Author: Suzane Collins
I was a latecomer to the Hunger Games trilogy. I’d heard about then but didn’t sit down to actually read them until I started seeing the first trailers coming out and getting very intrigued. I absolutely devoured it. I read Catching Fire and I still enjoyed it…but was decidedly less enthusiastic. I’d heard that Mockingjay was very divisive to the fanbase so I just never got around to reading it. Then last week I was at the library and while I was off picking up another book I saw this sitting a top a row of books and figured why not.
I’m very mixed about this book. On the one hand, I do think it more successive than Catching Fire, but on the other hand, that’s faint praise.
First off, it took a full half of the book to grab my interest. If it weren’t a series I was familiar with I don’t know that I’d finished. Second, I personally hated District 13. If we were ever meant to sympathize with the District, I never did. Personally, I found the to be only marginally better than the Capitol. Still using the Capitol’s tricks. I disliked coin from the start. Maybe we weren’t supposed to like them, but forcing Katniss to team up with Coin was like a choice of lesser evils. I didn’t really start getting into the book until 13 took a backseat and the action truly got going.
I do like the time we spent with the other Victors and the Capitol refugees. I did like seeing how damaged so many of them had become and hearing what had happened to them in their post-Victory careers. It was interesting in a way the world-building hasn’t been in ages.
I still didn’t care for the supposed love triangle. I’ve been Team Peenis the entire time. I never bought that Katniss loved him in Hunger Games – frateral love, perhaps, like a brother. But not as a romantic interest. Her mooning over him in The Hunger Games worked because it was in the context of the commentary on showmances, the satire element (sorely lacking from Catching Fire and only barely present here). It drove me nuts in Catching Fire because as far as arranged marriages go, it’s hard to beat a genuinely nice guy who risked his life many, many, many times over to protect he. I wanted to smack some sense into her. I still wasn’t a fan of him here, but at least he actually had a purpose beyond simple love interest, which gave him some redeeming value.
While I totally got the whole “propos” angle, the dialogue coming out of her mouth still sounded force-fed. No one talks that way unless you’re in the movies.
Others have mentioned Prim and yeah. That was just stupid. I did like the confrontation between her and Snow though and the ending. I was also disappointed by how Katniss chose to vote at the end. It’s like dude. She’s seen all that she’s seen, felt all that she’s felt and still wants to subject others to the same horrors? It instantly wiped all credibility for the character for me. Yes she’s been consumed with thoughts of revenge, but it felt incredibly misplaced.
Overall, I can’t get behind this book. When I read Hunger Games I felt like it was meant to be a stand alone novel, but it was left ever so slightly open ended for a sequel if it panned out. I wish it had been left alone. The following books weren’t nearly as strong and I can’t agree with where she went with these.
In the end, I’d only recommend the first book to a new reader. The others just aren’t worth it.