It's true, I am addicted to reading. I stay away as long as I can and then plunge in for a fix. The past two days I have been absent from life and immersed in books two and three (Catching Fire and Mockingjay) of the Hunger Games trilogy. There are several points I want to make here - they are all my opinions of this trilogy.
- In a recent blog post Tamara Passey posed the question of whether we had ever wanted to re-write the ending of a book. I could only think of one at that time, Villette by Charlotte Bronte (a brilliant novel until I reached the end). I will now add Mockingjay to that list as I scream into my pillow in frustration.
- In a "Daily Kick in the Pants" by David Wolverton the title is "Killing Your Babies." (side note and off topic: my daughter walked in while I was reading this and a horrified expression crossed her face - she thought I was plotting to kill her. I did laugh out loud and then I explained what he was talking about) Back on topic. So we have to be careful about killing off our babies (aka our characters). He talks about readers getting attached to our characters and becoming offended when we kill them off - some so much so that they will no longer read anything by that author. One reason for eliminating characters is that it is necessary to motivate or to reach a particular end. Ms. Collins does a lot of eliminating in these two books - some of which I think could have easily been avoided.
- David Wolverton also talks in several "Kicks" about dream sequences or misleading your readers. Your readers don't like it. Yah, we don't like it! Maybe I missed some clues, maybe I read things into the story that really weren't there, but in the end I felt misled and I'll repeat it: we don't like it!
- I think Ms. Collins is incredibly creative - right up to the end of Mockingjay. Really? Didn't I just read this in the beginning of book three? Plus, the character arc works through book one, but I think it falls flat in two and most of book three and then suddenly in the epilogue we're supposed to think it all works out. It wasn't very believable for me.
- I look at this as similar to George Orwell's '1984'. It has political allusions. I would say it's not futuristic, but current. The 'capitol' to me is no different than our governments, both local and national. They continue to reach deeper into our pockets and control more and more of our lives - and like the people in the districts we continue to let them. How will it end for us? Will we make a stand before our children are 'sacrificed'? Oh wait, I almost forgot the trillions of dollars of debt we are hefting on their shoulders. Their standard of living will be hard pressed to live up to ours.
- Would I recommend the series? After book one: Yes. After books two and three: No.