

“I’d guess insects,” I say. “Maybe beetles.”

“Something with pincers,” adds Finnick.

The sound swells, as if alerted by our quiet words to the proximity of live flesh. Whatever is making that clicking, I bet it could strip us to the bone in seconds.

I am going to be entirely honest: I am 100% ok if Collins never shows us what this is. 100% ok.

So far, she hasn’t. And we don’t learn much more about the arena for the remainder of the chapter. The five of our allies spend the next few hours testing out Beetee’s hypothesis by watching the tall tree get struck by lightning (which sheds absolutely NO light onto how this is going to work, but Beetee is pleased and I pretty much accept his judgment), and then essentially taking the afternoon off while he works on the wiring. There’s some napping, food catching, shellfish eating, and another picnic of sorts on the beach.

Peeta’s just pried open an oyster when I hear him give a laugh. “Hey, look at this!” He holds up a glistening, perfect pearl about the size of a pea. “You know, if you put enough pressure on coal it turns to pearls,” he says earnestly to Finnick.

“No, it doesn’t,” says Finnick dismissively.

OH PEETA. U R SUCH A JOKESTER LOL

Peeta rinses the pearl off in the water and hands it to me. “For you.” I hold it out on my palm and examine its iridescent surface in the sunlight. Yes, I will keep it. For the few remaining hours of my life I will keep it close. This last gift from Peeta. The only one I can really accept. Perhaps it will give me strength in the final moments.

If that pearl is seriously a Chekov’s Gun and it saves Katniss and she falls in love with Peeta because of it, I will seriously throw this book in the trash. That would be one of the most foolish and inane storylines of all time.

I’m sticking to that.

A third shipment of twenty-four rolls arrives with a pot of sauce and they all quietly gorge on as much food as possible, fully expecting that there may not be a need to save any food for the next day, as their plan comes to fruition at midnight.

I have the pearl, though, secured in a parachute with the spile and the medicine at my waist. I hope it makes it back to District 12.

Surely my mother and Prim will know to return it to Peeta before they bury my body.

Oh, Katniss. You’ve got another book to get through! Don’t fret! YOU’LL MAKE IT.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

This entry was posted in Catching Fire, The Hunger Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

284 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 25

  1. mugglemomof2 says:

    SURELY SHE COULDN’T FIGURE OUT A WAY TO RETURN TO THE HUNGER GAMES, RIGHT?
    I was convinced of this too as I started reading. How could we go back? This has to be about something else. Who knew…..

    Katniss, you are unprepared. Readers, shit is about to get real.
    Wow- if that isn't the understatement of the century.

    Beetee? yeah- there aren't words for how fascinating he becomes in this chapter. BAMF x 1000 (and wicked smaaaaht) :::that's a shout out to all the new englanders:::;

    I am going to be entirely honest: I am 100% ok if Collins never shows us what this is. 100% ok.
    That makes two of us. This part of the arena makes me shake.

    Oh, Katniss. You’ve got another book to get through! Don’t fret! YOU’LL MAKE IT
    well that's an awfully confident statement for someone who doesn't know what is about to happen. Shit. Real. And soon.

    • liliaeth says:

      I'm also ok with her not showing what's in that part of the clock, primarily, because it's much scarier this way.

      I also feel that I like that she makes it clear that no one understands Beetee's plan, because quite simply, it makes him look smarter and it keeps her from having to come up with an explanation that might end up sounding stupid instead of smart.

    • theresa1128429 says:

      "(and wicked smaaaaht) :::that's a shout out to all the new englanders:::"

      I would say Boston area only. Most other areas pronounce our "r's". 🙂

      • mugglemomof2 says:

        Not necessarily. I am from MA but live in NH now (and you should hear how some talk here) and let's not venture into that unique Maine drawl LOL

  2. FlameRaven says:

    Oh Katniss. That's… that's all I can say, really, just 'Oh Katniss.' She cracks me up with her melodrama and her complete cluelessness to everything.

  3. mugglemomof2 says:

    Oh and I love how Peeta threw out the silly line of Effie's about the coal and the pearl. Funnies!

  4. Jane Slayre says:

    I've been reading along with you, but I finally couldn't take the cliffhangers anymore and just breezed through the rest of this book and Mockingjay last night. So I can finally join the ranks of the informed and say, YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!

  5. cait0716 says:

    Seriously so freaked out at this point. I loved Peeta so much, and Finnick and Johanna and Beetee, too. And clearly Katniss was going to win, and there was just no way that Katniss and Peeta could both survive twice. And it was heartbreaking and I almost didn't want the book to end because I didn't want anyone else to die. It's so much worse, since Collins has already proved* she has absolutely NO qualms killing off characters.

    *proven? Why does this always confuse me so? I think proved is right, though. Or maybe I should have just gone with shown

  6. Oh Beetee, you genius you. It's no secret who the Hermione is in the bunch.

    I feel for Katniss wanting to leave the group. Let's face it, they're all so fantastic (hem, we still need moar Johanna and Finnick, Collins!) how can you really kill any of them? Mind you, Collins doesn't seem to have similar compunctions, and now that I've asked that she'll probably drop a meteor on Panem or something, but I'm so fond of them all that I'd be happier having Katpee die than seeing any of them kick the bucket.

    • AngryAsian says:

      i love the fact that you compared Beetee to Hermy-ninny. perfect.

    • gredandforge says:

      Lol I feel like I've become more fond of all of them than I am of Katpee too! I would be more devastated seeing Johanna or Finnick or Beetee die at this point than our lovely main duo ..

  7. AngryAsian says:

    If that pearl is seriously a Chekov’s Gun and it saves Katniss and she falls in love with Peeta because of it, I will seriously throw this book in the trash. That would be one of the most foolish and inane storylines of all time.

    i love you. seriously i do.

