Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mockingjay review - SPOILERS

So here we are; at the end of the Hunger Games. And how was it?

Well ... okay. Here's the thing. Mockingjay is good. It's readable, and it's a fairly satisfying end to the trilogy, but I had issues with the last chapter, where Collins wraps everything up so tidily and basically does away with Gale as a character all together.

I read the book a couple of weeks ago, and as always happens to me, the details are hazy at best. But I was slightly ... underwhelmed. I mean, I enjoyed it and all, and it was easy to whip through, but the last chapter, I thought, kind of undermined everything that Katniss, Peeta and Gale – who was treated very shabbily at the end in my opinion – went through.

I can't help comparing Katniss as a character to Viola from the Chaos Walking trilogy – partly because I read them in a similar time-frame and partly because .... that's how my brain works.

They're both strong, female characters in YA novels, which is always something to be celebrated, but for me, there's something a little ... Mary Sue about Katniss, whereas Viola is very human – strong, yes, but flawed, and she makes mistakes, which she acknowledges, but she just keeps going.

H'm. I didn't mean to go off on that tangent – lol.

Anyway. There's a war on – the Capitol versus the rebels, and Katniss as the Mockingjay is right in the middle of it all, as the rebels' symbol and rallying call. She's reluctant at first to take up the mantle, but does so when she sees the extent of the suffering, and it's not long before the Mockingjay is the central rallying point for the rebels.

Katniss has her own personal dilemmas going on as well, as she finds herself caught between Gale and Peeta – a very common YA novel device that is becoming, may I say, a little tired? I was surprised at who Katniss ended up with, but not invested in it enough to really care, if that makes sense.

But YA authors with the love triangle thing? Knock it off, okay? It's getting tired and cliched. Or, possibly, I'm getting old.

But I felt like that last chapter almost undermined the pretty solid work Collins had put in with the rest of the series, and with the central characters. It's almost as if she got tired of it, and handwaved not only Gale, but Katniss' mother. Which, given the loss that Katniss and her mother sustained at the end of the war with the Capitol ... it's an emotionally unsatisfying conclusion anyway, and once again, I find myself comparing it to Monsters of Men, and finding Mockingjay wanting in relation to the ending of that series.

Anyway, I do apologise that this isn't really much of a review, but these are the impressions I'm left with a couple of weeks out from finishing the book.

Happy reading! :-)


Rachel said...

I understand why you didn't like the last chapter. I hated the last chapter.. so much so that when I wrote my review I ended up pretty much bagging out the whole book. Which probably wasn't fair but it ruined it for me. You make some great points.

Anonymous said...

I can't resist the Chaos Walking comparisons either, which I know is totally unfair because the two sets of books are really nothing alike at all. It's all about the time frames I read them in. And yeah, Viola's better, and the conclusion's better, and everything's just better when it's Patrick Ness. :/

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I was sad about what happened to Gale too! And the more I thought about the epilogue, the more I wished it had ended without it!

Anonymous said...

I... so... agree. I really didn't like how Gale was just kinda blotted out from the whole story when he was a rather large part of it.

It took me a while to get to this review as well. I think it gave me a better insight though as it gave me time to absorb everything I thought about it.