March 08, 2012
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
This is the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I was completely blown away by the first book (well aside from the writing style itself) and the ideas that it presented. And as such, was very eager to devour the next two books. The second book proved to be lackluster, and this one followed in its footsteps unfortunately. It provided a decent ending, but after the Hunger Games, it just didn't have the excitement the first one did. And if you haven't read the first two books yet, don't go any further, go give them a read! This is not a stand-alone type of book.
Katniss is now with the rebel District 13, but Peeta is still trapped by the Capitol and President Snow. She isn't sure what she wants to do and wanders around aimlessly while everyone tries to convince her to be the "Mockingjay" and a symbol for the rebellion. When she finally decides she has to do something for Peeta's sake, she still isn't sure how she feels about it, but she gets back into the swing of things and tries to make a difference. But it could cost her so many things that are important to her life.
Katniss is always pretty unlikable. But in this book she's unlikable in the bad way, not the unique way. She just doesn't have very many redeeming qualities at all. Gale too isn't the greatest of characters. I almost feel like they deserve each other. Even Peeta isn't written as brilliantly as he was in the first two. He's a mere shadow of himself and while some can argue that's the point, I think it could have been done better. I did like reading about the people of District 13 though, there's was an interesting culture. And I actually liked President Snow in this book. Finnick and some of the other side characters were remarkable as well. So maybe I'm just the weird one.
Whereas the 2nd book moved too slow, this one moved too fast. Too much going on, not enough description of the important things. And the last part of the book felt like a dungeon crawl in some sort of role playing game. It was just stiff and didn't flow naturally. And its all still told through Katniss' eyes. And she's not the best narrator. I think a 3rd person perspective would have given this series so much more. Even the world building aspects would have been better. Like the other two books, there is a lot of violence in this one, but at least its realistic violence, even if it is gory. I don't want to spoil too much, but I think the end was well written and believable, so that saved this book a little bit too. The concepts are fantastic, its just the execution that could be worked on.
Not the best ending it could have been, but at least it was something. I can tell you, at the very least, I'll probably reread the first book a few times over. An interesting series to be sure.