  8. bell_erin_a says:

    Oh, Katniss. You’ve got another book to get through! Don’t fret! YOU’LL MAKE IT.
    Heh heh, Mark. For someone who it seems has finally at least started to come to terms with the utter soul-crushing horror of his unpreparedness, you sure sound awfully confident. Perhaps you're just trying to convince yourself?

    Bugs. Pincers. Clicking. NO THANK YOU, COLLINS.

    Lol, coal into pearls. Peeta, you get all the love. Also, I miss you, Effie. Are you okay? Did you make it out of the mass pandemonium of the Capitol alright? Or did President Snow decide to have you also go the likely inescapable route that Cinna did, just by mere fact of association with Katpee? I'm betting it's a good thing Haymitch is their sponsor right now, or he'd probably be dead, too.

    Also, Beetee, I'm glad the plan makes sense to you. Because it's still kinda confusing, even after I've read it multiple times. I wonder, did Collins write it like that so it's clear Beetee is the only one with ~all the brains~ in the group, or did she deliberately make it more confusing for the rest of the charaters so that we don't know anything about it? Why do I even bother to ask that. It's the latter, I'm sure. Just so that we can get punched in the face. I'm bringing an ice pack for the next two reviews, sigh.

    • andreah1234 says:

      Bugs. Pincers. Clicking. NO THANK YOU, COLLINS.

      I don't know why but for some reason I pictured some kind of Digimon there. The one's from first season? Yeah…

      I'm an adult, I swear.

    • Shanella says:

      haha, I agree with you on the Mark trying to convince himself front. It does sound that way! =D

    • ldwy says:

      Bugs. Pincers. Clicking. NO THANK YOU, COLLINS.

      OH MY GOD ME TOO.
      I picture giant earwigs.
      I HATE earwigs. They're a legitimate phobia for me.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Oh god oh god oh god. I have never been the same since my dad told me that earwigs got their name because they lived in wigs and then crawled into peoples ears and burrowed into peoples brains to lay eggs when I was FOUR. I don't care if my mom told me that wasn't true and, in fact, impossible, they FREAK ME THE FUCK OUT.

        I am going to feel icky for the rest of the day.

        • gredandforge says:

          Omg poor 4-year-old you! How traumatizing haha. On a sidenote, your dad sounds BAD-ASS 😛

          • monkeybutter says:

            Yeah, I'm pretty sure my parents only had kids to laugh at their gullible nature. Coupla trolls.

        • Fuchsia says:

          Ahhh, earwigs are one of my absolute top fears. No other bug freaks me out (I actually love most because I'm weird like that) but yeah, earwigs are just… *shudder* My dad told me a similar story, but that was only after I had had a traumatizing experience with them already when I was little (went in my playhouse in my yard one day to find it COVERED in earwigs).

          I still scream and run away whenever I see one.

          • ldwy says:

            We had an infested sandbox.
            I run from them too.
            This summer, one crawled out of our microwave, after if finished going for about 1-2 minutes on high.
            The fact that it was in there in the first place? EWWW GROSS OMG OMG OMG.
            Then you stop to think for a minute.
            THEY CAN SURVIVE CONCENTRATED MICROWAVE RADIATION OMG OMG OMG WTF WTF OMG!!!

            • noxcuses says:

              omg! but it probably had internal damage and went in a corner and died. That's what I hope happened otherwise it's time to surrender the planet to the mighty earwig.

              Maybe earwigs are the reason for the Apocalypse that lead to Panem?

              • ldwy says:

                I hope so too, although I'll never know because I made my dad kill it.
                Yes, you're probably right.
                I'll go hide now in fear of the earwig apocalypse.

  9. Ida says:

    Haha! I don't see how a pearl can save Katniss' life at this point, but that gif is awesome:D

  10. Kaci says:

    Oh, Mark. I love the way you describe the sense of dread and complete bewilderment as to where this is going. It captures how I felt at the time perfectly.

  11. Faylon says:

    Well, I've never posted a comment even though I've been following since Prisoner of Azkaban, so this will have to be many posts worth of enthusiasm condensed into one. I adore reading Mark reads. It's one of the highlights of my day. Your enthusiasm for all the characters and plot turns reminds me why I enjoy reading so much, and I've been finding time in my busy schedule to read books that weren't assigned reading again because of it.
    That being said, I'm reading these along with you and HOW CAN YOU GO ONE CHAPTER AT A TIME. Seriously, it's killing me.

  12. Karen says:

    Not only can I not figure out this book’s endgame, I am consistently confused as to what the hell is going on right now.
    And this is actually where I think the genius of the first person present tense narrative comes in. Katniss barely has a clue as to wtf is going on, so the reader is put in the same place. I think it really lends a sense of tension and confusion to the book that makes it a more suspenseful and enjoyable read.

    He holds up a glistening, perfect pearl about the size of a pea. “You know, if you put enough pressure on coal it turns to pearls,” he says earnestly to Finnick.
    LOL. PEETA ILU FOREVER. Also, I like to imagine that Finnick is currently thinking "seriously? THESE idiots are the people I've chosen to align myself with."

    Surely my mother and Prim will know to return it to Peeta before they bury my body.
    This line cracked me up, tbh. It's just such a depressing, dour and Katniss-y thing to say.

    • lecielazteque says:

      That's totally what I thought too about Finnick. I was like poor thing, he must be thinking "holy crap, what have I done," especially since they're from the coal District lol.

  13. exbestfriend says:

    I am afraid if I try and make any comment about this chapter I will just start screaming SPOILERS, so I am going to stay out of it today. The end is just so close I can taste it and this chapter is pure set up and, and…

    And now for something completely different.
    <img src="http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lf7165ba0H1qckmajo1_500.gif"&gt;

  14. Puel says:

    You know, I appreciated the rest chapters in The Hunger Games (mostly because I read the book in one sitting and I needed some kind of relief from the OMG OMG OMG OH SHIIIIT feelings Collins is inspiring in me), but they fill me with dread in Catching Fire. I know how Collins works now, and period of rest = SOMETHING UNSPEAKABLY AWFUL IS COMING NEXT.

