Suzanne Collins' "Mockingjay" [Book Review]

Title: Mockingjay
Series: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins

Rating: 4.5/5
Is this book for me? If you liked the Hunger Games, yes. Definitely. This is where it gets wild(er).

Book three – and the final one – of the Hunger Games. It’s lovely.

The first two books seem in a way to be a prelude to the third, which is a full-scale war complete with media coverage, rebels, strategies and whatnot. If there’s a single thing I disliked about it, it was that Suzanne Collins didn’t go deeper into explaining the world she created and how it all fits together. Aside from that…

The main character (Katniss Everdeen) was very annoying at times, but in the best of ways. She’s not the usual style of hero, ready to give her all to the Cause from greatness of soul and self-sacrificing ardor. She isn’t even the antihero who goes off the beaten path and does borderline immoral, or even downright immoral things, for the Cause. Katniss is simply… normal. She’s very real. She’s a girl who doesn’t really want to be involved in a war which kills too many people. She wants to sit it out and sulk, she wants to get away from the madness of the Games, the madness of fighting, the madness of politics. But she can’t. And she is annoying because of this very realism. She isn’t born a hero, she doesn’t want to be the protagonist, but the role is shoved on her and she eventually, reluctantly, rises up to it. She’s a reminder that we’re human and that our most heroic-looking choices aren’t always the best, nor do they have the most amazing motivations behind them.

As for the atmosphere of Mockingjay… A friend criticized Collins’ battle scenes as weak, but I think they have their own sort of “The Red Badge of Courage“-style quality to them. Well. Except “The Red Badge…” had nearly no plot and it mostly consisted of here-now descriptions of battles and confusion. Mockinjay, on the other hand, lets you see quite a lot of the war otherwise – from bits of things behind the scenes to media coverage and ruthlessness in strategies. It has surprising twists and turns and a powerful atmosphere. Collins keeps you wondering until the very end, and a bit after.

(Currently, Mockingjay is super-cheap on Amazon UK and on sale on Amazon US. Again, I’m not sure how much that will last. And there’s always free shipping on the Book Depository.)

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