Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: Mockingjay

MockingjayCoverAuthor: Suzanne Collins {site}
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Format: Kindle
Published: 24 August 2010
Disclosure: Purchased at Amazon for Kindle.

Synopsis: {via goodreads}
Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.

**Could include spoilers from this point on**

I really enjoyed Mockingjay, but not as much as I thought I would after the previous two books. It was substantially slower than The Hunger Games and even Catching Fire, but what I did like about it was the scope and the resolution. The scope of this book is ramped so far up from where we began in The Hunger Games it's almost unimaginable. It's not two kids from 12 going to the games anymore, it's a war. Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch and the crew are back, but not in the way anyone expects and there're moments when you worry, or wonder, what might happen next. It's a good book, nearly as good as it's predecessors, but quite different overall.

The Story:

The plot of this book was obvious from the first pages. If you've read the other two, and you really must to get what's going on in any meaningful way, then the plot of this book will come as no surprise. The way the characters behave, after all they've been through, is likewise no surprise. That's something I really enjoyed about this book overall. Collins keeps pace with what she's been doing all along, making this book the natural progression of events. Things occur just as you would expect them to, Katniss behaves just as you would expect her to, and the plot pushes forward.

The Characters:

The characters that change most throughout, I think, are Peeta and Gale. I keep coming back to them because they're two of my favorites. Initially, I loved them because of the love triangle aspect, and while I still do, there's so much more to them now. Peeta is missing in the beginning of this book, for reasons I'll not spell out (to avoid as many spoilers as possible) and for me, he was sorely missed. He's one of my favorites, and when he shows back up, it's with a vengeance... but he's different. It made me sad, really, that he was so... un-Peeta-like, but it did make sense. Of Gale, on the other hand, we get to experience two sides of him we haven't completely seen before: his emotional side and his vengeful side. Now, we have seen them, but this book gives us more, more, more of that. Ultimately, both of them are a little more ragged and worse for the wear in the book, but they're still amazing characters.

Katniss doesn't change so much as grow and evolve. Good characters should and she's a good character. I could feel what she was going through, how she was going through it, and my heart went out to her on several occasions. Okay, more than several, but I'll get to that.  We also see more of Primrose in this book and she's much more grown-up than she was before. She gives amazing advice, seems to be flourishing in District 13 where they're going to train her to be a doctor, and she puts up a much braver face than I think I could have at any age.  Haymitch is still Haymitch, really.

The Feeling:

This book was heartbreaking. Not from the very beginning, but as it draws to a close, it becomes so much more difficult. There are things early on, like Peeta, that make it hard, but as the book, and with it the series, draws to a close, the book becomes very emotional. Things happened, people were lost, and I cried. It's been so long since a book has elicited this sort of response from me, I almost forgot it was possible to cry over a book. This one reminded me that it is possible to connect with characters, a plot, a world in a meaningful way.  Even the Epilogue made me cry. I felt like such a basket case when this book ended.

The Verdict:

Again, I enjoyed it but maybe not as much as those that came before it. I was, however, very happy with both the resolution and how that resolution came about. The way she ends up, and with whom, work and make sense. It's a natural progression to the end of Katniss's story and I liked it. I also liked the feeling, and emotion this book elicited, and the plot and scope. I didn't so much enjoy the pace, the loss of some amazing characters, and the fact that some of the characters didn't get a resolution the way they should have. However, this was Katniss's story, and the story of Panem, and on both of those counts, the resolutions were agreeable.

Overall, this series was fantastic. The best I've read in a while. I highly, highly recommend it to everyone. If you enjoy Dystopian and YA fiction, you'll love it. If you enjoy an emotionally charged read, however disturbing, you'll love it. I did.

Book: 4/5

Series: 5/5

Check out my reviews for the other two books in Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games Trilogy:

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed it, but it was a bittersweet read. I agree it was really different from the pace of the first two, and it was odd to have a book that didn't include the games. Despite how heartbreaking some scenes were, I thought it wrapped up the series well. Great review!