Yeah, I finally finished the Hunger Games trilogy. The first book I zipped through, complete page-turner. With the second book, there were sections I had moments of zippiness. The third book, well lets just say there were so many twists and turns that it was hard to keep the momentum.
I think the reason why I like the first book “Hunger Games” the best is that there was a clear plot line. Yes I knew Katniss would survive, since there were two more books, but it didn’t matter. I was interested in the journey she was embarking upon. I felt the author delivered on that promise. She delivered a riveting story about a dismal world but with a ray of hope that Katniss and Peeta would make a difference in the world. To read more about my thoughts on the first book, see my earlier post.
The second book “Catching Fire“, I felt was like two stories clobbered together. In the first half of the book you learn more about the other Districts and the Capitol. You learn more about Panem as a whole, and the rebellious stirrings. This was intriguing and I was just zipping through it. Then half-way through the book changes focus onto the Quarter Quell Games, with Katniss and Peeta back in the arena again. I found this annoying, afterall I already know they are survivors of the game why do I need to see it again. I was like why are you delaying what I know will come later which is more stuff on the rebellion. This is what I want to know about. I think being a writer is starting to become an occupational hazard. When Plutarch showed Katniss his mockingjay pocketwatch at the Capitol party, I knew that was foreshadowing of something and that Plutarch was something more that what he appeared to be. I am glad my hunch was correct but it was only on the final few pages that I got confirmation. In the second book the love triangle is well in play, and certainly makes Katniss a less likable character for it. I do like Gale but can’t she see that Peeta is able to rise above it all and see things for what they really are. I didn’t really enjoy the way Haymitch and the others kept Peeta and Katniss in the dark about the bigger plans going on.
The third book “Mockingjay” is really about the war. I was so looking forward to learning about District 13. Some of it surprised me, but I will accept the author’s vision of it, like the overly strict rules. What I didn’t like was the manipulation of Katniss, and that President Coin didn’t seem much better than President Snow. I guess that was the point of the story. I was just hoping for something a bit more hopeful and less realistic then. I hated the idea of using “promos” as the method to fuel the rebel cause. Though it did provide us with some more insight into the characters. Prior to the end of book 2, I had just assumed the Capitol folks were just misguided and clueless, and I wanted the rebellion to be inspired from people within. In book three we find out that yes people from within the Capitol are rebelling but not because they figured it out for themselves but because they have connections to District 13. Okay fine I will accept that. But then later Finnick’s revelation about President Snow really annoyed me. All of sudden it made it seem as if the Capitol people were okay and the problem was just the bad dictator. As for the love triangle I am happy that Katniss realized what matters. As for Gale leaving without a word, I thought that was wrong and a bit out of character. Gale is not a coward and should have had one last conversation with Katniss for closure. As for Katniss’s mom, her character appeared to be growing through the story; I was disappointed by her final actions of not sticking by Katniss.
Despite my complaints about books two and three, it was an interesting trilogy. One I would still recommend to people. Looking back on my thoughts I think some are related to the author’s plot lines and the way the story was constructed; however the other half is probably related to characteristics she has given the people and the decisions they make. This latter part is probably more reflective of the way things do happen in our world today, maybe that is why I don’t like it. I want something better for our world. See my post “Reflections on Panem“, where I give my thoughts on the Capitol way of life.
To see an in-depth analysis regarding Katniss’s character read Tahlia’s post on the trilogy.