19 & 20 down, 32 to go

Title: Catching Fire and Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins

The final two books in the The Hunger Games series follow Katniss and Peeta as they return to life after the Games. Katniss has angered President Snow and the Capitol and knows she will be paying for her actions.

Catching Fire sees a repeat performance of the Hunger Games with the previous winners of the Games as participants. Essentially, Snow is reducing the winner’s pool to one. And he is out to ensure Katniss Everdeen is not the sole winner.

Only Katniss has started a rebellion with her actions. And while she was not the originator of the plan, she has now become their most prominent leader. The rebellion starts at the end of Catching Fire and crescendos through Mockingjay where we witness the ultimate battle of the Capitol vs the Districts.

I had such anticipation for these two books. When I put the request in at the library, they actually arrived out of order. Mockingjay sat there teasing me for a few days before I got news Catching Fire was ready for me to pick up.

I dove in to Catching Fire. And while it was good, I thought for most of the book Collins got lazy with the plot. It was basically just like The Hunger Games until the end. I had predicted what the Quarter Quell twist would be long before she revealed it. What I like most about Katniss as a character is her ability to think outside the box. For her to not anticipate this move and for me to see it so clearly was disappointing. That said, though, Collins was able to produce the same energy in the Quarter Quell that was in the Hunger Games, and I appreciated that.

However, with Mockingjay, Collins reduced herself to what I hate most about sci-fi books. She let the technology and the advancements supersede the character and plot. What I loved about the Hunger Games was that yes, it took place in the future, but it wasn’t so far fetched from what we have now that I could see it happening. By the time Mockingjay came around, there were so many dodads and whatsits that I was in a place I no longer recognized or related to.

It took me far longer to read Mockingjay than it should because I just lost interest in the story and characters. Katniss was just not like her bright self. And the triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale was stale and forced. Also, I was much displeased with who she ended up with as I was pulling for the other guy the entire time.

All in all, a disappointing end to the trilogy. I LOVED The Hunger Games and I will continue to encourage people to read it. But I’ll be less enthusiastic about the follow-up  books in the series.

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About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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