Sunday, 19 February 2012

63/111 - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This is the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and I can't decide whether the second or third book is the weakest of the lot. I thought that I was disappointed by Catching Fire as it was suffering from that whole 'middle of a trilogy' thing in that it's left relatively unfinished.

This book left me feeling pretty unsatisfied. After Katniss is rescued from the arena, she's taken to District 13 where the corrupt president forces her to become the spearhead of the rebellion as the Mockingjay. Once again, lots of focus on what she's wearing or what's she's eating. Snore. Katniss spends half her time moping, and half her time breaking the rules, with a bit of hunting, nightmares and kissing Gale thrown in for good measure.

It soon becomes apparent that District 13 is really no better than the Capitol, and is oppressive in other ways - people are expected to be frugal and forms of expression are looked on with distrust. Even celebrating a wedding is unheard of. The president is never really convincing as a good guy, so when she turns at the end and becomes just as corrupt as the president of the Capitol, it's extremely predictable.

We also discover that Peeta is being kept alive in the Capitol and experiments are being carried out which alter his psyche and his memories, and cause him to hate Katniss. The rebels rescue him from the Capitol and he treats her like dirt from there on, and slowly starts to warm up to him.

Then there's the final battle, which had none of the drama of the previous books.

Finally, the ending. What the fuck?! The battle is won, and Katniss is sent home back to the destroyed District 12 (without her family or friends) instead of being celebrated as a war hero. Gale and her mother? We never hear of them again except for a sort of vague explanation that they're living elsewhere. Katniss goes back to live in her old house alone, and eventually Peeta turns up, hating her slightly less. The last chapter consists of the two of them gazing across a field that their children are running around in. LAME.

I get that we're not really supposed to like Katniss, as such, but surely the characters and the story deserve a more complete and satisfying ending than that? Disappointing, for such a strong start to the series.

Next: Back to Jasper Fforde with Something Rotten.

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