May 13

Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins


So, I’ve finished Mockingjay, the final book of The Hunger Games trilogy. I don’t really have a lot to say about it. The first book (reviewed here) was certainly interesting – the story had enough plot points to keep it going, plus learning about the world of Panem and the Hunger Games easily kept me interested. The second book (reviewed here) unfortunately spent a lot of time reviewing the first, though it did keep the story moving a bit. It even had a good twist (I thought) in the middle and ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

Unfortunately, the final book continues the downward slide and doesn’t have a lot of redeeming qualities. It picks up right where the second book left off and we learn more of the Rebellion and District 13. However, there is very little plot activity for the majority of the book. Things trudge forward along the expected path all the way to the end. There is a bit of a twist at the end I suppose, but you could see it coming from far away. The book never hits any real dramatic points and sputters out in a fairly depressing final chapter.

Overall, I’m happy enough with the trilogy, though the final two books could have been condensed into a much better single book. They were quick reads, so at least you  don’t have to suffer through too much boredom. But in any case, I’ve go them behind me and I’m totally ready to take on the application process for The Famine Games!

May 13

Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins


As I talked about in my last post, Donna and I are reading The Hunger Games trilogy in preparation for applying to The Famine Game puzzle hunt. Like the first book, Catching Fire was a quick read – I picked it up from the library last Sunday and was finished by Tuesday evening (and I’m not exactly a speedy reader). I suspect this final book will be similar, judging from the format as I just picked it up from the library today.

Anyway, speaking of similarities, I found Catching Fire to be very similar to The Hunger Games. This is partly due to the fact that Collins felt it necessary to recap much of the story from the first book. And on top of that, there’s what I consider to be the big twist of the second book – described here in ROT-13 so as to avoid an spoilers, though I hear the previews for the upcoming movie version don’t leave a lot to the imagination anyway:

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Finally, I can say that Catching Fire does move the story along in ways you would expect, especially with respect to the underlying societal issues in Panem. If anything, I felt more time could have been spent on this broader backstory as well as the details surrounding the various other districts. One thing I found amusing was that even though the political nature of the story becomes more prominent, the character of Katniss remains fairly oblivious to the bigger things happening around her (“Why do people keep showing me Mockingjay symbols?”). Perhaps she’s still too busy trying to figure out her feelings for Gale, Peeta, etc.

In any case, I’m looking forward to reading the final book and seeing how it all works out. At this point, I can see it going a couple of different ways, though I’d enjoy being surprised. Hopefully, it won’t end up being unpleasant as Anandi hints in the previous post’s comments 🙂