Today I read ‘Mockingjay’ by Suzanne Collins, the third book of the Hunger Games trilogy. This final installment sees Katniss become a Mockingjay leading all the Districts in a rebellion against the Capitol. Like with ‘Catching Fire’, I have slightly mixed feelings about ‘Mockingjay’. I think this was because I didn’t really feel sucked in to the story even though this was the grand finale of the series. For me, this was because Katniss was a pawn rather than an active participant in the war so I think it dragged a bit for that reason. As for the Katniss-Gale-Peeta triangle, it seems like Collins has been trying so hard to avoid the obvious clichés that she forgot to develop the male characters properly which is something that has bothered me since the beginning because as a reader, I didn’t really care who she ended up with. Also, Prim’s death didn’t particularly affect me because her character had barely been involved in the Hunger Games apart from during the beginning of the first book so I didn’t feel ‘attached’ to her and feel the emotional impact of what happened to her.
Although the ending was rushed, it had the right sort of balance. I’m glad that Collins didn’t just settle for everyone to live happily ever after as that would seem impossible after the devastating events of the book. Overall, I enjoyed the first book for its originality but I wasn’t crazy about either of the sequels. I don’t think ‘The Hunger Games’ stands up to a trilogy like ‘His Dark Materials’ by Philip Pullman in terms of literary scope or the depth of the characters with the exception of Katniss. I haven’t seen the film version of ‘The Hunger Games’ yet but weirdly, I think I might prefer the films to the books as for me, the visual impact of the action scenes would be better on screen than on a page. ‘The Hunger Games’ is an enjoyable series especially if you appreciate sci-fi or fantasy more than I do but it is certainly not without its flaws.