This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

It is over.

My life with Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne and Haymitch Abernathy. What a journey it was.

It was a journey I would never predict to be so loved. These series of novels? Amazing, to say the least. It will haunt my memory for a good long while. I remember the intensity of finishing The Pillars of the Earth and leaving that world.

It is somewhat silly, to many, to get so involved in a book and it's characters, their world. But I wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, it is the equivalent to a runner's high, IMO, and it would be what I want in every book I pick up to read.

Mockingjay is the last of The Hunger Games Trilogy. Suzanne Collins knows how to make a thriller and I am still flabbergasted that these three novels were so popular *and* targeted teens. The violence, the graphic nature of the story is like any rated R movie you could imagine.

And it works.

Unlike The Twilight Series -- which apparently has become "unhip" to like *but* I am still a fan of the first I'd rather be unhip and true to my self than to be bothered about what is cool to like or unlike -- The Hunger Games series would appeal, again IMHO, to both girls and boys. Women and men. :)

Thankfully, Tim is unique enough in that 1. he read all of the books of The Twilight Series, 2. he loved all of them, 3. and he too would never balk at the idea of being 'uncool' for reading them.

He is now on the second book of The Hunger Series and read the first one in record time (as he did with The Twilight Series), so I know he loved it.

In the final novel, Panem is in a war. The rebels from the 12 districts vs. The Capitol and President Snow.

The "fabled" district 13 is where the heart of the rebellion against the Capitol is being waged. Peeta, unfortunately, was not rescued and was captured by The Capitol.

Katniss has become the symbol for the rebellion against The Capitol. She is the "Mockingjay" -- from the moment she entered the first Hunger Games and 'rebelled' against the games, the Capitol, she has been put on the forefront as the rebellion's 'Joan of Arc'.

The President of the rebellion, President Coin, enlists her to be the face of the rebellion, to continue to inspire the war against The Capitol, which results in a lot of photo-ops of Katniss doing various activities.

Katniss, however, wants to fight. She is a hunter. She defended herself and Peeta in two hunger games so she is a fighter, a defender. Posing for staged warfare is not her thing, but with advice from Gale and Haymitch, she does it for the cause.

But her number two most important goals are: to find Peeta and to kill President Snow, the man in charge of The Capitol.

Peeta is rescued but upon their first meeting, Peeta attempts to kill Katniss. During his time in captivity, he had been "hijacked", where he was given a brainwash of sorts where the ultimate goal was to kill Katniss. The woman he loves.

He is then isolated in an attempt to bring him back to reality but ultimately, Peeta -- one of the most amazing characters I have ever "met" -- never becomes the same person I knew from the first two novels. It is bittersweet.

The novel continues with Katniss and her squad going into The Capitol and the war eventually ends with a rebellion win. The effort to win is extremely violent. Throw a little Resident Evil-type "mutts" into the loop and you have some vicious monsters chasing down folks, along with the gunfire of war. Several main characters are lost in the struggle to get to the Capitol, with Katniss leading the way.

And the end? Wow. I mean WOW. Suzanne Collins - you are a master! I loved it. Well, I loved the part with the two Presidents. Which is the WOW part of this post. I kind of thought it could happen but was still the most amazing ending to a story that I could ever hope for.

But the end end, where Katniss returns home to district 12. That was very sad. Very very sad. It was sad because Peeta is not the same Peeta I knew, and Katniss, well, grew up. The Hunger Games and the world of Panem under the Capitol was over and Katniss could now live a "normal" life.

Which is great, of course, in that fantasy world...but it's the end of *the* most amazing character I've read in *the* most amazing books ever.

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