Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The girl whose fire went out,


Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

This book finishes up the trilogy as the girl on fire becomes the girl whose fire went out. At the end, there are two children born to a thirty something woman who symbolize the human race guttering out as it fails to increase its numbers to a sustainable biomass.

I started reading the series because my ten year old was entranced with it. When it came in the mail from Amazon she grabbed it and read the final book through in one setting. I asked her how it was and she was more "meh, ok, but not as good as the first books." The collapse in direction into fading coals from fire is clearly handled. Perhaps Brokenjay would have been a better title.

Well written, tightly plotted, minimal sex (a few kisses on screen), the violence is not detailed or pornographic, the writing is adult (rather than the adolescent tripe that is listed as "adult") and mature.

Honestly, I wish Amazon had a filter to let me filter out books with excessive sex or overdetailed violence. I'd find more like this series, which has gotten press as teen literature, but which is actually more mature.

Regrets? I wanted to see the mayor revealed as a major resistance figure and his daughter, who insists that Katness take the Mockingjay pin as the one who would marry her "cousin." I hoped for an action scene where Katness rescues Prim and in the process has her Mockinjay armored costume destroyed. I wanted one last scene of fire blazing against the threat of dictatorship rather than guttering out.

So, the book and the series will end up at the used book store eventually, not quite a keeper, but very good.

At least this book (Mockingjay) lets me skip the movies ...

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I had a comment that kind of caught what the problem is that you are going to hear about, vs. what I had to say in this post:

Dantas, the problem is the market the book was purveyed to, not the way it exploits the setting or the crushing futility of the end. Reminds me of the first Final Fantasy movie, starts as an action buddy sf movie, ends as a Japanese heroic tragedy -- kind of lost the audience by the end. Was it a good futile heroic tragedy where the struggle of the hero is meaningless and in the end pointless except as a vehicle for tragedy? Sure, but it wasn't sold as one and it started off matching the tropes of another genre.

As a result it is poor Young Adult fiction with an end that crashes out of the genre and the audience. Of course they don't like it and are let down -- just as you might be if you bought some candy and got peppercorns mixed in with your milk chocolate when you were expecting a Hersey Bar. Not that chocolate with peppercorns can't be excellent, but it really is not what a Hersey Bar audience expects.