Sunday, February 13, 2011
Comig this summer to a book store near you: Mockingjay!
Hallee Steinfeld as Katniss Everdeen
Jacob Zachar as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth as Gale
Jeff Bridges as Haymitch
Billy Bob Thornton as President Snow
Directed by Michael Bay (there's more than enough stuff blowing up to keep him interested)
Having survived 2 Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen is back, and she wants revenge. The Capitol have kidnapped and tortured her friends, they bombed her home and they tried to kill her sister's cat. Katniss is through playing games!
I am aware that the first Hunger Games book reviewed here is being made into a film and I also suck at fantasy casting, but after reading Mockingjay I just had to do that.
I've mentiioned in my reviews of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire that Suzanne Collins writes in a very cinematic style. This is so obvious in Mockingjay that it was almost like reading a film script rather than a novel. Just as well she does write such good action, because her dialogue could have been written by George Lucas...okay maybe it's not quite that bad, but you get where I'm coming from with the comparison.
In Catching Fire Katniss survived the Quarter Quell Hunger Games and was spirited away by the rebels in the fabled District 13 to spearhead their rebellion. All Katniss really wants is to kill President Snow and have her family and friends left to live their lives in peace and safety, but as the poster child for the rebelllion; the Mockingjay, that's never going to be allowed, and it appears that she is in danger of exchanging ne tyrannical leader in Snow for another in the leader of the highly militarised and rigidly disciplined District 13's President Coin.
Most of the story centres around the rebellion and as the story has always been told in present tense first person, if Katniss isn't present, then the action takes place off screen and isn't covered in any depth.
I felt Collins struggled to give her post apocalyptic North America any real complexity or sense of reality. District 12 is mining, District 7 lumber, District 3 technology, etc... Readers never really got to know much about any characters aside from Katniss herself and her 2 love interests; Peeta and Gale, as a result when someone important is killed there's no real sense of loss or shock as there should be.
As I've read a few similar things over the years the ending came as no real surprise to me. Overall the series was relatively bleak and desperately needed an injection of humour, which was tried with the character of Finnick, but never quite came off. Given that this is a YA series Collins attempted to give it a happy ending, which to my mind didn't exactly work for the tone of the series. Overall I think it would have been better finishing after The Hunger Games and letting the readers imagine how things could have played out. There just wasn't enough there to sustain a trilogy. The three books are very readable and I can see why they've captured the minds of both male and female teens, but I can't see them living on as fondly in memory as some other recent YA phenomenons.