Mocking Jay: The Hunger Games Leaves Us on Utterly Compelling yet Sad Note to Linger On
Mocking Jay By Suzanne Collins
Mocking Jay By Suzanne Collins
The Hunger games trilogy. A set of young adult novels that so incredibly mature, that I’m not sure why they are aimed at young adults. But that’s a mystery to be discussed on another blog for another day. I have the third book Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins to review. Because come on, after that massive cliff hanger at the end of Catching Fire, I couldn’t just not finish the trilogy could I?
The book Mocking Jay picks up with a revolution that was sparked with the rebels seeing Katniss Everdeen’s defiant nature in the Hunger Games as a beacon of hope. The thought to be destroyed district thirteen is alive and well, underground preparing for war. And district thirteen’s people were the ones who saved Katniss from the arena at the end of Catching Fire. As she comes to, she find the rebels are under control of president of thirteen, Coin, who uses her as a puppet (much like the capital) to promote hope and motivate the soldiers into fighting. And she wants just that. As Katniss wants Peeta back who captive and is being tortured in the capital, and she wants to fight and do something as Coin seems to constrain and forbid her involvement in the district’s war to take over the capital.
So the good? Well first of all, the characters are fleshed out. Katniss is a extremely flawed character. Her decisions are not always the right ones and I can appreciate that. It made her seem so real. Her interaction with others is extremely engaging as well as she drifts further and from Gale, and the surprise of the turn of the events with Peeta. Also the story itself with the other two books attached are quite an accomplishment as a while. Though it has a few problems and is not prefect, it is indeed high level thinking science fiction that is better than a lot of the stuff today (trust me on this. I’m a scifi nerd so I’m always looking for stuff like this. ) Despite the rough start, I think it could hold up and stand the test of time beside Asimov, Wells and Crichton. Also the story is very unpredictable.
The bad? Well as much as I know this is about Katniss’s internal struggle, I was very shocked by how quickly the book zoomed through the war. There’s brief bit at district eight, an extremely, short and somewhat convenient standoff at district two for Katniss until she is knocked out at the height of the moment. And then there is the much longer part where Katniss is traveling through the Capital to assassinate president Snow where they encounter bombs, numerous traps and mutations, which all of this was quite fun until one again at the height of the moment Katniss is knocked out again. See the pattern here? There should have been more war scenes. I feel Suzanne Collins struggled to write the action oriented war scenes, so she would breeze right through them with so little detail at all, that I had to go back to re read what was happening. That was not all that great. And she struggled the same way in the first two books as well, but here I wanted to know more. I desired so much more detail. It need more detail about those who are dead and dying, the impact of the bombs, and what not. Of course you can argue some of the great science fiction writers from the fifties such as Issac Asimov rushed through things as well letting the reader fill in the blank. So okay, I’ll give you that, but it doesn’t mean it very good writing. There were also instances where no detail was given at all in parts that were not actions scenes. Such as when Katniss approaches Snow. She walks around and corner then approached ‘him.’ The author uses ‘he’ and ‘him’ multiple times for three paragraphs with so little detail that I thought I might have missed something. Then it is later revealed to be Snow which I felt was kind of ass backwards attempt at writing.
Now the in between good and bad. I’m putting this in its own paragraph so I’m no sure whether this is a good or bad . But it’s the ending. And this is going into spoiler territory a little bit. So this is your warning. But you as the reader, is reading this because they care about Katniss. They want to see her break away from being used as a puppet and return to her old life. But there are some shocking deaths. One in particular leaves Katniss broken by the end of the story. She becomes isolated from everything she knew. Peeta is the only one who cares about her. The only one! Sure in epilogue she has kids and family in the far future so she must have found her sanity somewhere along the lines. But after such a depressing, violent, and cruel series of books, does the ending have to be so damn weak! Uhhhhg… I mean I give the author credit for not going with the traditional happy ending. I know happy ever after is a cliché that needs to be retired, but this book series really needed one. Katniss desperately needs one.
Anyways, if you like the first two or just science fiction general you’ll like this. You might have to adjust to fast paced detail lacking, and the present tense writing style which was hard for me at first, but once you got past that its fine. Don’t expect a full on the war novel as Katniss participates in little of it to be conveniently knocked out. Its more about her internal struggle of right and wrong more than anything else. Point is, it’s a good book. By no means perfect, but some of the best scifi novels today. Oh and by the way this book might make you cry. Just a warning. It’s a little sad at the end.
3 smoothies out of four.
Overall Rating: The Hunger Games Leaves Us On Utterly Compelling Yet Sad Note To Linger on.