This review is from: Mockingjay (part III of The Hunger Games Trilogy): 3/3 (Paperback)
This book left me almost crying in frustration. After the stellar writing of The Hunger Games and the dramatic, epic rescue of Catching Fire, you're left expecting great things. I feel like Suzanne Collins was a victim of her own success - I've heard that she was under pressure to finish the series due to the success of the first two and the result is just a rushed, ill-thought out ending to an amazing story. I wish someone - her publisher, her agent, her editor - had told her to go away, think again, spend some more time and create a more satisfactory, less hurried ending. She can do so much better than this!!!
A love triangle that has lasted three books is finished with a few lines. Gale takes a fancy job in a random district and is never heard or seen again.... Err, hello???? No explanation, no goodbye? Not even a final, honest and open talk between two people who meant so much to each other and used to be the only people the other could confide in? It just doesn't make sense.
And where to start with Peeta...
He loves her. He's loved her all this life. He gets taken by the Capitol and is brainwashed with powerful drugs to the point where his only aim in life is to hunt her down and kill her. Then, suddenly, he loves her again (even though he can only barely remember loving her the first time round).
Peeta was never the one I was rooting for, and you can sort of understand why Katniss needs his softness and not Gale's anger, but still. It's a shame to treat a main character this way.
And Katniss herself. Well. Through The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Katniss dreams of killing Snow. He's evil. He's responsible for all of it. We hate him so much it gives us energy. Then Katniss realises it's more important to kill the new President, Coin, because otherwise the games will never end. Fair enough. But who is Coin? We've known her for barely three quaters of a book, most of which she is absent from. We don't really care about her. (I had to go back and double-check who she was, to be honest). So our old nemisis, Snow, is left to quietly die somewhere in the background. The big confrontation, the final epic battle, the satisfing finale which we have been waiting three books for, never happens. Katniss is locked up for ages, gets released, goes home to District 12 and has a wishy washy ending with Peeta, who is now apparantly all better.
Prim's death, although I kind of see why it had to happen (it's not the kind of book where you'd expect Katniss to get away with keeping every close friend and family member), is confusing and rushed. It's not properly explained why she was there in the first place. If District 13 had issues with allowing Katniss out to fight, why did they allow a young child like Prim out to the front line? And as a side note, for something that caused all this in the first place, I don't think enough is made about the relationship between the sisters, even in the first two books. There's minimal conversation between them, or interaction in general. We're supposed to assume that Katniss would go to the ends of the earth for her little sister (or even to The Hunger Games), yet no real bond is actually demonstrated. And the mother is such a two dimensional character, it's a joke. We get a few lines to say that she's abandoned her only surviving daughter to work in another district, end of story. Hmmmph.
Hmmm. If you've got to read Mockingjay because you've read the first two and need to know how it all ends, by all means go ahead. Just don't expect too much. If you're the sort of person who is happy to go without, then please do. Katniss spends most of it wallowing, missing out on the action and generally being quite unlikeable and inactive. Maybe I'll go off and write some fan-fiction with my own ending, where Gale and Katniss end up ruling together over the Capitol and the districts, hunting together in the woods and being fair to the people. Perhaps Peeta could run District 12 for them.