Friday, 4 May 2012
Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
After many months of hearing everyone around me talking about The Hunger Games, books and movie #1, I
I consider myself luckier than those who had to wait between books, although I will say that I could have been entirely happy without any sequels to The Hunger Games the book at all. It had a good, sudden ending, with a certain amount of resolution and yet some uncertainty nevertheless.
Katniss is awesome, but undeniably flawed. Far from perfect, her flaws make what could be a Mary-Sue-like sacrifice for Prim engaging rather than wearing. Peeta is adorable all the way through until he's not, and by the time that happens, I already loved him anyway. By midway through the second book I would say that I was Team Peeta if pressed; by midway through the third, I was a despairing Team Peeta-ite.
I've heard from a lot of people that they don't like the second and third books because of the politics, but I loved them. I wanted more and more and more of the world building, not less. I
And then there was that epilogue. It's even more pointless and annoying than the Harry Potter epilogue and that's saying something. I love the way Mockingjay proper ends - real or not real? Real, says Katniss - and it didn't need any of what came after.
And I had a discussion with a colleague today about the ending of Mockingjay and the decision Katniss makes at that point. We were diametrically opposed: I approved the ending and what led to it, in terms of authorial choice: colleague disagreed. (In case you can't tell I'm trying to avoid spoilers.) The thing is, over all, I enjoyed the trilogy a lot more than I expected to, given the widespread popularity of it. They're certainly engaging, gripping books; I was so VERY glad that I had each subsequent book to keep going with as I finished the previous. Is this the way someone feels these days reading the Tomorrow series? While I had to wait the year or more between each book? (A similar thing happened with West Wing, where US viewers had to wait a summer between "What Kind of Day Has it Been?" and "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen", while Australian viewers only had to wait a week. It's not a perfect analogy.)
Anyway. I enjoyed it more than I expected. I have a lot of affection for many of the characters. And I think that I do adore Katniss. Flaws and all. As you do.