Pamela's Reviews > Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
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Sep 15, 2010

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There are very, very few final books in speculative fiction series that are truly satisfying. “Mockingjay” is a solid effort, but it doesn’t deliver on the promise of “The Hunger Games” or even “Chasing Fire.” In order to create a really terrific ending maybe you have to write the whole series as a single book and chop it into parts only for printing convenience (J.R.R. Tolkien). Or maybe you have to be Jonathan Stroud. Mostly what happens in that what we loved about the first books is buried under piles and piles of frantic action. I do thank Collins for not delivering a monstrous 600-page manuscript just because she could get away with it.

I noticed a lot of parallels between Collins’s trilogy and Patrick Ness’s “Chaos Walking” series. Rather than outlining the pluses and minuses of “Mockingjay,” which so many other people have already done, how about some cross-book death matches? After all, we know what these people are capable of.

Ms. Coin vs. Mistress Coyle: both iron-hearted women make Margaret Thatcher look like a wimp. Both have a fondness for things that go boom. But Ms. Coin wins her war (and when she dies it’s through treachery, so we can’t count that against her), while Mistress Coyle blows herself up during a shockingly inept suicide-bomb incident. Ms. Coin wins.

President Snow vs. The Mayor: both are political masterminds and pitiless SOBs who don’t flinch at genocide. But for cold-heartedness it’s hard to top gunning down your own son. And he does it so shamelessly! The Mayor, by a landslide.

Katniss vs. Viola: two scrappy young women who make hard decisions and live with them. Viola is more likeable, but Katniss would eat her for breakfast. Katniss wins.

Peeta vs. Todd: this one is hard. Both big lugs would sacrifice themselves (and others) to save the girl they love. There's no real difference on the battlefield so I will have to decide on other factors. Peeta is too saintly, so that’s a major demerit. But I find Todd’s atrocious spelling an equal irritant. I’m calling a tie.

Buttercup vs. Manchee: mangy bad-tempered cat vs. a dog who likes to discuss his bowel movements. Sure, Buttercup does one of those “incredible journey” things to prove his devotion. But that’s no match for Manchee’s heroics in the most unforgettable scene in either series. Advantage Manchee!

In this arena, ties are allowed.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Sherry (new) - added it

Sherry Pam, I chuckled and smiled when reading your review!! I love your wit! I haven't gotten around to reading any of the Hunger Games trilogy yet, but after reading your review I can confidently talk about them to the library kids. Thanks!

Pamela Ha! Thanks! There were just too many reviews of "Mockingjay," and I had to do something different.

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