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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Empty Shelf/Mad Reviewer #24 - Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

Clearly, I'm running out of new things to read. No matter, though, I was glad to pick this up at my mum's. Though I always thought that "Mockingjay", the last of "The Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins, was the weakest - disappointing after such a strong start - I still very much enjoyed reading it again.

Mockingjay opens with Katniss Everdeen standing in the remains of District 12, her home, that was bombed with firebombs by the Capitol after Katniss pulled a very daring, very dangerous stunt in the Quarter Quell - namely, fixing an arrow with some wire that was attached to a tree due to be hit by a massive bolt of lightning, then firing said arrow towards the top of the Dome, thus causing the ceiling to shatter.

She and the remaining refugees from 12 have been taken in by District 13, a District that was supposed to have been obliterated in the "Dark Days" by the Capitol. They want her to truly become the Mockingjay, the poster girl of the Rebellion, and she, thus far is being uncooperative, though she soon relents and agrees. Her conditions? Mostly deemed fair by 13, but then she asks for immunity for the victors who are trapped in the Capitol, namely Peeta.

Katniss is in a state of mental disorientation for pretty much the first half of this book, which goes some way to explaining why the writing and Katniss' doings were so spare. The second half of the book is like a final Hunger Games, during which the District 13 soldiers, having won over/subdued the Districts, have to battle through the Capitol itself. They have to be extremely careful, though, as the Capitol is laced with pods that release a variety of horrors when activated.

After such thorough and careful world-building in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, the descriptions on a whole in this book seem rather half-hearted. I guess because of Katniss' state it didn't make sense to document most of what she was seeing around her - after all, 13 is mostly an underground city/huge bunker - but it was strange to see the writing rushed rather than fast-paced. Still, it was as equally thrilling and page-turning as the first two, with no doubt a very satisfying end for most of the major characters - most notably, and surprisingly, the fate of Coin, the President of 13. It's great to see such a positive, strong and well-rounded role model for teenage girls, who will hopefully take Katniss as an inspiration for building their lives and identity solely on themselves and who they are fighting for (love triangle notwithstanding.)

Until next time!

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