Mockingjay is the third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Once again, as I set out to read it (just as I did when I set out to read Catching Fire), I had expectations of what could not be accomplished with the story. That's what happens to me when I've read a good book in a series. I think, there is no way the author will top that. Sometimes, to my delight, I'm proven wrong. Sometimes, to my dismay, I'm proven right. Unfortunately, in this case, the latter came to pass.
I was starting to get irritated in book 2 when it seemed as though during several high-drama moments, Katness would lose consciousness and wake up somewhere else. I understand it happens in stories as it does in real life, but when it becomes a recurring way to transition from one scene to the next, it becomes nothing more than an irritant. I know Suzanne Collins is gifted enough to keep he conscious and write through until the end of the scene. It felt almost like a cop-out. Like she rushed to end the scene and begin another.
Then there was the whole Gale Peeta debacle. While reading book #2 I was afraid she'd go down the same road as Stephanie Meyer did with Jacob and Edward and in a way, she did. And I suppose a girl of seventeen isn't going to make the most rational decisions when it comes to her love life and perhaps most teenage girls have experienced liking more than one boy at a time -I cannot speak with any authority, for I have never been a teenage girl. When Peeta was taken by the Capitol, I thought things would turn for the better as far as the love triangle was concerned -I was wrong.
I'm doing my best not to give anything away here so bear with me.
Gale became nearly the antithesis of the Gale from book #1, which didn't bode well for his future as a character I could identify with. I supposed that is what all the disappointment is about. The characters strayed from their ability to evoke sympathy from me, the reader. Katness's perpetual emotional struggles that kept her curled up in the fetal position for a good portion of the story are completely understandable considering what she went through, however because nobody dragged her up and tried to get her on the right path (none of the main characters, which is what one would expect) it became tiresome.
President Coin, leader of district 13, quickly became a shadowy reflection of president snow, creating two similar characters with hardly any discernible distinction between them. Coin lacked the humanity you'd expect from a character in her position. It could have been more engaging and interesting if she had been able to interact with Katness on a more personal level -not necessarily warm and fuzzy, but at least some attempt to win her favor.
Quasi spoiler here...sorry.
Incorporating aspects of the arena was a cool idea -maybe underplayed slightly but still, I thought it was heading in the right direction.
End of quasi spoiler
Until the end, which was an unbelievable mess from start to finish. I just couldn't believe those events would take place -ever. I'm not saying Collins did a good job by shocking me with the ending, I'm saying there was a major disconnect between the ending of the story and all that preceded it. Just like having Katness fall unconscious, I felt like the ending was rushed and not well thought out at all -a cop-out of what could have been great. (Although at this point, I'm not sure there was any returning from mediocre)
If you've read the first two, you can't NOT read the third...
For me, it went off in the wrong direction.
On the plus side, The Hunger Games Movie comes out in 12 days!
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In bookstores 6-5-2012