    And being so off-balance about what that something completely awful might be is why I love CF so much, because I like it when books catch me unprepared.

    It has been said before, and it will be said again: Mark, you are not prepared. Even if you were a Career, you would not be prepared. There is no force in heaven, on Earth, or in any weird demiplane in-between that will prepare you. And somewhere, Suzanne Collins is probably laughing and strapping on a pair of brass knuckles.

  15. mr.mowgli says:

    Maybe its foolish, but I do like that even though no one in the group really completely understands Beetee's plan, they still are willing to go along with it. It says a lot about how they have grown to trust and depend on each other. Its also scary. Beetee won his game with such a trap! Its possible he could be setting them all up with this new trap of his while they are none the wiser, assisting him in setting up their execution. BEHOLD THE ULTIMATE ZING!!

    I don't think that whats happening but its possible.

  16. bingo007 says:

    oh mark.you are not prepared at all for the insanity(no albeism) that is about to be unleashed

    • cait0716 says:

      So, in this instance, is it better to say ridiculousness? Because that's kind of a mouthful.

    • notemily says:

      aw you can't just say "no ableism" like it's "no homo" (which is in itself problematic) or something.

      • notemily says:

        Sorry–I made this comment earlier today when I was getting ready for work. What I mean is, you can't just say something ableist and follow it up with "no ableism" and expect that to be a valid way to avoid ableism. It's like saying "[racist stereotype] NO RACISM" or any other -ism. Words have impact, whether or not you mean to offend any particular group or person.

        • bingo007 says:

          nah.it was just a reference to yesterday’s post.no harm intended.XD

          • drippingmercury says:

            Um, sorry but this is pretty bothersome – you’re using the language specifically noted as problematic in a previous legitimate discussion of disability, and following it with “no ableism”… what, for the lulz? I know you were just trying to make a joke but really… this trivializes the issue and mocks the entire discussion Mark was trying to initiate. All you are doing is taking the language of a movement and denigrating it, while trying to declaim yourself from the responsibility of what it really means (oh, and make a joke). I certainly get the ~irony~ you are going for, but it reads as ignorance.

  17. potlid007 says:

    I have a feeling the beast is in fact a rabbit
    <img src="http://i684.photobucket.com/albums/vv201/zeldafan555/CarnivorousBunny.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Man Eating Bunneh!!! Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    AND SOMETHING COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED WOULD HAPPEN
    <img src="http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/Joksutin/b99a87.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Monty Python – Spanis Inquisistion Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  18. mr. mowgli says:

    Oh also “Tell you what,” he says. “Let’s stick around until Brutus and Enobaria are dead. I think Beetee’s trying to pull together some kind of trap for them now. Then, I promise, we’ll go.”

    I don't like the idea of waiting around til Brutus and Enobaria are dead before separating from the group. If they wait til then that means it will be friends fighting to the death. I don't want to lose any of the 5 allies, especially not Johanna. I love them all but we will lose them. its the nature of the games, and if that's the case I would rather them be taken out by Brutus or Ebonaria. For example, I couldn't stand having to see Finnick take down Johanna.

    Its so stressful !!!

  19. bendemolena says:

    So who else can’t wait for the part where Katniss and Johanna find the Magical Wish Dragon under the lightning tree, escape the arena together, take Prim away from District 12 and become new-age Sailor Scouts, channeling Mags’ Straight Giving No Fucks power and Thresh’s Invisibility Cloak to fight Snow and the forces of the Capital?

  20. andreah1234 says:

    This chapter wasn't as mind-fucking as the others but it was still good.

    Beetee is awesome. And I'm glad we are finally seeing it. Me, being a complete nerd and having no physical ability whats-so-ever, I'm glad to see a character that wins at everything with his mind.

    Peeta and Katniss will end up tragic, I'm calling it now. It just can't end well. And Suzanne will continue to crush all of my dreams and hopes forever. Yay?

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL.
    NEITHER DID I!!!!! I bow to Beetee for making me feel a bit stupid with his utter brilliance.

    If that pearl is seriously a Chekov’s Gun and it saves Katniss and she falls in love with Peeta because of it, I will seriously throw this book in the trash. That would be one of the most foolish and inane storylines of all time.
    Yeah, I don't think that will happen. I think Collins has a better plan for the next book and it will be tragic, bloody and awful. So awesome then.

    • Schmoo says:

      > I bow to Beetee for making me feel a bit stupid with his utter brilliance.

      I'm not sure it was that brilliant. Isn't he just pointing out how the trees manage not to catch on fire with all that lightning? He threw the sliver of bark against the force field, which cooks things and almost killed Peeta, but it didn't seem to change that much.

      Not to say that Beetee's not brilliant. He's just answering a question that he thought the others were asking…I think.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I really hope you do a special double review tomorrow even though its Saturday because I don't think I can wait two days….

  22. ohheyitsalliek says:

    So, I know this isn't about just this chapter, but are there other countries on the PLANET other than Panem? I'm so confused as to how other countries could let this happen year after year without trying to intervene at all? Unless there are other countries but are weaker than Panem.

    I just don't know. Help!

  23. Shanella says:

    "but I’m avoiding reading old reviews or past chapters so that the surprise can punch me in the face."

    That made me laugh =)

  24. stellaaaaakris says:

    I don't really have much to say about this chapter, but I'll make a list anyway:
    ~Beetee has all the smarts and the logics.
    ~Peeta, you're adorable, I love you.
    ~Two chapters without anyone dying…Woohoo!
    ~Chaff, where are you? What've you been up to?
    ~I too am 100000% okay with never seeing the bugs (the Mummy movie, first one, anyone?). Plus I pretty much have a veryveryveryvery intense fear of all bugs and insects.

