Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let’s start with the real…
For about 50% of this book, I was really annoyed and, dare I say it, bored as hell. I felt as though a lot of the story dragged, mostly because Katniss spent a lot of time being a head case rather than pushing the action of the story. This fact was only underscored by the fact that The Hunger Games has always been a first-person narrative, and when our hero is stagnated, so are we, unfortunately.
A lot of the war against the Capitol actually happens off-scene, and Katniss hears about it second- and third-hand from various sources. In the meanwhile, though, she’s stuck in 13 being traumatized and useless, and we get to be stuck with her. GRRR.
Now with the awesome…
Then, as seems to be Suzanne Collins’ style, Act III EXPLODES with action, where we face mounting odds, higher body counts, and the unthinkable losses of some our favorite characters. I was tormented, honestly. Digsuted. Shocked. Riveted. And just broken. As we sped towards a super climactic ending, I couldn’t stop myself from zooming through the pages. It made the first 60% of the book worth slogging through.
In the end, though, the harrowing consequences of all the loss and strife hit us over and over. The war is won. The vicious Snow has expired, and the methodical, cruel Coin exterminated by Katniss’ impeccable aim. And Katniss? We see a girl deeply scarred and disjointed at a soul-level, who is trying to hold onto and rebuild her reality all at once. She is pretty much alone to swim in her grief and trauma, imo. Pot-war, she’s been abandoned by both Gale and her own mother, who are off dealing with their own lives, demons, and emotional backlash. The only one truly by Katniss’ side, as usual, is Peeta, who seems healed of his brainwashing by the Capitol but who is still healing the scars from the war as a whole.
The ending of Mockingjay is not truly a happy one but merely a blank slate upon which the current survivors try to rebuild. As they stumble towards something resembling peace and prosperity, the specter of war haunts them all, certainly, and us, too. A cautionary lesson. One that will probably never truly be learned.
Write on, rock on, and READ on,