Monday, 16 January 2012

Book #3


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.


It's over. This little world I've been submerged in for the last few weeks is gone. I am very, very impressed at the depths I was dragged down to and the feats I was forced to believe were real.

Mockingjay has completely restored my faith in the trilogy, although it was quite shaky and perplexing to begin with, with Katniss just memorising, soliloquising, and generally annoying me to death. A lot of the pages towards the beginning of the novel were unnecessary and dull. After these had passed, however, and the action began, nothing was sacred. Action kept pouring itself out of the pages, and once again I was faced with the ever-delightful couldn't put it down book review cliché. I found there to be more shock and suspense than there was in Catching Fire, and I was so pleased that this was the case.

I think the main thing to note here is that my crocodile eyes were weeping again at various places in the novel. I cried viciously during The Hunger Games, but not once during Catching Fire. Indicative.

The characterisation was wonderful, and I was still in love with my old favourites and holding a terrible hatred for the dullard Katniss which was born from Catching Fire. How angsty! Where is this girl who volunteered to take her sister's place in the reaping? Is this same girl to the one who we now see moping about like a soggy bit of cardboard? UGH. She spends the majority of the novel hiding in little forts feeling sorry for herself. As I've said before, I realise she has been through a lot, but we're looking for a strong protagonist here, not an indecisive irritating moron. I didn't have any sympathy or respect for her until the final few chapters where my opinion completely turned around. I'm pleased this happened; the ending wouldn't have been the same had I continued to hate her.

Tiny spoiler: people died. (Please don't moan if I wasted anything for you here, it's the last book of the trilogy, what do you expect?) Certain people died who I felt were not mourned properly, there was no closure, they died and that was it. One of these people I loved. Cheers, Collins; I wanted to lament. I don't even forgive you for killing him off in the first place. I didn't find this death to be important to the plot. It was merciless and unforgivable. Huff!

I enjoyed the political, social and cultural comments, particularly when considering that although this is a dystopian novel, it really is only a stone's throw away from real life. Children trained to kill children; does this ring any bells? How comfortable are you challenging someone with authority, or someone in uniform?

Collins managed to convey a good message about war; that nothing is black and white, and very rarely does anyone truly win when you consider what has to be lost to ensure a victory. She's trying to get us to think about when we should stop fighting, when does it become too much. I think the book ended on quite a dark note, and although I'd usually champion dark endings, I can't help but feel it was slightly devoid of hope for a young adult novel. I can't explain it; I just didn’t feel good about it.

Another disjointed review stemming from my disjointed feelings. It's a haunting and shocking finale, with the tale taking well-executed turns that couldn't ever have been predicted. It’s an obvious must-read for those who have tried the first two installments, with a chilling and displaced ending.


3 / 50 books. 6% done!

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