    • IsabelArcher2 says:

      Okay, so everyone has been kind of talking about their specific phobias as part of the Hunger Games. I was reading this and was like, 'Hmm, well, that's interesting because the only thing I'm really afraid of is clowns… OMFG, WHAT IF ONE OF THE WEDGES IS FILLED WITH CREEPY KILLER CLOWNS?!?!11'

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      Chaff, where are you? What've you been up to?

      Clearly she is under Thresh's invisibility cloak.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Truth. He's probably been using it to solve mysteries and shit.

      • herpestidae says:

        I missed out. What's this Thresh's Invisibility cloak business?

        • Tabbyclaw says:

          In the first book, we decided that was the most 'logical' explanation for why Thresh didn't appear at all until the fight at the Cornucopia: He was chilling underneath an invisibility cloak the entire Games.

    • Gabbie says:

      In my mind, Katpee, Haymitch, Johanna, Finnick, Beetee, and Cinna hang out everyday and do cool people things together. 😀

  25. 1foxi says:

    "Oh, Katniss. You’ve got another book to get through! Don’t fret! YOU’LL MAKE IT."

    hahaha I know right. Katniss, you should know that there is another book after this one, stop the stressin will you. Silly woman 😉

    • momigrator says:

      Hahahaha, I think that's the one thing that annoys me about knowing there were more books. No matter what, you KNOW the main character will survive. Like, in Harry Potter, you know he was going to make it to book seven at least, so all those scenes where he nearly died you have to think, "Don't worry, HP, you are totes going to make it." Still, it's always fun trying to figure out, "Now, how are you going to get out of THIS pickle, Potter!"

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      Tch. Katniss took a book and a half just to realize Peeta was really in love with her. You really think she's gonna notice that she has another book left?

  26. tethysdust says:

    I really wanted Beetee to give more technical information about the wire, so I can work out what kind of leap in technology it could be. Really high temperature superconductor is the only thing I can come up with offhand.

    It's going to be really hard not to read those last two chapters over the weekend. I have no idea how the story can possibly come to any kind of conclusion in the few pages left. I'm really hoping the surprise ending is that they all escape and start a rebellion, not that they all die but Katniss. I'm also hoping Chaff is going to show up and join the team, instead of showing up to try and kill them all.

  27. barnswallowkate says:

    I don't know what to say about this chapter so instead you get: I love this book and this blog so god damn much.

  28. mr. bubbles says:

    There are times where I want Katniss to stop her cluelessness…just for a second while shit gets real and fun starts to happen.

  29. QuoteMyFoot says:

    Guess where you are on this graph, Mark!

    <img src=http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i124/holliequ/mark-graph.png>

  30. Alyssa says:

    Mark, I'm not well-versed in the world of gifs, although I do love yours, but it makes me wonder: Do you compile them and categorize them to use for your posts? Do you have a directory of gifs that you can search to find "person giving herself a high-five"?? How else would you always have the perfect gifs for posts???

    • Phoebe says:

      I know! they're so random but PERFECT

    • Fuchsia says:

      I can't speak for Mark, but 90% of my GIFs are from Tumblr, that place is a GIF goldmine. I'm sure Mark gets some from there as well. My other 10% are from comments on this site, so there you go. 😀

  31. pennylane27 says:

    I finally got my sister to read these books, and since she's going to be an engineer, I asked her to please explain Beetee's plan to me as if I was a 2 year old. I think I get it. When the lightning hits the tree at 12, Beetee will have placed one end of the wire in the tree and the other in the water. So the electricity will travel from the tree to the water and electrocute anyone standing in the beach, because it will be soaked from the wave, and water conduces electricity. Assuming that Brutus and Enobaria will go down to the beach to look for food, they will die, and they will only have to look for Chaff, if he wasn't at the beach too.

  32. This chapter frustrated me because I felt like NOTHING HAPPENED. Well at least nothing to help things end. Oh man I hope you actually finished this book already.

  33. elusivebreath says:

    Mark, you do such a great job of articulating the Aargghhhhhh I'm sure we were all feeling by this point in the book! I seriously could not put this book down after the Quarter Quell was announced, and I read Mockingjay in one sitting because shit gets more real every chapter and how could you STOP?? I think I would have lost sleep if I even bothered to try!

    Also the idea of you being punched in the face by surprise is hilarious and it's exactly what reading this book feels like.

  34. I’m avoiding reading old reviews or past chapters so that the surprise can punch me in the face.
    This is a a wise strategy. I do advise you, however, to use protection.

    (I don't know if you've heard, but you're not prepared.)

  35. Hanah says:

    THAT GIF OF DOC BROWN IS THE GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN TODAY

    Ahem.

    I'm not even going to bother to tell you that you';re not prepared. If by now you have not realised how spectacularly unprepared you are, there is no hope for you Mark. One day we won't get a review, just bits of asploded brain leaking through our screens… *has just grossed herself out with this image*

  36. lilygirl says:

    Well, will pat myself on the back for noticing wire and lightening, but without a DeLorean clueless , clueless, clueless. OT My brother in law owned a DeLorean for several years. And Yeah I did drive that thing, and yes I postured and posed a bit, what fun. Now must go and have exotic car dreams before the final shit gets too real.

  37. momigrator says:

    I love this entire conversation. I have nothing witty or useful to add, but I'm still going to comment about my love for this conversation. 😀

  38. Fuchsia says:

    Yeah, there is absolutely no way you can figure out what's going to happen.

