Now that is how to do a cliffhanger! I just have one issue with the book: (view spoiler)[the cover spoils the villain! The one SF/F book where the covNow that is how to do a cliffhanger! I just have one issue with the book: (view spoiler)[the cover spoils the villain! The one SF/F book where the cover artist meticulously follows character descriptions... (hide spoiler)]...more
My favorite book of all time. I love the melding of science fact (at the time, at least) with science fiction, I love Nemo's passion for freedom and iMy favorite book of all time. I love the melding of science fact (at the time, at least) with science fiction, I love Nemo's passion for freedom and ideals of social justice, I love the adventure, I love the sense of wonder, I love the relationships between all the characters, and I even love the endless catalogues of fish. This book was one of the major sources of my love of science, and it fascinates me just as much every time I reread it. This translation is particularly excellent--it fixes the many cuts and scientific mistakes made by previous translators and includes annotations on the book and what they fixed....more
After the constant action of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, all leading towards the glorious rebellion, Mockingjay was a sh**spoiler alert** Wow.
After the constant action of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, all leading towards the glorious rebellion, Mockingjay was a shock. Katniss spends the bookin a state of PTSD, and so do all the other victors, to some extent or another. And as the book goes on, it wears on you. The tension is always there, but the thrill of the last two books is gone; the closer the rebels come to their goal, the more apparent it is that everything isn't magically going to be okay at the end. The victors will be forever scarred from what they've gone through. The rebels aren't automatically good and kind leaders by virtue of rising against an evil one. And it's really the perfect ending to the trilogy. The first two books, we were cheering Katniss and Peeta on at the games just like viewers at the Capitol were--sure, we ate up the anti-Capitol sentiment, but we were expecting Katniss and her allies to rise up against an unjust rule, fight an exciting battle, and triumph over evil. In the third book, we see firsthand how damaged these action heroes were from their experiences, how they can't just snap back to photogenically finish off the bad guy. And when the rebels do triumph, and Katniss takes out Panem's new worst enemy, it isn't a triumphant moment. It's confusing. It means something, but it's empty. Things are better for Panem (for now), and Katniss and Peta and Haymitch will never be the same--but they'll get by. They'll make themselves a new life among the ashes of the old, and they'll live....more
There are some books where saying "Oh, I'll just read for half an hour before bed" leads to your staying up all night finishing it because you absolutThere are some books where saying "Oh, I'll just read for half an hour before bed" leads to your staying up all night finishing it because you absolutely have to know what happens right now. Catching Fire is one of them. I enjoyed this one even more than The Hunger Games, and it's vying with Mockingjay for my favorite of the trilogy; they're hard to compare because Catching Fire feels like a ramped-up continuation of The Hunger Games, while Mockingjay is a different feel entirely. But enough about other books!
(view spoiler)[Catching Fire builds on the tension of The Hunger Games spectacularly well; the anti-Capitol sentiment is becoming more and more blatant, and the Capitol is determined to break Katniss before she inspires a full-on revolution. The fact that this is at the forefront makes what could have been a simple retread of the first book feel much different. The Games manage to be even more tense, even though Katniss and Peeta have allies and have an idea of what's coming this time--because there's more at stake than just their lives. Even with all the action and tension, though, there's a good deal of humor in the book (most of it black humor, admittedly). The new set of tributes is fantastic and full of character--which makes it even more painful to watch them die.
The one complaint I have is that Collins rushes through some sections to a ridiculous degree. It happens even more in Mockingjay, but it makes sense there due to reasons I won't get into--here, the rush through the Victory Tour was disappointing. Of course, the action that took up the second half of the book made up for it, but I would've liked spending a little more time on the tour. I've seen people speculate that Collins was pressured to keep the size of the books down; considering how all the books are almost exactly the same size as the (non-rushed) original, I'm inclined to agree. Besides that one complaint, I adored this book! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
**spoiler alert** Hints at spoilers for the whole series.
Possibly my favorite book series as a kid, and definitely the one that got me into science fi**spoiler alert** Hints at spoilers for the whole series.
Possibly my favorite book series as a kid, and definitely the one that got me into science fiction. This is a great start to a great series; perhaps my favorite aspect of it is how well-rounded the characters are. The kids are multi-dimensional, and even in the book narrated by Susan, we catch glimpses of Peter and Duncan's home life that hint at why they act like they do. And Broxholm is clearly not pointlessly evil, even now when he's the antagonist--even Susan recognizes there's more to his mission than they thought. And Peter running off to travel to the stars at the end is just perfect--a lot of young readers will see some of themselves in him. I'm definitely not objective about these books, but I'm glad to see they're still a great read in adulthood!...more
Absolutely beautiful book. While it took many tries and a nearly decade-long break to finally finish this, it was amazing once I finally got into it.Absolutely beautiful book. While it took many tries and a nearly decade-long break to finally finish this, it was amazing once I finally got into it. Some of the infamous digressions can be boring (coughWaterloocough) but it's worth going through them for the beautiful language and ideas. (Although saving them for a second read might not be a bad idea.) As a longtime fan of the musical, it was wonderful to finally see the original characterizations of all the characters--it may be the fact that I was never wowed by Colm Wilkinson's Jean Valjean, but his story touched me so much more in the book.
The Penguin translation is very readable--although the use of the word "slut" threw me out of the story, it's otherwise a fantastic translation. A warning, though: do not get the Penguin e-book. It's absolutely riddled with typos, the worst being the consistent replacement of "die" by "the." Which managed to kill the mood of almost every tragic death in the book....more
Amazing, action-filled book. After tearing through the entire trilogy, it's hard to think of this book on its own; I love how Catching Fire and MockinAmazing, action-filled book. After tearing through the entire trilogy, it's hard to think of this book on its own; I love how Catching Fire and Mockingjay built on this so much, it's hard to consider the original on its own. Suffice it to say it's a great, action-filled book; the horror of the Games is never forgotten to pander to the reader's bloodlust. (view spoiler)[Cato's death is the perfect example of this--after the reader has been rooting for Katniss to kill the dangerous, completely unsympathetic villain to save herself and Peeta and win the games, his death is in no way a triumph. (hide spoiler)] One of the things I love about the trilogy is the gender role reversal in Katniss and Peeta: Katniss is the emotionally-stunted, athletic hunter, and Peeta is the kind, romantic baker. Katniss makes an excellently flawed heroine, and the other characters also have excellent, three-dimensional characterization. Team Haymitch all the way!...more