“Mockingjay” Disappoints

If you have already read the first two books in the The Hunger Games trilogy, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you will still want to read Mockingjay to get answers to all of your questions. But don’t expect to love the book. Mockingjay is no The Hunger Games.

[Spoilers Below]

In short, I get the impression that the author, Suzanne Collins, decided to pull a little bait and switch on us. She set us up with a rewarding, happy ending to The Hunger Games. Collins set us up further with the massive cliffhanger at the end of Catching Fire. We then expect Mockingjay to reward us with a redemptive ending on an even bigger scale. But it doesn’t. Rather Collins lays some heavy handed anti-war message on us… or something. So in the end all of the heroes in the book lose.

If it is not a bait and switch then maybe Collins just ran out of ideas. The final section of the book is where everything falls apart for Mockingjay. The entire section is garbled and confusing and seems rushed. Was Collins on deadline? Was she just feeling angry and depressed when she wrote it? Who knows. But rather than delivering on a tremendous set up it fizzles in a big way. It is too bad too. As I was reading I held out hope until the bitter end that this book would really deliver for me. But then the book was over. Readers are left with a bunch of dead protagonists and a perma-victim of a hero who apparently remains severely damaged and tormented for the remainder of her days.

Oh well. I guess it makes me appreciate the skills of someone like J.K. Rowling all the more. Taking a series all the way to the finish line without petering out is apparently very difficult to pull off.

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25 thoughts on ““Mockingjay” Disappoints

  1. I disagree; I found the ending to be very powerful and tragic. The heroine is broken both physically and mentally. She held up for as long as she could against the constant stresses put upon her (or that she put upon herself) throughout the series but in the end, while heroic, even Katniss has a breaking point. The end of the book, due to its first-person-present point of view, somewhat demands a detached air, I think. Katniss has given up fighting and, as such, what does she care for the politics anymore? The weight of the deaths has become too much for her and she can’t continue trying to be a force for anything anymore. She’s like Frodo where some pains will never heal, but the last few pages, to me, offer some hope of a partial redemption. The sad part is that Katniss has no Valinor to retreat to, but such is real life. As for the war view, war is hell and always brings out some of the best and much of the worst in humanity and is it a bad thing to present that to readers? It’s a tragic story about children forced to kill children and about the horrifying ability of us humans to be detached from the realities of other peoples’ experiences and suffering. My two cents. Yes, it would have been wonderful to have stood in triumph with Katniss as her twisted world finally slid into victory, but I found the tragedy cathartic and powerful.

  2. I don’t think it could have ended any other way. It was tragic and human and REAL. I loved that there was no wrap up in a pretty bow…It was from Katniss’ POV, so I thought it SHOULD be frazzled and worn, just as she was.

    War isn’t pretty. Sometimes people don’t recover fully. It wasn’t a redemption story, I don’t think. It was a war is hell story. One that doesn’t end happily, and that was the perfect way to end it.

  3. Tom,

    If only this series had a touch of LotR in it. That series was about war and change but had an unmistakable redemptive strain to it. The best of humanity (Aragorn) uniting the tribes of the earth to defeat oppressive evil. While it is true that Frodo was damaged beyond repair, his sacrifices allowed his friends and loved ones to be happy and prosperous after the war.

    Was there a single protagonist in The Hunger Games series that had a happy ending?

    Tolkien at least saw good in humanity and hope in the our best impulses. Collins seems to find humanity hopeless and irredeemable.

  4. Why is the fact that no one had a happy ending (which, actually, could be argued…Katniss and Peeta kids didn’t have to face the trouble and hardship they did) a bad thing? Why do people shy away from the real or the bad? Sometimes…people’s stories suck and they aren’t redeemed.

  5. I explained why that is a bad thing in the review gabby. I think it is bad because it is a massive bait and switch by the author. Collins gave us a startlingly happy ending to The Hunger Games. It was hopeful and joyful. That is why we fell in love with her series. But after setting us up with that bait she switches the hope and joy out with despair and unending misery in the final two books. Calling it “disappointing” probably doesn’t really do that trick of hers justice.

    I have no problem with tragedies. They can be great art too. My problem is with promising an audience one thing only to give them the opposite (after they invest many hours into the story). That is more practical joke than art.

  6. It was a bigger “why is that a bad thing” not just singularly for you. Sorry.

    However, to you specifically, maybe I disagree because I don’t think the end of The Hunger Games was all full of sunshine and puppies, either.

