Read from November 16 to 18, 2015
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I understand how difficult it is for an author to make sure every book in a series lives up to the expectations of its fans. When the first book of a series sets a very high benchmark, it’s pretty easy for successive novels to lag behind a bit and it’s rare for them to end up being more brilliant than their predecessor.
The first book of “The Hunger Games” trilogy was brilliant in every way (which is why I gave it a 5/5 without thinking twice. The second book earned a 4.5/5 partly because (although well-written), there were moments where it dragged a bit.
Although I loved the first two books, there were a few things that didn’t let me give this book a 5/5. For starters, it dragged way more than the second book. I felt like there were certain parts of the story that were just there to increase the total number of pages to an acceptable amount.
There are a few additional things I’d like to address.
#1: I was pretty happy that Gale finally got a proper role in the trilogy. He was barely there in the first book so it was nice to find out more about his character. What I didn’t like was the fact that Katniss lost him as a friend. He ended up moving to District 2 and then didn’t bother looking back? He didn’t even try to find out how Katniss was after her trial. That was pretty sad given that he was so protective of her. Does love just die like that? This book made me lose the admiration I had for this character. Good going, Suzanne.
#2: Peeta ended up taking the backseat here. He was deluded for nearly the entire book and it just didn’t seem right. And then out of nowhere, he was all okay. Although I was initially #TeamGale, the second book made me have a new appreciation for Peeta and I switched sides. I was happy that he ended up with Katniss but he honestly deserved better after the crap she put him through.
#3: Katniss was so strong and so likeable in the beginning. Her sarcasm and snarky comments were hilarious. Then she gradually turned in to a self-pitying lunatic and my admiration died. Good going again, Suzanne.
#4: The various deaths. Prim’s death was a bit of a shocker. Although it sucked, I have no issue with it because a dystopian novel isn’t always meant to end up being rosy. People have to die. I didn’t expect Finnick to go either. He kinda grew on me. Boggs’ death was expected. I always had the feeling he’ll just get blown to smithereens. That happened to a single limb but he did end up going. There were so many people that died. Some good, some bad. Coin’s death was satisfying. I expected Snow’s death to be more elaborately described and dramatic after all the horrible things he did to the people of Panem. He just ended up dying by “uncertain” means.
#5: I’m glad Paylor took over as President after Katniss shot Coin. She is capable of doing a better job than Coin ever would have. Plutarch was somewhat annoying this time around. He got on my nerves a bit. Haymitch didn’t have as big of a role as I’d hoped. So it was pretty disappointing that he wasn’t allowed to shine (He happens to be my favourite character).
#6: I liked that the ending was a happy one and that Katniss and Peeta were able to bring their kids in to a world devoid of The Hunger Games. Her fear of having to send her children off to annual reapings was extinguished with the end of the war.
So overall, I thought it was an okay ending to the series but I have to add that I was pretty disappointed with a lot of things.