However, let's start with the positive:
I liked how the rebellion was not clean cut. The rebels did not represent complete good, and the capitol didn't represent complete evil. I felt this gave the plot an underlying complexity that was intriguing.
I thought the scene where Finnick tells the camera how he was treated after being a victor was powerful and moving.
I enjoyed the scenes where Katniss actually got out and did something like shooting arrows at the helicopters that are trying to bomb the hospital and, well, hmmm, I guess the only other proactive thing she does is lead an attack to break into Snow's mansion. However, this is a futile attempt and in my opinion is one of the book's main weaknesses.
My overall problem with the book is the characters. Where did Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Finnick and others disappear to? I recognize Collins wanted to show the tragedy of war on the human psyche, but she way overdid it and in doing so didn't stay true to her characters.
Also, many parts of the book are unbelievable. I know this is a dystopian novel, but near the end the Capitol's defense system sounded to far fetched. For example: a government that can outfit it's city with apparently thousands of “pods” that do just about everything from melting human flesh with a bright light to ripping open the ground like an earthquake, certainly could have figured out a way to attack district 13 with more than just regular old bombs. Hello?
By the end of the book I wanted to go back and count how many times Katniss wakes up in a hospital. At least six or seven. She's has her leg ripped apart, is mentally unstable, suicidal, shot, burned, starved, put in solitary confinement, and the list goes on and on. I understand this is war, but not every violent thing has to happen one person. It feels a little ridiculous.
The climax never happens. At the end of the book Katniss and a few remaining soldiers are literally feet away from getting into Snow's house when the action stops. Katniss wakes up (again) in a hospital and the whole take-over of the Capitol is done.
I feel Collins betrays her reader by killing off nearly every important character in order for her to preach the obvious moral of the book which is war is evil. Killing Prim was the ultimate betrayal since keeping her alive is the main premise of the whole series. It just felt wrong. I see the need for there to be death in a book about war, but it seemed by the end she was killing characters left and right. It took the impact out of the book.
Like I said, Collins is a great writer and has a gift with language, plot and pace. I am impressed with what she has done in her career. I don't think this book ruins her obvious talent. I just wish it could have been different . . . a lot different.
It's MOCKING JAY by Suzanne Collins. I pre-ordered it (something I never do) because I am just that excited to read it. So, it's on it's way and my kids start school next week. It's like the stars have aligned themselves into perfect order just for me.
If I don't blog for a while (not that I'm ever very regular) you'll know what I'm doing. Happy reading to me.
Guess what? I loved the last book I listened to on CD. It is a perfect read-a-loud with the kids: it's funny, short, and has some action. Warning: most of it is totally unbelievable. Don't expect a realistic mystery.
So . . . here's the title of the book: THE CASE OF THE CASE OF THE MISTAKEN IDENTITY by Mac Barnett. The audio book is read by Arte Johnson who used to be on the television show "Laugh In." (But don't let that deter you. He does a great job.)
As for the plot . . . hmmm . . . Just read it.
One weird thing is that the agent asked me if I could create an original card game to go with the book. Hmmm. Not sure where that came from. Anyhow, the whole thing gave me a little energy toward writing, which I totally need right now.
By the way, I haven't blogged about any writing contests in a while, but I just saw one that looks really fun. Great prizes. http://fictiongroupie.blogspot.com/2010/08/contest-entry-form.html
My kids and a few of the neighbors helped me put this together. We had a good time recording the audio and video; picking out the music and pictures; and posting it.
For those who are confused and who haven't read all of my blogs (tsk, tsk), I wrote a young adult urban fantasy called CYCLES that I'm trying to get published. While I wait for the perfect publisher to snap it up (oh yes, it will happen) I decided to have a little fun.
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