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Friday, September 6, 2013

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games #3)

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. she must become the rebels' Mockingjay - no matter what the personal cost.

I think my problem with the whole Hunger Games series is it's being touted as young adult, but it really leans more toward "adult" book given the themes, violence and plot.  Just because a book has 17 year old protagonists doesn't automatically make it YA in my opinion, and I know this has been brought up on panels at science fiction conventions. And it's a bit disturbing to know that there are now "Hunger Games camps" springing up.

In book one, Catniss is established as being a very self reliant, independent, young woman who does what is necessary to protect her family and friends in harsh conditions.  By book number three, she's a basket case who can't make up her mind who she loves, freaks when people lie to her (um, hello? she's been lied to her entire life...) and doesn't trust those she grew up trusting.  I've read some reviews saying oh yes, classic PSTD, all very realistic.  But this plot device has made her into a drama-queen putz who can use her trauma as an excuse for poor behavior  rather than the dominant young woman she started out being.

Yet later in the book she's suddenly in charge of a small group of soldiers as they make their way through the Captitol, hunted by mutts, which shows flashes to that book one personality.  As a reader, how am I supposed to accept these whiplash like changes in the protagonist?  From my viewpoint, it's not growth of character being demonstrated, it's the author unable to make up her mind if she wants the protagonist to be a leader or a puppet.

Her only purpose in the book, from my perspective, was to become badly injured, be nursed back to health, allowed to roam around aimlessly until freaking out and requiring sedation until the next round of being injured. 

My other issue was with the audiobooks - and I've mentioned this in a earlier reviews - is the narrator.  The Over. En.unc.ia.tion. Of. Every. Thing.  that grated on the nerves.  

But despite my numerous complaints - and I'm not going to vent about them all here - in the end, I was entertained.  Recommended with reservations.

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