Oct 04, 2013 01:25

I just finished up Mockingjay, the 3rd book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Overall quite happy with it.

Midway through, I was in love with this book, and felt it was far and away the best of the 3, and I didn't get why people had talked it down to me. Maybe it wasn't as tight as the 1st, but it's got a far wider scope, and I can only see that as a good thing. However, the very, very end fizzles a la Harry Potter, which makes for a sadly weak note to end on.

I love that Katniss isn't perfect, that she's mostly concerned with day to day practicalities, and doesn't have much of in the way of organized ideals. She's not overly precious about morals or overly ruthless. And she questions why some things bother her and some don't, and isn't really always sure about either. I really love that she isn't some sweet saint or some cold-hearted killer, but basically a tough 17-year old. Love that she can focus on mundane details like a leader's strangely perfect hair.

I like that, hello, she's 17, so of course she's often a tool manipulated by others with far-reaching political interests, and she's mostly just trying her best to look out for herself and hers.

I also liked how much there's a focus on "the revolution will be televised." A really interesting angle as Plutarch the gamemaster is both a general and a director/producer/pr lead all at once (lol at his next step being a singing show). Perhaps because I don't read enough SF, this was a very interesting angle to me. There was less "rarr war and battle and ooo strategy of supply lines and heading them off at the pass" and more a sideways angle into everything. It's nice to see something that doesn't take war on its the usual history book terms of battles etc. The importance of a symbol and how people are truly moved by fake stories. The importance of stylists and cameramen to a rebellion... Katniss wondering "do I listen to my commander or my director?" The crew smudging her face with fake dirt and putting fake smoke in the background... and then sometimes the constructed scene of war turning real.

Loved that the rebel side is as much a hotbed of users and conflicting interests as the Capitol, although perhaps things will be better under them (maybe). (I mean, the very name "Coin"... I read that as a blatant reference to "the other side of," and her being grey and washed out just serves to make her more clearly a reflection of Snow... though perhaps with much more practicality and toughness compared to his pampered sneakiness and malice.)

There's perhaps a bit much of love triangle-y stuff, but it feels very organic to me. And under it all is that the 2 guys are truly people she cares for as friends and allies and she also *likes* them as people. That she has trouble connecting to others and part of her affection is that these guys have reached out to her. (I also liked her tentative connections with her sister and Johanna.) I especially enjoyed that she had a thought that "neither" was a perfectly legit answer to "which one do I pick." Sadly the ending was a little Harry Potter epilogue. I would have loved for an OT3 ending, or her never having kids. Though I suppose her marrying the gentle guy because she has enough fire of her own wasn't a bad inversion of the usual trope. Still, idk, it felt like a middling ending to such a powerful book.
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