  39. Kaybee42 says:

    I just CAN'T see them all dying. I can't! Maybe some of them but the whole gang?! No! I think Finnick will die, cause that will break our hearts… But I just want Johanna to survive! She is amazing! Beetee would be cool to survive but I don't really know. So here's how my favourites will all survive:

    A rebellion has already started on the outside and now the Capitol aren't going to be continuing monitoring the games, so the victors keep playing for a while… but then Finnick dies. Or someone dies… and a cannon doesn't sound.They note how odd that is and start to wonder what's going on.
    Eventually they realise the games are over and everyone or possibly just our little gang start to work on escaping. I don't know how though… They will need Beetee to maybe tell them stuff about the forcefield? Perhaps they could electrocute it with that wire somehow and it would turn off for 3 seconds or something? And then the book ends and Mockingjay starts with them joining the rebellion. KAPOW! Then Johanna and Peeta LIVE! 😀

  40. Emily says:

    I feel ashamed I have to ask this, but… what is a Chekov's Gun? (wince)
    Isn't Chekov a character from Star Trek?

    • pennylane27 says:

      A Checkov's gun is something that is introduced early in the story, that usually goes unnoticed by readers that then is very important to the resolution of the plot. It comes from the playwright Checkov, who introduced a gun in one of his plays, and no one saw its importance until the end.

    • hpfish13 says:

      I would try to explain it, but this page explains it better than I ever could
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitle

      Beware, though. TV Tropes is frighteningly addicting…..

    • Penquin47 says:

      Checkov was a Russian playwright who insisted that if a gun goes off in Act 3, it should be shown in Act 1 so it's not out of nowhere. So Checkov's Gun is something that hasn't been used yet but is obviously important.

      Chekov's Gun is just a standard prop phaser seen in many episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series.

    • notemily says:

      Just some spelling nitpicking on the comments here:

      Chekhov (with an H) was a playwright who coined the Chekhov's Gun concept, which Penquin47 explains.

      Chekov (with no H) is the dude from Star Trek.

  41. inzhuna says:

    Awesome review, had me lol so much. I am so tempted to read the final chapter and them come here screaming YOU ARE NOT PREPARED like all the other cool peeps.

    Ah, temptation.

  42. blessthechildren says:

    <img src="http://notquiteamerican.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/inventor.jpg"&gt;

    BEETEE! That man is an inventing genius! I love the image of him with his little glasses. Maybe he looks more like Harry Potter with the glasses.

    <img src="http://www2.snapfish.com/snapfish/slideshow/AlbumID=4174481007/PictureID=295288624007/a=46092417_46092417/"><img&gt;

  43. rje says:

    I'm sorry Mark but the imagery you struck, I just HAD to do this..
    THE NEXT CHAPTER (meant to write that on there lol)

    <img src="http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d35/dangerous_dollie/MarkPUNCH.png"&gt;

    I hope I did that right

  44. momigrator says:

    So Beetee is pretty much the Nikola Tesla of the future.

  45. paulineparadise says:

    "Here was my reaction to Beetee’s statement:

    *gif*

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL."

    WOULD IT BE SPOILERISH IF I WOULD EXPLAIN IT? Because I totally figured it out right away I am Hermione until the end of time.

  46. kajacana says:

    Mark, you get points for your perfect use of the Snape-Doesn't-Have-Time-To-Care gif. I forget what House you are in, so I will just award 50 points to Markindor.

  47. fuchsia says:

    Unrelated but thought it was amusing: the ad in the sidebar is currently for the Rifftrax version of Eclipse.

  48. Lady X says:

    I'm really glad Collins PURPOSELY doesn't have us visit all the differant sections, so as to leave a little to the imagination. Also… REALLY Betee?

  49. easilyentranced says:

    Ahhh, Mark, I fear my comment with be filled with spoilers, so I will just say that Beetee is the greatest person of all time and that I also did not understand his plan at all. Just trust cool, old guys that invent their own Chehkov's Guns. <3

  50. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    I HOPE THEY DID

  51. Kelly L. says:

    Ok, THANK YOU, I am glad I was not the only one horribly, terribly confused by Beetee and his plan. I thought maybe I was just having some sort of mental deficiency but it sounds like it was, in fact, confusing.

    I feel better about myself now.

  52. Tabbyclaw says:

    OH GOD WHAT IF THERE ARE MOCKINGPENGUINS

  53. karadudz says:

    Beetee kinda reminds me of Big Bang Theory. He makes intelligence and geniuses look amazingly cool. Which actually brightens the mood in the Games in a way. When you think about it, the Games is about people getting their weapons and slashing people to death as many times as they can just so they can win, get out and go home. But with Beetee, he's inventing awesome stuff with his genius that makes killing people exciting. And now I just realize how sadistic I sound soooo… K I'll shut up now.

    Katniss is so dramatic thinking about her death and last moments and what her family should do when she dies. SHEESH. Like Mark said: "You. Will. Make. It."

    Since I read this trilogy by the time all the books were already out, I just can't bear to imagine how the readers who read these books in "real-time" felt about not knowing who would and wouldn't survive the Quell. It must have been SO MUCH MORE unnerving for them to realize that there were only two chapters left in the book and there were still 8 tributes alive.

    All I can say is… Ooh La La =/

  54. exbestfriend says:

    Maybe? If they did it was money well spent. And here is an applicable gif.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lfe1h0rhDa1qabz6m.gif"&gt;

  55. Saber says:

    They're learning not to give a damn

  56. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I have a theory or two about what's happening/going to happen with the tree, but I don't want to type it out in case someone decides to semi-spoil or upvote or downvote as a way of confirming/shooting it down (as I think the latter has happened before).

