Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mockingjay RAGE. Only read if you've finished the books.

Okay, I can't wait a year to get this out there...

Do NOT click below the cut if you haven't read Mockingjay all the way through and don't want the ending of the Hunger Games series seriously wrecked for you.  I am not even kidding.

SPOILERS


Mockingjay is my least favorite book of the series, a sentiment that is shared by many Hunger Games fans.  So, while writing my review of Mockingjay Part 1, I was thinking about what I hated about the ending of the books.

Katniss's voice is ineffective, spending too much time flipping between being angsty for Peeta and hating her role in the Rebellion, while failing to portray the size and impact of the Rebellion and the story being told.  The ending felt rushed.  The level of detail readers are given throughout the books is sacrificed in the last few chapters to speed the book to its conclusion, leaving us shocked by the events and questioning the many loose ends.  The epilogue fails to tie up those loose ends, and to create the post-Rebellion world in a way that is real, like Panem was, giving readers closure.

But...

On top of all that... Katniss completely fails to do the one thing she set out to do at the beginning of the series.

Save Prim.

That was the whole reason she entered the Games.  She didn't volunteer to start a Rebellion, or free Panem, or stick it to the Man.  She just wanted to save her little sister in the only way she knew how.

And in the end, it was the one thing she couldn't do.  Whether or not Katniss joined the Games, or the Rebellion succeeded, Prim ends up dead.

That is just so... unfair.

I don't use the word unfair lightly.  But to start a character on a journey and take away her perceived success like that?  To make all of us believe that this plot element was tied up with a neat little bow because how could Prim possibly die now?  That is some George RR Martin level ruthlessness.


2 comments:

  1. YES. That is probably my #1 sticking point with Mockingjay (other than the super rushed ending - like what's with all this summary blah blah?). I *kind of* get the Prim thing but I also don't because like you said, she was kind of the point - and barring that, there's not one moment of true triumph anywhere else in the book to mitigate this loss. In all the other books, I felt like Katniss had A MOMENT, you know, despite how powerless she was. But in Mockingjay, that just wasn't there. I liked the movie Part 1 though- like better than I like the book, but then again, the true test is Part 2 because that's where the book fell apart for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! You are so right - that "moment" is crucial to how I feel about Katniss and the success of each book. As the story shifts from being about Katniss's life as a Hunger Games competitor to her experience and role in the larger revolution, we need that moment to care about that revolution and what it does for Panem... but it never comes.

      Delete