Monday, August 30, 2010

Mockingjay [Review]

Title: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games #3
Genre: Science-Fiction
What They Say:
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains — except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panen. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay — no matter what the personal cost.

What I Say:
So I finally sat down and read the last installment in Suzanne Collins’s series about our crapsack future where the government puts kids in an arena to kill each other every year. This was a long-awaited read, filled with danger, adventure, and a good hard look at the idea of power and the people fighting over it. That said…

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Plot: wow
(Because of how highly-anticipated this book is to readers, I’m working harder than usual to keep from spoilering all over the place. Though I might do a Spoiler Post later to discuss the story further, later this week.)

So Katniss’s war has started, and Katniss is finally getting to see it. She’s been the face of rebellion for over a year, and now she needs to be the voice as well. But can she live up to the hype, or will she crash and burn like when Ke$ha sings live? District 13 is real and it’s safe, but will she be able to put her trust in the new leaders of the fight? Will she be able to survive Peeta being in the hands of the Capitol? Will she be able to survive Gale being back in her own hands? Will we ever find out if President Snow is a vampire?? So many questions! (This is the best I can do without giving anything away, haha. I’m so sorry.)

If this were Catching Fire (the second book in the series), I would have given the plot a 'WHOA'. Because that book was amazing all over. While Mockingjay brought the story to a close and tied up loose ends, after the first hundred-fifty pages, something begins to happen to it. This is where most of the action begins, but in the battles and telling of events, I became a bit less invested in the meaning of the plot. I still wanted to know what happened in the end, but once Collins got the setup out of the way, the innards of the story began to weaken. A good example of this comes from the climax, which is written in such a way that it comes and goes and leaves you wondering Did I miss it? The event happens, but there’s no particular point or meaning to it. And then another climactic event occurs, and there seems to be no point to that either. The rest of the book passes in an odd daze, as if Collins finished her social commentary and made her point forty pages from the end, and the rest was just ending credits. I think my biggest disappointment is that we see the “end”, and then we don’t even get a little peek at what happens next. Well, we do, but…

Characters: wow
I love how in the “What They Say” section, it says that to save the rebellion Katniss must "put aside her feelings of anger and mistrust," because that never actually happens. She’s pretty angry and distrustful the whole time. For good reason. My only issue was that she never expressed it properly. She’d think, “Oh, I hate so-and-so”, but treat them professionally, and then she’d think, “Oh, I love Peeta I love Gale”, and treat them like shit. Often. Also, all her passion is gone in this book. Once she “gets with the plan” of the story, she totally clocks out. She plays their puppet and thinks like one, too. Not gonna spoil, but I will say that I’m disappointed with how things turn out for our heroine. It’s just, I don’t know, very un-Katniss.

So Gale and Peeta were little assholes in this book, haha. That’s not always a bad thing, though. I lumped these two together so I wouldn’t be tempted to spoil with details. So maybe Peeta being alive is a spoiler, but nothing you couldn’t guess. I suppose Gale can’t help being a dick, because there’s a war on and he’s spilling testosterone out his ears. I guess Peeta can’t help it, either. Though at least Peeta didn't make me want to kill all his little brothers and sisters.

Not sure I’m highlighting the most important characters here, but Finnick is absolutely amazing, so he’s going into this review. This book flips the coin, showing us the inner-Finnick and leaving the rest (suggestive eyebrow waggle) to the imagination. He and Katniss forge an unlikely bond, and thank god, because this story needed him. He’s definitely the only character who didn’t annoy me in this one, the main reason the characters section gets a ‘wow’.

What’s this? Annoying whiny sister Prim grows up? So proud! Really, though. At thirteen years old, Prim has seen all the horrors of her world and taken it in stride. She doesn’t get too much mention in this one, and never gets a real chance to show how she’s grown, but you can just tell. I liked her better than Katniss, at least.

Relationships: ooh
Katniss and Gale - Hey, Katniss. There’s a war on and everything’s going to shit, but I’m still going to put you in awkward situations and make you feel guilty for not jumping all over me. Hey, Gale. I know we’ve been close since childhood, but I’m going to be petty and blame you for things out of your control so we’ll be fighting all the time.

Katniss and Peeta - Hey, Katniss. I know I’ve always thought you were flawless and beautiful, but I’m starting to see that you’re kind of a heartless bitch. Hey, Peeta. I know it isn’t your fault that ohspoilershmmmhuh? happened, but I’m going to be petty and blame you for things out of your control so we’ll be fighting all the time. (See a pattern here?)

Special Features: WHOA
I. Love. Dystopia. I don’t quite know why, but it’s just so much fun to read about. Especially when it bears eerie similarities to our own world. I mean, after all, the Hunger Games are just like Survivor (with an admittedly different goal, but still), and we watch that on TV. Well, maybe around 2002 we did.

Parting Quote:
    “You be nice to her, Finnick. Or I might try and take her away from you.” It could be a joke, if the tone wasn’t so cold. Everything it conveys is wrong. …
   “Oh, Peeta,” says Finnick lightly. “Don’t make me sorry I restarted your heart.”
See? What did I tell you? It’s asshole fever in District 13.

Anyway, since we're talking about the Hunger Games and mentioned the likes of Ke$ha, to check out this very cute Catching Fire parody of Tik Tok, click here. And if you like Mike Posner, here's a Mockingjay parody of Cooler Than Me (click here).

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I think I like your style.

    I definitely agree that we are a little distanced from the story in this one. While I still really liked the book, it didn't have that heart pounding, pulse racing excitement that the first two did.