    So instead I'll just post this:
    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_k4zydG6cozg/RuP10TgMAPI/AAAAAAAAB7o/72LkF2QX4sw/s320/gromit_reading_electronics_for_dogs.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/213qh79.gif"&gt;

    And say that the first thing I thought when I saw this:
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lfayynFsTv1qc8tsb.gif"&gt;
    Was this:
    <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OKMu8dcXqpE/SvtlvHXSVcI/AAAAAAAACZ0/1O3G4TY1iiQ/s400/penguin.jpg"&gt;

  57. Saber says:

    I was really, really bored in math today, so are you ready for some awful HG poetry?

    There once were two series their fans would fiercely defend
    The Hunger Games was written better, Twilight couldn't contend
    People said Edward was scum
    And Jacob's character turned dumb
    And Katniss shot Bella, the end

    And just for you mark…

    There once was a man who wrote a review
    He made us all laugh when we felt blue
    And though books that excite
    He brought important issues to light
    Despite KEYSMASH and profanity too

    Now I need to rhyme "You are not prepared" with something.

  58. cait0716 says:

    That's Christian Bale?!? He's so much hotter with a mustache I didn't even recognize him.

  59. Phoebe says:

    Even more reasons why I love Beetee in this chapter!
    (plus, that gif was the one you used to explain your reaction to hp being a dream :))

  60. TreesaX says:

    If that pearl is seriously a Chekov’s Gun and it saves Katniss and she falls in love with Peeta because of it, I will seriously throw this book in the trash. That would be one of the most foolish and inane storylines of all time.

    Oh ye of little faith. I think SMeyer already covered foolish and inane storylines in the Twilight series.. along with writing that even a 5 year old would read and think, "Wow, this writing is really, really bad."

    This is the point in the book where I was completely confused about what was going on. I mentioned in a previous comment that I'd have to depend on your reviews at some point so I could fully understand everything. This is that point.

    The threat of spoilage is so high right now, so I can't really comment on anything else. I'm really excited for you Mark! You actually made me like this book more than I did before, so thank you! Can't wait for you to read Mockingjay. =)

  61. Revolution64 says:

    "I’m avoiding reading old reviews or past chapters so that the surprise can punch me in the face."

    Don't worry. It will.
    <img src='http://chzgifs.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/whothehellpunchesakoalap1.gif&#039; title="Who The Hell Punches a Koala Gif – Who The Hell Punches a Koala?" alt="Who The Hell Punches a Koala Gif – Who The Hell Punches a Koala?" height="270px" width="480px" />see more Gifs

  62. Kripa says:

    The pearl scene made me think of Antony and Cleopatra, because in A & C, Antony sent over a pearl to Cleopatra as a token of love while he's away. So now I'm just picturing Katniss as Cleopatra and Peeta as Antony and so Peetantony has a political marriage with his rival's widow big sister and Haymitch can be the messenger who bears this news to Katnopatra, who flips her shit and almost kills him. Does this make Johanna and, say, Prim, Charmian and Iras???? And maybe a muttation snake can be the asp that kills Cleotniss?
    Completely fluffy comment is fluffy.

  63. vampira2468 says:

    Love the creatures Collins creates

    Love the twists and turns. SO exciting

  64. mag11 says:

    If that pearl is seriously a Chekov’s Gun and it saves Katniss and she falls in love with Peeta because of it, I will seriously throw this book in the trash. That would be one of the most foolish and inane storylines of all time.

    lol why would you even assume that? Random!

  65. Amy says:

    Can’t talk, because at this point, with two chapters left? I couldt say something nonspoilery if I tried. And I think I’ll have to shut myself up during Mockingjay too.

    BEETEE IS SHELDON COOPER.

  66. Annalebanana says:

    When I read this the first time I mostly thought I understood what the tree bark meant, but that it was too obvious a thing for a brilliantly smart Beetee to be happy about when I first read this. I won't say anything about my conclusion about what HE thought afterwords until a later date 🙂

    I completely support a Beetee shipping. Age is no barrier to true bad assery

  67. Haley says:

    PLEASE please PLEASE do the next chapters ASAP! 🙂 I've read them, and may I say YOU ARE NOT PREPARED but I have been waiting this whole time to see your reaction to the end. Major KEYSMASH and BAMFs then ever before! WUTWUUUTTT.

  68. Saber says:

    I was going through my list of AWESOME CATCHING FIRE FANART and I found the link to this.

    "Onward to victory" by R1c3 Cr4ck35

    <img src="http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/218/1/a/ONWARD_TO_VICTORY_by_R1C3_CR4CK3R.jpg"&gt;

    pff, we all know how these games are going to end. Johanna, Haymitch and Beetee are all on the second narwhal.

  69. Kal says:

    I'm not sure if someone already said this since there are 3 pages of comments, but I thought Collins was indicating that the tree was some kind of mutated, electricity-conducting tree. I would not put it past the Gammeamkers to do this, and any natural tree would have been fully incinerated by now, after being hit by lighting as much as it has (I think 4 times?).

    Also, can I just say that if Foxface had won the last Games and met Beetee, she and Beetee would be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!!!! That was seriously one of my first thoughts when I read about Beetee's plan.

    [Also, sorry if this gets double posted–my internet cable came unplugged]

    • theresa1128429 says:

      That's why Beetee threw a piece of bark into the forcefield. He tested it and found out that the tree repairs itself after the lightning strike

  70. TreesaX says:

    Okay so I wanted to write a better comment than my previous one up there, but there really is no possible way to do it without breaking at least 2 of your spoiler policies, hehe. And the more comments I read, the more it proves this point.

    I can't even think of a proper end to this without wanting to spoil everything. Gaahhh. Haha.

    HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY WAIT UNTIL MONDAY???

  71. Kal says:

    I know exactly what you mean by break in action. I went back and looked, and Chapter 25 is the first chapter where no one dies since before the Hunger Games started. The previous books had quite a few breaks in the death count, but this feels like an episode of Buffy, just one in which I actually care about everyone who's died.

