Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review: "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins

When reading a series of books, I'm always faced with a bit of a dilemma: do I tear through all of them quickly, leaving myself with nothing, or do I savor each book slowly and space out my reading of each one, so I keep having something to look forward to? Despite the excitement around their publication, I had avoided reading the last book in both Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy and Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, but could only hold out so long...

Katniss Everdeen has now survived two iterations of the Hunger Games, a government-sanctioned battle to the death that pits young adults from each area of the fractured republic of Panem against each other. Technically, only one winner is supposed to emerge from each Hunger Games, but Katniss and others have survived thanks to strength, ingenuity and more than a little manipulation. Now the republic is seeing the first seeds of rebellion manifest themselves, and the Capitol has little choice to fight back against the rebels, who view Katniss as their inspiration. As the lives of those she cares about are in jeopardy, she has no choice but to join the rebellion.

I'm trying to keep the plot description fairly general so as not to be a spoiler for those who haven't read any or all of the books. I really thought this was a terrific series, and while this book was definitely bleaker and a bit more expository than action-oriented, it proved a fitting conclusion. Many of the characters are much more layered than you think at first glance, and Collins does a great job handling both action scenes and quieter, more introspective ones. The world she has created is a fascinating one, and I look forward to seeing how Hollywood interprets it, as the film adaptation is imminent. I am sad, however, to say goodbye to Katniss and company. Which means I may hold off a little while longer on reading the last book in Larsson's trilogy...

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