Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Review - Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay

Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Published by: Scholastic
Publication Date: August 24th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
Rating: ★★★
To Buy
"Fire is cathing. And If we burn, you burn with us." Katniss may be out of the area and in the medical ward of District 13, but she is not out of the games. The inhabitants of 13 lead a very ordered life with everything planned and regimented, from your schedule printed on your arm when you wake, to how much food you need to survive. All of which Katniss ignores, choosing to sleep and hide. But President Coin has plans for how they will destroy the current government and the Capital. Plans that hinge on Katniss being the Mockingjay. After much to and fro Katniss acquiesces. But President Coin's use of Katniss is very similar to her use in the hunger games... Katniss will be the face of the rebellion with staged skirmishes and perfectly disarrayed hair. In other words, the rebellion will be just as fake as the government it is trying to destroy. The problem is Katniss rings false, she can't act, so in the end she gets just what she wanted, action. She's thrown into situations with her own film crew who then create the rebellion's propaganda. The capital retaliates with Peeta and a few bombs, the rebels counterattack with harsh truths of prostitution and poisonings. One thing is clear, having any of the victors at the mercy of the Capital is now unacceptable and a jail break is planned. They succeed, but maybe they were meant to. Peeta has been turned against them with all his memories distorted so that he no longer trusts Katniss and attempts to kill her. Having the one thing she was sure of yanked out from under her she realizes that it's time to step it up and take on the Capitol on their home turf. A home turf that has been rigged and bobby trapped more elaborately than any arena ever. As the death toll rapidly rises and mutts are at their heals, it is clear that Katniss doesn't plan to survive if she can win. But can you trust anyone? President Snow may be evil, but he has never hidden the fact. A new regime that is built on false promises and hidden cruelty could be a greater sin than letting the current leaders stay. But the real question is, will there be another Hunger Games?

The final book lived up to my expectations, true or not true? Not true, sadly. While I think, in the end, everyone ended up where I wanted them to be, there were some people left missing. Suzanne Collins killed some characters I can never forgive her for. Yes, I know it's a rebellion, yes, I know casualties are inevitable, but still, there are some people who shouldn't die. There are some people who should be safe. This is fiction, you can have the good live and the bad punished. Despite it being a chilling depiction of war, let some innocents live please! I think that's where this book failed me, it's just a long war. Katniss is a pawn at the mercy of this giant war machine where we don't get the minute to minute struggles, we get the greater picture while Katniss spends a lot of her time in a drug induced haze. This book is so contemporary while being a distopian future that it's jarring. The human race has fought and will always fight, maybe even to the brink of extinction. But it's the battle scared, drug addicted, pained wrecks that are left to re-create the world, when all they want to do is retreat. The characters seemed to have lost themselves and we are left with shells. It's a PTSD lineup of who's the most damaged. It's almost as if everyone has become Haymitch. They all have a crutch but have all lost their sense of humor. I am glad it's over, I'm glad they won, but I'm still sad because I feel like it could have been so much more than a post apocalyptic version of The Hurt Locker.


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