  72. theresa1128429 says:

    Three things:
    1. Beetee's plan is THE BEST THING EVER!!! Long live the geeks!
    2. Penguin GIF made my night.
    3. I don't want Katpee to separate from the group. I want all 5 of them to live happily ever after!

  73. Inessa says:

    I'm sorry if someone posted the same thing. I think the game makers chose to disorient them during the fight with the careers, so that Brutus and Enobaria don't get tipped off about the clock. I am guessing that they purposefully put in more horrors, figuring that the victors would be reluctant to kill each other. With 3 dead during the fight, they wouldn't have many to try out the other clock punishments on, with our friends knowing about the clock and staying at the beach. I guess they want to try out the other clock sections for maximum entertainment value.

  74. 4and6forever says:

    Hmmmm… The tree… I think that it’s made of some thouroghly heat or other damage resistent material (But that doesnt make sense, because Beetee was able to cut it), or maybe has repair nanos in it or something. We could take the less complicated route and say that it is just made of an electricity insulator. Or maybe I’m just overthinking this.

  75. Gamesfan says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but what is a Chekov's Gun?

    • Bree says:

      Straight from Wiki: Chekhov's gun is a literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story, but its significance does not become clear until later in the narrative.

      So basically, if a gun is introduced and specifically pointed out in scene 1, that thing better go off by the end of scene 3.

  76. celinagabrielle says:

    MUSN'T. SAY. ANYTHING.

    YOU ARE SO UNPREPARED. IT WAS FIVE AM WHEN I FINISHED READING THIS BOOK AND I STARTED YELLING AT MY WALLS I WAS SO UNPREPARED.

  77. lanilani26 says:

    I read this book a few months ago and when I finished it I started laughing hysterically! PEOPLE actually had to WAIT a YEAR or so to read MOCKINGJAY! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA — I pity you all, seriously! xD

    Mark thank you so much for posting this (THG reviews) I spent the night awake reading them all =D so entertaining and insightful! I can't wait for the next two reviews, and I'm hoping you'll write the remaining chap's review all today =D

  78. trash_addict says:

    Not ashamed to admit, I had no freakin' clue what Beetee's plan was all about. I got the basics, but I just didn't see how it worked.

    Like yourself, my preparedness was at an all-time low.

  79. inzhuna says:

    Ok, I've no idea what happens next but I've reread Mark's review and my predictions are
    1. the tree somehow powers the force field. the lightning bolt hits every 12 hours to get more power into it.
    2. the force field will go down and ppl from district 13 will come and rescue katpee
    3. or collins will actually kill katniss and peeta will be the protagonist of book 3.

    Hm. I am still tempted to read the chapter but I like the way I'm doing it… I read Mark's review first, then the chapter. (Is that a super silly way to read a book?)

    • Emily says:

      Not silly! But I would be sad learning all the main points in the chapter before reading it! But if you are enjoying it, more power too you!

  80. paulineparadise says:

    me too! I made it from polymer clay.

  81. Gabbie says:

    Who thinks Mark should read the last two chapters together? 😀

    • Sarah says:

      I second this.

    • Lily says:

      third. (:

    • Emily says:

      I said the same thing about the weekend. I always read the chapter is is going to review the night before, and I started this chapter on Friday and I started it and I was like "DANG IT… THE WEEKEND, I FORGOT!!" haha. I think he should definitely read both chapters together though. 🙂

  82. lily says:

    curse you, weekend. -_-

    • Coni says:

      Yeah, I keep convincing myself that Mark will be all "SURPRISE!!! WEEKEND POST!" But, of course he won't because he wants to have a life and whatnot.

      • Saber says:

        And sleep. Sleep is good. I wouldn't know anything about having a life, but sleep is very, very good.

  83. rolf hugely says:

    Mark, you are amazing. Seriously. This is one of the funniest blogs I have ever read and oh my gosh I can't wait until you're done with this series.

  84. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I'm rereading this chapter to see if I can fine-tune my theory about how the book's going to end, and I caught a mistake in something Beetee said.

    He claimed that running the wire from the lightning tree to the saltwater would kill all the fish, but that's not true. There's a reason that there aren't massive incidents of marine death in the (relatively rare) occasions when a bolt of lightning hits the ocean. It's because the electricity tends to stay near the surface of the conductor it's passing through. Fish only get fried by lightning if they're near the surface of the water; at any given time the vast majority of fish are swimming deep enough to be safe.

    • inzhuna says:

      The pond might be pretty shallow though? It's not exactly an ocean… But yeah, I was wondering if someone who knows more about these things would come and say 'Actually…' so thanks for your insight! I wonder if it's Collins who got it wrong or Beetee doesn't know enough or something else entirely.

    • mugglemomof2 says:

      I can understand your theory- but wouldn't it change if he ran the wire INTO the pond (meaning deeper than the surface). I don't know since I am far from an electrical scientist- but that was what I assumed he meant. Since the wire would really be within the pond, the entire pond would work as a conductor.

    • Saber says:

      That's interesting. Maybe he got it wrong, but I'd expect Finnick to correct him on that.

  85. sourskittles says:

    After you're done with this you should do "mark watches buffy the vampire slayer." That is, if you haven't already seen it. Ahhh that would be awesome.

  86. canyonoflight says:

    I read the majority of this book last night as I was wide awake from the coffee I had yesterday (first time in a year, so I am not used to it anymore). YOU ARE NOT PREPARED, MARK.

