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Brian Barnett's Reviews
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Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
Aug 14, 12
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Aug 20, 2012 12:09PM
Just wondering, with the 4 stars, if you had anything to say about this title? I read the first book in this series and really liked it a lot but I've read so many mixed reviews for the second and third book. I want to finish the series eventually but I keep wondering if it's worth it.
Aug 20, 2012 12:58PM
I thought the first was excellent. Stephanie (my wife) and I read it together in a rush so we could see the movie and make comparisons. We thought many parts that made the book so great were either brushed over or omitted completely from the movie and basically it was just an emotionless visual transfer of the words on the pages. Big letdown.
The second book I liked for various reasons. Steph thought they did a decent job of creating a love triangle, though I never really felt there was ever any competition there. The tension was good at times in the second book, but there was a slight drop-off in the overall quality I thought. In truth my rating was probably a 4.5 - not a great as the first, but something I can't put my finger on made me think less of it.
The third book, we thought, sort of dragged at times. There was a slow-burn tension that built throughout the ark of the whole story, yet it was inconsistent with its pacing. At times it nearly put me to sleep and at times I was biting my nails a bit. As a story, it was fine. As the ending to this series, I think it used some low-blows for shock-factor and it ended on a bit of a whimper. I probably would've rated this one a 3.5 if allowed.
The series is good, almost great. It gets weaker as it goes. Fifty years from now will it be standing alongside Harry Potter? Doubtful. But it is an entertaining read dealing with some themes that have been touched upon in other stories: Dystopian future - oppressive government - rebellion - sacrifice... all themes that have been done before and probably more effectively. But for a YA book series, it packs a good punch and it brings those themes together in a package that younger folks will actually read.
I think you could do worse than to finish the series. We were a bit let down I think, but the ideals within the stories were still strong enough for us to discuss after we both finished the books.
Aug 23, 2012 08:08AM
Thank you for the very helpful and well thought out input. I will most likely finish the series then. I was let down with the dog creatures at the end of the movie. I pictured something more werewolf like for some reason and I felt Rue's death was more powerful/emotional in the book. I heard this series may have been a bit of a knock off of an older Japanese film or book?
Aug 23, 2012 08:48AM
Those are a couple things were were disappointed about too. Rue's death was sort of brushed over and there was no real emotional attatchment to her in the film when compared to the book. So her death was almost just "shrug and move on" as opposed to a deep emotional impact to the reader/viewer.
It may be partly inspired by Battle Royale (the Japanese book you referred to), The Long Walk and the Running Man by Stephen King and maybe even Lord of the Flies to a lesser degree. The author claims she was inspired by seeing war reports on the news and then almost within a blink of an eye a reality show came on afterward. The two apparently melded together in her mind and there's your story. Who knows where all the ideas came from. Not many or any are really original, but their presentation was pretty inspired and new(ish). I can't imagine any author in today's day and age can write anything truly original. So many angles on the same source material have already been done. Almost not subject hasn't been hashed and rehashed repeatedly by now.
Usually the subject matter is just window-dressing for a deeper topic anyway. Most folks focus on the fact that it is children forced to battle to the death, but I guess in her case the subject would really be the government preying on the innocent and their overwhelming oppression on the working class I guess.
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