Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins wrote a book, The Hunger Games, about young people being chosen by lottery to fight each other to the death as a form of entertainment and governmental intimidation. It was fast-paced and surprising, and offered a grim survival plot that was intriguing and simply written, and the book was so popular it even got into book review clubs for little old ladies like me.

Book Two, Catching Fire, featured lots more killing and maiming and the beginnings of revolution.

Mockingjay pulls it all together, and the reader gets more fighting and maiming and bombings, and the revolution.

I found it amazingly dull.

The author was clearly obsessed with her clever heroine, but I could never see Katniss--she was just an avatar in a cool costume, always stalking, loading her bow with explosive arrows, being brave, being smarter and more charismatic than anyone else. Prettier. The best climber. The most spunky.

By the third book I didn't care what she did or how cleverly she did it--I could assume she'd wind up with her star-crossed (and often wounded) lover; that the post-apocalypse world would, due to her brains and battle skills, carry on with fewer people but with the villains dead.

I'll admit it: I skimmed the book's second half. And I read ahead--saw what happened twenty years later.

I'd guessed correctly.


I can recommend Hunger Games, Book One, for its pure shock value and intricate plotting. Read Book One, and just know (spoiler) that cleverness wins over evil by page 1000-something.

Tomorrow I'm donating Mockingjay to the local library to complete their trilogy.

And: I'm starting Stephen Baxter's newest SF trilogy about the earth in 7900 bc in old, old England.

B&N link

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