Friday, 27 January 2012

'Mockingjay' by Suzanne Collins Book Review

The third and final book in 'The Hunger Games' trilogy, 'Mockingjay' concludes the 

Katniss is taken to District 13 and is prepped to become the 'Mockingjay', the symbol of the rebellion. Within this district with rules arguably stricter than the Capitol and led by the suspicious Coin, Katniss is made to film 'propos' (propaganda footage) to rally the districts to allegiance.

But when the Capitol retaliates with their own footage of Peeta calling for a ceasefire, will Katniss allow his torture to continue? Or does it break her beyond repair?

Similar to 'Catching Fire', the last book offers a lot of filling the gaps and backstory. Unfortunately, it doesn't follow a simple flow like the first book where there is a reaping, the prep, the games and then the end. The plot of this one goes everywhere, from a bit of prep to filming a propos, to a battle scene, to arguing in district 13 to training, to plotting... and so on. For about 2/3 of the book.

Once we finally understand what is going to happen, the last third is beautiful- the battlefront mirroring the Hunger Games and this was the most intense section which I've been waiting the whole book for. Unfortunately, just as it got to the climax, Katniss gets incapacitated and is whisked to safety. Just like at the end of the last book.

I really disliked it when Collins did this. I wanted to see Katniss in the thick of the action. It was too convenient for her to just be 'safe' whilst she gets filled in on what happens. I didn't like it in the last one (though it made more sense then), but now it just seems far too 'convenient' and 'dull'. 

That said, the ending offered lots of twists, turns and shocks. I won't spoil anything, but one event leads me to think that everything has been done in vain (not sure if this was the author's intention) and that no matter what happens, humanity will be the same. 

Regarding the characters, it doesn't deal with them in much depth at all. It kind of feels a little unfinished and rushed. However, the question on everybody's minds must be how Collins deals with the Gale or Peeta love triangle. I personally had a favourite between the two and was very happy to discover that Katniss ends up with him, but I was disappointed with the way the other guy was dealt with or lack thereof. Does she just not speak to him ever again? Surely not. But the explanation for her choice was reasonable.

'The Hunger Games' is definitely one of the best trilogies of late. Despite the gradual loss of structure as the books went on, if read from cover of book 1 to the end of book 3, it flows better. Whilst Collins' writing was solid, and addictive throughout, the plotlines waver here and there but ends appropriately, if a bit rushed and characters not dealt with properly. 

Nonetheless, this book and the trilogy is a must read, is simply unputdownable and I can't wait to see the movies.

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