Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cannonball read #09: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

And so the Hunger Games trilogy is concluded. With a book that leaves me confused. Did I like it? Did I hate it? Was I indifferent?

Obviously, this being the third part, spoilers are to be found below for those that haven't read the first two books.

Katniss Everdeen is now in District 13, among the rebels. She feels trapped and is driven by her hatred for President Snow. At the same time, she feels that she is manipulated by the rebels to become their Mockingjay, their symbol of rebellion. For the first half of the book, her goal is to free Peeta, who's being held captive by Snow.

Katniss is a strong character. But despite her passion, her motives are unclear. She is truly on fire when it comes to her emotions, but at the same time she can appear to be cool and distant. Can she feel love? In the first book, she volunteered herself for the Hunger Games to save her little sister. In this one, judging by her behaviour towards her family and friends, she's an empty shell. Her behaviour consists of knee-jerk reactions. It is often mentioned in the book that her actions have caused other people to die, still she doesn't learn from that but keeps going on with her personal vendetta: not to heroically avenge others, but to exact revenge for her own suffering.

The first half of the book feels scattered, aimless, just a bunch of events thrown together for no obvious reason other than to create tension. They seem like pointless distractions. The book picks up speed in its second half, when suddenly the goal is clear and everything the characters do is for that purpose. It is exciting at times, although other times I got angry at the writer for coming up with completely unnecessary plot devices that felt like cheap thrills and contributed nothing to the story.

Mockingjay was certainly an entertaining book, but it felt shallow and messy. It was definitely the weakest part of the trilogy.

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