Monday, December 30, 2013


By the end of Mockingjay, the third and final book in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy, I was pretty ready for the series to be over.  The first person present narration had grown tedious, the bizarre love triangle held no interest for me, I'd grown weary of Katniss whining.  But there were some bright spots and I'd still categorize it as an enjoyable read.

The book picks up shortly after the events of Catching Fire.  Katniss and some of the other victors have been rescued by the rebels of District 13.  Peeta and a couple others were captured by the Capitol and are being subjected to who-knows-what kinds of torture.  Although she feels no particular affinity for them, the rebels want Katniss to serve as their Mockingjay - a sort of figurehead for the rebellion to keep them fired up.  She eventually agrees, as the book's title implies.

Life in District 13 is something of a drag, but the primary point of these scenes seems to be Katniss rekindling her relationship with Gale.  Which doesn't do much for me - yeah, he seems like a way hotter choice than Peeta, but a couple of tongue kisses followed by petulant pouting a romance does not make.  Soon, though, the Mockingjay and her security forces (which, of course, includes Gale) need to head into battle for some propaganda filming. 

The war has some very violent, bloody action, and the plot moves quickly through some exciting scenes.  Katniss has her own goals, which don't always align with the rebel forces.  She is, however, something of a force herself, earning the loyalty and respect of her fellow soldiers much the way she earned allies in the Hunger Games arena.

The near-final scenes were great, suspenseful and emotional, but the epilogue should have been jettisoned.  In all, it was a fun conclusion to the series.  But perhaps it would have been better to have taken a break between installments.

Next up: Santa left The Gormenghast Novels, a trilogy that's considered by many to be the preeminent grotesque fantasy classic, on a par with The Lord of the Rings.  I think Santa has my reading tastes pegged, and am very excited to dig in.

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