Sunday, May 25, 2014

MockingJay, a review

Behind the counter sits the strangest person I've ever seen. She's an extreme example of surgical enhancement gone wrong, for surely not even in the Capitol could they find this face attractive. The skin has been pulled back tightly and tattooed with black and gold stripes. The nose has been flattened until it barely exists. I've seen cat whiskers on people in the Capitol before, but none so long. The result is a grotesque, semi-feline mask, which now squints at us distrustfully. 
From Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 
 Mockingjay is the the third book in the trilogy Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins.  The books were published a few years ago and have sat on bestseller lists.  There are movies made of the first two books in the trilogy and a movie of Mockingjay is currently being made.

I am a little behind the times in reading them, but that doesn't make them any less interesting to read.  Although classified as young adult fiction, this book can be read and enjoyed by any adult.   There are some violent scenarios that may scare children, therefore I would not recommend it for elementary age kids or below.

The underlying plot in Mockingjay is a country in rebellion against an evil central government.  The rebel leaders use Katniss Everdeen, a victor in the last gruesome, forced-upon, tragic Hunger Games, as a rallying symbol for the people to look to for hope in a better future.   Katniss has the nickname Mockingjay from her time in the Hunger Games.

Twisting sub-plots emerge and play out throughout the books.  There is conflict of human relationships, man-made dangers, and pure survival.  While the first book Hunger Games and the second book Catching Fire were more action-adventure type with fast moving scenes and danger around every corner, the third book Mockingjay is a little slower with fewer action scenes and more head games & strategy.  Collins also does a nice job of wrapping up the story lines and all questions are answered by the end of the book.  

This book would best be read after reading the first two books. However I think it could be read on its own too as the author reminds the reader of things that happened in the first two books to fill in possible gaps.  This book is inherently slower than the first two, and I found that I would set it down and not feel driven to rush and pick it up again.  Excitement does not drip off every page.

Movies, as always, of the first two books  although very good, did not come close to the quality of the written page.   I expect no different with the current movie being made for this book.  A book is always so much better!

* * * * * * * * *
It was a great book and I would rate it 9 out of 10 stars.


betty said...

Thanks for the review; I haven't read the other two books, but did see both movies and look forward to the third when it comes out. I am glad to hear that things get wrapped up and questions answered, sometimes books in series like this don't tend to do so.


Maria Dunn said...

I agree that the movie adaptations rarely live up to the books that spawned them. I haven't read Mocking Jay, but my son felt that it had the feel of just trying to get it finished and that it didn't live up to the first two. Thanks for the review as I don't plan to read it myself, but am very interested in what others have to say about it since it is a rave among my kids.
Maria @ Delight Directed Living

MS said...

Betty - I heard that they are going to actually make MockingJay into a two-part movie. I think that is a not-so-good idea.

Maria - I have heard many people express the same sentiment as your son. I think perhaps it is because this book was so much different than the others. This is more about the two sides warring and less about the individuals.


Lily Strange said...

I actually enjoy reading young adult fiction, even though I'm far closer to being an old adult. The character description in this case certainly has me intrigued.
I've not seen the "Hunger Games" movies either."
Kind thanks for your visit to KHEL 666.