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Mockingjay ~ Suzanne Collins

September 13, 2010

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press
400 pages
ISBN: 9780439023511

The problem with a good cliche is that it’s still just a cliche.

No matter how hot the rebels, no matter how touching the cause, literature imitating coup will always be rehashed art imitating rehashed life. Now, perhaps this tedium warrants regurgitation as we seem not to ever have learned from one rebellion to the next. After all, it’s not like Panem is a futuristic term, right?*

Worn out cliches aside, the third third of the trilogy ended in the way any highly emotional series ends: terribly. Ok, I don’t mean that the book or even the ending, were actually awful but rather that I simply didn’t want the story to come to a close. Be that as it may, end it did to the pleasure of some but the sure disappointment of others.

As usual, I find myself at a loss for words with which to write complete review as I need so desperately to break out of coded euphemisms. I think that to elaborate without illuminating the  earth shattering bits is to answer my true concerns, any way.

My biggest issue, as mentioned before, is the rehashing (yes, irony is funny). For the most part, the third book brought struggles between The Capital and Panem that hammered home a very literal, bloody war, we’d already seen in Orwellian overtones in the previous two chapters. For me, the point of commentary, especially dystopian angst, is to paint a picture, not to whack a reader upside the head with something she’s seen for six hundred plus pages, prior.

The beauty of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire was in the shockingly provocative pokes to be made at conflict and war without having to say “Oh, ho hum, war is terrible and people die”. The class, culture, education and industry interwoven through the entire history of Panem, tell a tale we know and live in history books, daily life and our future incarnations. To say that these issues were only discussed in Mockingjay is to completely miss the point(s) of the first and second books.

Ah, but, this isn’t a praise of the first two books as much as it is simply an expression of mild disappointment in the blatantly literal and overly lucid wind down of an otherwise brilliant play on politics and prose. They can’t all get it “right”, I suppose. All political, dystopian commentaries are equal; some are simply more equal than others.

*”Bread and Circuses” (Panem et Circenses, anyone?) was the idiot-proof, fool pleasing blue print used by the original Capital back in 122. The entertainment value in tossing the poor and trainable to wild beasts, other young folk with weapons and death by elements was hardly first conceived of for a mythical reality show. Just another way to placate the masses, the Roman gladiator arena (hey, where have I recently seen that word?) creepily mirrors Collins’ twists and turns through the Panem trilogy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2010 3:51 pm

    The more I think about it, the more I hate the Epilogue. I wish it had ended just before that.

  2. September 16, 2010 11:39 am

    I haven’t read this book, but I hear the Hunger Games trilogy is amazing.

    YAY. I’m so glad you’re writing again and reading again and blogging again. Also, I miss you like woah. I tried emailing you. I changed phones and lost your phone number. I miss you and love you. I still have the same phone number and email address if you want to get in touch.

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