SUZANNE COLLINS ends her epic Hunger Games Trilogy with Mockingjay, where instead of hunting in the woods, collecting leaf samples and flirting with teenage boys, Katniss is now leading a revolution.
So it seems that our heroine is on the verge of selflessness – a feeling that teenagers rarely feel. She agrees, after some conditions, to stage a mock-up televise footage that shows the impoverished districts are capable of overthrowing the dictatorial capitol. Despite her image to be strong, reliable and stable, Katniss knows deep within herself that she is weak, fragile and inconsistent. This is obvious when she sees Peeta being held captive.
At best, Collins maintains the readers’ attention, keeps the pace of the suspense – not giving less and not giving much. But let’s cut to the crap, shall we? The book is a thrilling experience except when you get to the last few chapters. Everyone knows that the grand finale will come through the face-off of Katniss and President Snow, the capitol leader. (Even Collins knows that.) But no, we don’t get that and in fact, the replacement is not any better.
Imagine that you have a computer with an i7 core processor and happily watching Blu-ray Discs, editing summer vacation photos and perhaps killing splicers from Bioschock 2. In the next day, your supplier tells you that this is even better and hands you instead a Pentium-powered computer that can barely run Photoshop. That’s what happened at the end of “Mockinjay.” You just can’t believe it happened.
This has nothing to do with the plot. The capitol tightens its army and bombs several districts, killing millions of people. As the districts defeats the capitol’s army on their respective places, they get closer to the capitol’s premises and eventually Katniss-Snow face-off. Who don’t want to read that? And apart from the capitol, Katniss has conflict with Coin, President of District 13, who feels threaten with Katniss presence, thinking that if she can have an uprising with Snow surely she can do it with Coin. Here another thriller, Coin also wants Katniss dead. Who can resist that?
Before the release of “Mockingjay”, there had been hundred of thousands of pre-orders, some bookstores held slumber parties and agreed that they could read it together. Not to mention, the Hunger Games Trilogy had attracted many adult readers, seeing the whole story as a fresh perspective on what might happen in the future if the government gets bossy. The first and the second book enjoyed massive rave reviews and booksellers claimed that this is similar to the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” phenomena.
Oh, god. One can only imagine how their faces fell when they read the bitter ending.
As I read New York Times review, I learned that the story was open for revision. However, Collin’s literary agent Rosemary Stimola objected and reasoned that “this is not a fairy tale; it’s a war, and in war, there are tragic losses that must be mourned.” I have nothing against about that, but I’m sure almost everybody is. What annoys me most is why Collins repeated the same trick from the first book and the second book: Katniss blocks out and wakes up in a hospital and then she either narrates what happened or someone will do it for her. Before you know it, the war is over.
Why not have the face-off and Collins can kill everyone she likes. There is also a moment where Katniss seems out of character. She has gone hysterical and at the end of the story, there is unsolved mystery. But to compensate for this, Katniss gets a happy ending with his loved one. (Oh, Come on! You know this is coming.)
On my review of “Catching Fire”, a father said that her daughter was forced to read “Catching Fire” by the school and I reckon next with “Mockingjay”. I just pray that students won’t choke their teacher – after reading the last few chapters.