  7. What The Hunger Games did was give us a better ending than we thought was possible. We were set up to believe that either Katniss or Peeta must die (probably Peeta since Katniss was the star). Then through a nice twist Collins delivered both Katniss and Peeta alive. Maybe that is not “puppy dogs and sunshine” but it is an unexpectedly happy ending.

  8. Geoff, I agree with your assessment of the book. I have read a lot of people’s reviews, and almost all of them say “Well, the ending was a downer, but hey, war is a downer, so this is actually a good portrayal of reality”. Some have even compared Katniss to a PTSD sufferer. Ok, well that’s all well and good, but you hit the problem right on the head: the first two books were not about reality. Almost all of the antics of the book’s main characters were fantasy like in nature. But then, all of a sudden, in Mockingjay, the fantasy ends and Katniss, for whatever reason, seems unable to cope anymore. The problem isn’t that the ending is a downer. The problem is that the structure of the first two books didn’t set us up for a downer ending, and it makes the books seem incongruous.

  9. I was EXTREMELY unsatisfied with the ending and found myself in tears. Personally, I’m a sucker for happy endings.
    The part I found most unsettling was Gale. First of all, I am Team Gale (hard core-Go Gale!) and second of all, he never visits. Never calls. I would have chosen Gale for Katniss because they were childhood friends; she evens says a few times about how well they know each other, each others minds. I was extremely distraught how Gale just disappears; he never even shows up to see if she’s okay, to hunt with her. Like he’s forgotten her. And it’s almost like she no longer feels attached to him
    Altogether very odd and unhappy for me.
    I will never read Mockingjay again.

  10. Geoff, I agree completely about your review of the book. I LOVED the first 2 so much and have been recommending them to anyone who will listen. And the saddest part about Mockingjay was that I now no longer want to recommend any of the books anymore. The 3rd book seemed so completely different.

    I didn’t like the “preachy” anti-war tone that the book had. I agree that war is bad but sometimes it is necessary. Let’s take what we know happened to Finnick and Haymitch and re-write the book so that the rebellion NEVER happens. Katniss comes home, Snow turns her into a prostitute and kills all her family and friends (including Gale). Is this a future that Katniss would have been happier with? Would she have been less damaged? It really bothered me that the idea of fighting evil for the hope of a better future was never addressed. I don’t think the future Katniss had coming would have been any better for her or the rest of the world if the war had never happened. She helped make the world a better place and Finnick and all the others thought it was worth fighting for. The way the book ended made it seem like they just wasted their lives for nothing.

  11. I definitely agree!

    The Hunger Games was imaginative and exciting. It made me laugh and cry and all the things a really good book should. I recommended the series to everyone! Then I read Catching Fire, which was interesting for the first part, but the love triangle idea has been mutilated in recent media and it seemed really tired. No matter how much they stressed the relationship between Gale and Katniss I could never seem to buy into it. I simply knew Peeta more. Gale had only been mentioned in the very beginning of the first book and the romance seemed really forced. The Quarter Quell was a dumb excuse to re-do the first book, as it seemed Collins was just kind of feeding off the success of the first book. I think it would’ve been really interesting to see Katniss and Peeta mentoring some new kids, seeing the effects of that responsibility for the lives of others and meeting the other victors and learning their stories in this way, during the planning of the quickly approaching rebellion.

    If this would have been how the second book went, with the new kids being pulled out of the arena instead of the old victors, the transition into this new rebellion would have been more smooth instead of a drastic change from fighting to survive to battling for freedom and against oppression. There’s a big difference between the two so I felt like the previous books did nothing to prepare us.

    Besides that, a lot of the characters were nearly mindlessly killed off, and although I realize this is the reality of war this isn’t actually war. It’s a book. The killing of several of the main characters contributed nothing to the story line except for chapters on end with Katniss in some sort of dream-like, depressed state, which is extremely boring to read. If Finnick or Prim would’ve survived Collins could’ve had the same exact ending, Gale and Katniss could have just realized on their own that they weren’t meant to be together and Gale could have moved to 2 simply because he was needed there. Then Peeta and Katniss could be together anyway.

    This book was extremely disappointing and left me feeling like I could have written a better book. And I’m sixteen. What a waste of time.

  12. My wife gave me the trilogy for Christmas and I’m about halfway through the third book. I have to agree it feels quite inferior to the other two (which I loved). Here’s hoping I’m not as disappointed as the rest of you.

