Monday, September 20, 2010

Mockingjay, a Review (Spoiler Free)

WARNING: Do Not Read Unless You've Read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. These two books will be used as source material and thus will contain spoilers. Nothing will be spoiled for Mockingjay.

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After somehow surviving the Hunger Games twice, Katniss Everdeen's life is in turmoil. Peeta is captured by the Capitol. District 12 is destroyed. War is all across Panem, following the bright, flickering wings of the Mockingjay. Can the rebels rise up and overthrow President Snow and his evil regime?

There was no doubt that I would be reading Mockingjay. Suzanne Collins' phenomenal YA series and its remarkable characters are strong and unforgettable and I had to find out how it all ended. And, lamely, I even cared about who Katniss would end up with: Peeta or Gale. Yes, I had my preference.

I went into Mockingjay expecting tragedy. I've read enough dystopic literature to know that people would likely die. Heck, I knew not to expect a happy ending. What I expected was for the rebels to overthrow the Capitol and society somehow manage to eke out its existence for another few years.  I expected more brutality, more evil machinations, more social commentary, more tough choices, and more fast-paced action for Katniss.

Did the book live up to my expectations? Were my expectations even relevant? I'm not saying. I will say that after finishing the book I had a few minor issues, but I can't see any better way for it all to have ended. There were certain choices that seemed irrational and certain actions that left a bitter taste in my mouth, that's for sure.

The story is heavy and brutal. Not as graphic as the previous books (Remember the muttations from Catching Fire? Or the tracker jacker venom dream Katniss had?), Mockingjay still carries a massive weight to the story. It's not an easy read; there's too much dytopia for that, but it is a quick and entertaining read. Still, the mindset for reading is so heavy that reading a lot in one sitting is sometimes taxing.

I can't imagine anyone reading this without reading the previous two books, nor would I recommend it. Likewise, I can't imagine anyone not reading this after reading the first two books. If you've invested time in the life of Katniss Everdeen, then Mockingjay is a book you'll read to get closure. I was satisfied with the end, and I think Collins did an amazing job at portraying her world. There's plenty of things to think about on the series as a whole, like our current societies love for reality tv or our never-ending desire to be beautiful. But more than that, there's a teenage girl that goes through unimaginable difficulties and she is a character to remember.

Mockingjay is a suitable end to Collins' trilogy.  It has its flaws and certainly doesn't live up to The Hunger Games, but it has enough excitement in it to easily make it worth the read.  

5 comments:

Kailana said...

This book disappointed me, but then I was disappointed with the series overall in the end. I know lots of people love it, but it was just okay for me...

Crystal said...

Thanks for the review! I haven't had a chance to read it yet, so I've been staying away from most reviews because I don't want to know what happens.

logankstewart said...

@Kailana: I wasn't disappointed, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped for. Still, I enjoyed the entire series quite a bit.

@Crystal: I know what you mean. I shunned all reviews until I read the book for fear of any sort of spoilers. So when I wrote my review I avoided all talk of spoilers. Enjoy it when you can.

Marie said...

Great review. there have been so many different reactions to this book, it's fascinating to see. thanks!

logankstewart said...

@Marie: Thank you! Indeed, there have been many different reactions.