Crazyjamie's Reviews > Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
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Jun 12, 2011

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Read in June, 2011

And so here we are. The conclusion of a trilogy that delivered a superb and compelling reading experience in its first two instalments. But now that Katniss Everdeen has escaped the Hunger Games for the second time and finds herself supported by an entire rebel army, can Collins deliver the earth shattering conclusion that this series deserves?

Unfortunately, and I'm going to say this from the outset, the answer is no. That is not to say that this book is a bitter disappointment. There is still plenty to admire about it, and still a lot of the trademark readability and tension that made the first two books stand out from the crowd. It will still suck you in, and it is still a compelling read. It just isn't as good as the first two books, and becomes a book that is good rather than excellent.

The reason for this is simple. The first two books were more than the sum of their parts, with everything about them combining to create something exceptional. In Mockingjay all of those parts are present and correct, but none of them is quite as strong as the equivalents in the other books. The new characters are, for the most part, largely anonymous and don't have the impact of previous new characters. No new character comes close to matching the impact that Finnick had in the second book, for example. The plot mechanisms also don't work quite as well. There is still tension, but unlike the other books Katniss is largely in environments that offer protection rather than vulnerability. There is an underlying sinister aspect to this new environment, but you never feel like she is in real danger, which lessens the impact of the book in general. Finally, the ending was a little convoluted and messy. It worked well enough, but there were some glaring unanswered questions that left a slight sense of dissatisfaction.

But of course all of that criticism has to be put into perspective, and I only emphasise those criticisms because the series has been so good up to this point. The bottom line is that Mockingjay is an essential read for those who have read the other two books, and it is still a very good conclusion to the trilogy. It is just not the excellent one that I wanted it to be.
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