Catching Fire is the second installment in Suzanne Collins's dystopian series The Hunger Games.
The book opens with Katniss and Peeta safely returned to their new victor homes in District 12. This rest is short-lived, however, when President Snow pays a visit to Katniss and demands that she use the victory tour as a platform to proclaim her love for Peeta in order to settle the unrest and rebellions that have been spreading throughout the other districts.
Katniss and Peeta go on the tour but end up witnessing tremendous violence at the hands of the Peacekeepers. Their return back to District 12 is no less bloody, with Gale being publicly whipped after an altercation with Romulus Thread, the new Head Peacekeeper.
It is shortly thereafter announced that the 75th Hunger Games, known as the "Quarter Quell," will consist of previous winners of the Games as tributes. Katniss's name is drawn at the reaping, as well as Haymitch's; however, Peeta volunteers himself in Haymitch's place.
During the interview leading up to the Games, Katniss and Peeta take every opportunity to win over public opinion. Katniss wears a wedding dress that transforms into a symbolic mockingjay, while Peeta proclaims that he and Katniss have privately married and that Katniss is pregnant. This stunt ends up resulting in the death of Cinna, Katniss's stylist, before the Games begin.
The Games progress as they always do, with the tributes being terrorized by horrific obstacles and characters dying off one by one. Katniss forms a tentative alliance with Finnick Odair, Mags, Wiress, Beetee, and Johanna Mason. Ultimately, the Game ends when Katniss shoots an arrow through the arena's force field, creating a power outage that allows for her to be airlifted out of the arena by a surprising ally--head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee.
Katniss is flown away to District 13--the district that was thought to be lost but which is actually serving as the headquarters of the resistance--but sadly must go without Peeta and Johanna. No good news awaits Katniss in District 13; upon her arrival, she discovers that her family and Gale are safe, but that District 12 has been obliterated by the Capitol as punishment for her rebellion.
After the events of The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta return to District 12 as co-winners, something that has never happened before. While trying to reconcile her feelings for Peeta and her inability to fully return to her previous life, Katniss is approached by President Snow and warned that she will not be allowed to function as a symbol for a revolution. While on tour with Peeta, Katniss witnesses more examples of the Capitol's extreme oppression tactics and brutality, including the execution of District 11 citizens who salute her. Returning home, Katniss discovers that District 8 revolted, and now its citizens are either dead or fleeing. She also hears rumors of District 13, which was thought destroyed years before in the revolt that instigated the Hunger Games. When the next Hunger Games comes, the Capitol decides to take a winner from each District and return them to the arena; Katniss realizes that they are trying to get her killed so she cannot be a symbol of revolution. Despite this, she makes some new friends from the previous tributes and again does well in training; in the Games, she and Peeta team up with some other Tributes and survive until an explosion breaks the Game system. As the novel ends, Katniss learns that District 12 has been bombed out of existence, and that Peeta is a prisoner of the Capitol.