on March 20, 2012
Katniss never grows up. She never really decides on either of the boys, the person she ends up with she seems to end up with by chance, not because she discovered what was truly in her heart. The romance that compelled me to get to know Katniss as she got to know herself and realized who she was and who she loved was never resolved. I was never impartial to either Peeta or Gale, I was mostly interested in finding out how and why she would choose and was very disappointed with the feeling that she never did.
Very lazy storytelling. Very rushed. Most of the action seems arbitrary and stupid, which is hurtful when many of the characters seem to die needlessly and without emotion or effect. Katniss never grows into a passionate and decisive leader, she remains a pawn and the epitome of immaturity throughout. There is no growth, no character arc I so desperately waited for. Completely pathetic end to a series I was really excited about. Shame on you Collins. You have so much responsibility as an author, the fans of the series really care about the characters and for you to abandon them completely disappoints everyone in a way they have no ability to change. Now we just have to sit with the stupid mess you created of the lives you made us care about. Just shameful.
on January 16, 2011
I read through this entire series within two and a half days of purchasing those books. They were all very bittersweet, of course, and while I knew that a series based on what this one was based on couldn't end happily, I was at least hoping for another captivating, bittersweet storyline again.
I was sadly disappointed.
The book from the start felt awkward and rushed. There weren't as many constructive character reactions as in the other two books. And while this novel is still a cut above many, it falls severly short of its predecesors. The plot soars on, as Katnis is used as a pawn to further the war, a bunch of events happening all at once, people droppig dead all around her - it happens so frequently, so fast, that it often becomes hard to follow. Right from the beginning, almost anyone that Katnis has or does develop a relationship with is doomed, and by now, the readers can easily see it coming.
Actually, that seques into another point of annoyance for me, one that has come up throughout the entire series. The author frequently plants red herrings through out her novels, trying to lead the reader into the same line of thought as Katnis. They aren't convincing, and her "surprises" are almost never surprising. Its actually very stressful and down-putting to know exactly whats going on and have all the characters seem to dull to put it together. From Peeta's supposed betrayal in the first book (this one was especially bothersome to me), to Coin's dirty politics and using/betrayal of Katniss and Boggs death in this last book.
Not only does Boggs, who seems to be one of the last of Katniss' allies, die, but the author seems determined that although the Hunger Games are not happening in this book, the same rule of one-person-left-alive should still stand. Brutally, but quickly, almost without mention, she kills off everyone who played a big part in furthering the rather pathetic plot of this novel in some way. Finnick, Peeta(not literally killed, but in a way he was dead for 3/4 of the book or more), Boggs, Prim... the list is much much longer, but those deaths hurt the most. And Prim's death seems very unnecessary - wasn't the entire point of the story, from book one, to save her? - and the novels mood never recovers after that.
The ending is neither bittersweet, nor bitter. Though Katniss' side has won the war, at what cost have they? The end of the book just takes on a depressing, surrendering nature. As if the author has given up, along with Katniss. The last chapter of the book just has Katniss living as a kind of pathetic shadow of herself. She marries Peeta, eventually has children, and her last words mention how she's still terribly frightened and haunted by everything that's marred her past, but she tries to think of the good things she's seen people do. Frankly, it was just downright depressing.
Keeping with the rushed pace of the novel, the ending comes suddenly as has many loose ends. Katniss kills coin, Snow dies, and she returns home to be a shell, and eventually others from District 12 return as well. Gale never does, he is briefly mentioned with no emotion or real explanation, her mother never returns and is not really mentioned other than to say it would hurt her too much to come back, what happened to all her friends - her prep team, Effie, Annie, Johanna, everyone thats helped her - is never explained. It is confirmed that Madge and her family died sometime during the war.
This book was certainly well written, and did have a few good parts, but nothing outstanding or great. It just left me feeling dazed and sad, and angry that the author couldn't take the time to tie up loose ends and maybe give us a ray of sunshine in the horrific gray world she'd painted.