    I have to agree with all your criticisms of this book. I didn't like how she passed over the districts on the Victory Tour. Knowing now that it was just a small part of the overall story, I'm okay with that for the most part. I do wish she had had written something like "Desert blurred into forest into plains into concrete jungles as we passed through the remaining districts." I just wanted a few descriptions of the other districts. :/ I mean, Katniss is seeing Panem for the first time ever and she can't be bothered to even briefly describe what she's seeing? Anyway, the way she told the story of those people in the woods outside District 12 was annoying as well. I enjoy dialog way too much for that to be satisfying, even if the content of it was extremely interesting. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Collins's writing style. I immensely enjoy the way she writes quiet moments and action, but there are some things that need more than her brisk style. Basically, I give the plot an A++++ and the writing a C+, maybe a B-.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      I am glad you caught up, you wonderful person. I also think it is strange that Katniss doesn't describe anything that they pass on those trains––I mean, isn't this world supposed to be ruined? Where are all the bombed-out buildings and meteor impact craters!? Did The Capitol build NEW train tracks that bypass all of the old cities?

  87. Steeple says:

    Got behind, but now I'm back! PREDICTION TIME!

    1. Anti-sponsor gifts! This is becoming my default #1

    2. Boss rush mode secret tunnels to District 13! This is default #2, natch

    3. They will find out what the clicking is

    4. It's Blast-Ended Skrewts

    5. At least two people will die from them

    6. The pearl will be a Chekov's Gun, but it will neither offer protection nor make Katniss fall in love with Peeta.

    7. Uhhhh the pearl will become like a symbol of hope, passed on from the dead half of Katpee to others as needed/killed off.

    8. The tree bark will be used again. Protection, like a shield, maybe?

    9. The wire trap will end up killing one of the team.

    10. Mark will not be prepared.

  88. Captain Anarchy says:

    *shakes fist angrily at weekend*

  89. Quizzical says:

    beetee <3<3<3

  90. PK9 says:

    Here are the comments I wrote immediately after reading chapter 25. There are no spoilers in these comments, just my own unspoiled conjecture about what I thought woud happen in the remaining chapters:

    Not too much happens in this chapter, just the discussion of breaking the alliance, and Beetee’s trap planning.

    What is with the constant arithmetic about the rolls? Sure it’s one of those weird number things like when the number of buns never matches the number of hot dogs, but Katniss usually misses so much that when she focuses on certain details they’re usually significant.

    • PK9 says:

      (continued)

      I wonder how they plan on breaking the alliance after the Careers are dead? Sneaking away will just mean they’d have to hunt each other and Katniss will, for the first time in two books, have to start making proactive kills. She’s gonna have to shoot from the blinds to take out Johanna and Finnick. She’d have to finish off Beetee if the other two don’t. I know she considered shooting Finnick in the back earlier, but that was the only moment in two books that she’s even toyed with the idea of killing to win rather than killing in defense or mercy.

      • PK9 says:

        (continued. Really? Two paragraphs was too much?)

        Lightning tree. Hmm. I would say it’s a pretty elegant trap… if Beetee was working alone against like 10 other competitors. With an alliance distribution of 5-2-1, though, it seems hardly necessary. They’d be better off working counterclockwise and trying to herd the remaining contenders into one of the active danger zones. So here, right now, before turning the page to chapter 26, I’m going to call it: Beetee’s gonna use the lightning to overload the force field and create an exit. I could be totally wrong and embarrassing myself, but I WILL post this prediction on 8/21 regardless of whether it comes true.

  91. ether_bunny says:

    OK, so I know you read this series like a thousand years ago and probably no one will read this comment, BUT. I decided to read this series about three or four weeks ago and flew through the first book before ordering the second two online (also, imagine my rage and despair when Mockingjay arrived about two days after ordering and Catching Fire didn't get here until like a week and a half later) and I have just gotten to this chapter in Catching Fire. Obviously this book is old news now but holy shit, the fact that Haymitch sent the group 24 rolls THREE TIMES in less than two days strikes me as something that must somehow be significant and Katniss is just not thinking about it at all.

    Of course, it may also be nothing, but the books have made me paranoid about every detail and this is just too much. Why send a number of rolls that cannot even be divided evenly among the allied tributes that remain? IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE MARK AND I HAD TO TELL SOMEONE THIS, SO I CHOOSE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE LOVELY, OKAY.

  92. Bookworm2829 says:

    I gotta say this: freaking loving the gifs. Especially the HP related ones, just because I am a nerd like that

  93. Hanh says:

    Katniss' descriptions of the bottom of the sea floor was very pretty and all but how can she see underwater? I'm pretty sure she doesn't have goggles and saltwater burns in teh eyes. I mean, I can see Finnick getting away with it. He's Aquaman after all.

    Clearly, the Gamemakers could see and hear the group discussing that the arena was a clock, but why choose a moment of battle? Don't they want to see them fight? Or was it more entertaining to see them do it right then?
    Well my guess was that it would've been too easy to let them finish off the Careers like that, but then I remembered they are totally okay killing everybody as quickly as possible at this point. So my next guess is that this was their 'Ha ha in your face F U for figuring out the clock' spiel. Sure they could've spun the Cornucopia later when no one was looking but it just doesn't have quite the same effect as childhood memories of merry-go-rounds.

    Clearly, District 11 is full of stealth ninjas. There's no other explanation for Thresh and Chaff to be hiding so effectively.

    I feel like I understand Beetee's plan. I mean he wants to pull a Back to the Future and harness the power of lightning to electrify the beach by channeling the energy through his super speshul Chekov's gun. OMG what if instead of being electrocuted, they time travel? I think the tree is made of some kind of energy absorbing material but I don't see how that works unless it somehow safely disperses the energy into the surrounding area. At first, my prediction was going to be that the charge from the lightning going into the sea would be so great that the electrical current would actually be able to shoot back through the wire before it disintegrated, hitting the tree which would redirect the lightning back into the sky and possibly short circuiting the force field. But then if the tree does absorb energy, then none of this would work. Whatever, I'm still holding onto the idea that they will find a way to escape the arena and not have to murder the shit out of each other. I am too attached to see another one die.

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