  13. So I finished the book and I think a few of the criticism are a bit overstated. Don’t get me wrong. It is vastly inferior to the first two volumes. I think the biggest problem is really the world she created in the first volume. It just doesn’t make any sense. You can ignore this in the first two volumes because frankly it doesn’t matter. Ultimately they are about a small community and the hunger games. Once you move beyond that though then suddenly that world is put center stage and it’s frankly an unbelievable one.

    The second problem is the central conceit of the series. The hunger games. It makes sense to follow the same structure in the books. It’s sort of like when you go see a Mad Max movie you expect a climatic car chase with cars made out of spare parts and with axes and crossbows. That’s the point. However in the third volume she has to keep this only in terms of an invading army. And it just comes across as completely unbelievable. Civil defense as designed by Rube Goldberg.

    If you are doing an anti-war book it’s fine to be metaphorical (which is ultimately what the hunger games were). However when she moves from the metaphoric to the real you have to present something real. Unfortunately added to a frankly unbelievable world is an completely unbelievable military scenario.

    All that said (and here come the spoilers) I think things are still overstated. There are only two major characters who die. Prim’s death makes sense in terms of the storyline. Why it fails it because the death makes no sense in terms of the events. I mean you have all these soldier fighting their way through unbelievable odds. Katniss barely makes it to the mansion and then out of no where her sister appears as a nurse? WTH? How did she get there? There’s no way to believe the sister (only 13 or 14 as I recall) would be there. None.

    I’ll agree Finnick’s death was just poorly written. In the context of the hunger games it would have worked. In this particular context it didn’t. I realize it was supposed to be a repeat of the hunger games (and the author unnecessarily states this in bold in case you couldn’t pick up the nuance of the parallels). But it just didn’t work. And not just because of the Rube Goldberg silliness. But rather teh way it was written. I think you could have killed him off and written it well.

    That said I kind of like the ending all things considered. But the writing just failed in this one. I will disagree that the third volume comes out of left field. I think most in it was telegraphed pretty heavily. The failure wasn’t the structural issues she wanted in the book. The failure was simply that it was not that well written. Still while it wasn’t a book I couldn’t put down like the first two, it wasn’t a bad read. I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time or was cheated. I’m more disappointed because it should have been so much more. (Reminds me of how I felt with the latter Bean books in the Ender’s Game series — except those really did feel like I was forcing myself to read them)

  14. I have to say I was COMPLETELY disappointd with Mockingjay. Collins came out with the book fairly quickly too, maybe she should have slowed down. Katniss remained a whiney and annoying throughout the whole book giving it such a pathetic, not tragic, ending. I mean really, the whole book was just about a girl who is emotionally unstable being used as a figure of power and it’s more annoying then interesting. I get that she’s depressed but SUCK IT UP!

  15. I agree with the review above, although I think it should have addressed some other problems with Mockingjay. In this book we see the real horrible effect of the hunger games. Everyone is severely traumatized and I think that the author should have given the characters a break. There needed to be a healing process before the rebels go galabanding out into war again. So many gruesome deaths were unecessary to get the point across. I feel like the plot was lost in the extreme violence of the last quarter of the book. The whole issue of Peeta being hijacked was disturbing because the reader has come to trust his character’s consistency. Same with Katniss. We know her as our fiercely brave heroin who would do anything for the people she cares about. In Mockingjay, she is completely cut off from other characters. She is distraught after seeing how Peeta is being treated by the capitol but she gives up on him too quickly after the rebels rescue him in his hijacked state. I felt like her relationship with Gale wasn’t believable enough and the author should not have even attempted a love triangle in the second book. Since nothing was ever resolved or decided between the pair of them, I was confused by their relationship in Mockingjay. We know that Katniss loves Prim more than anything but there has never been enough dialogue between the two of them to support their relationship. Very disappointing.

  16. I totally agree! What was wonderful about the first 2 books was that I loved reading about a female character who was an actor. Katniss was the heart of those first 2 books, she made choices and had agency. Then, in this book she just falls apart?

    I always felt the strength if these books was in writing a character that was strong, that people liked to read about, that people believed in. That’s why the whole Mockingjay thing worked for me. But in this book Katniss is just so passive. I could have been ok with that, except for the ending. Gale just disappears and she stays with Peeta because it is easier? Has kids because it is easier? That makes no sense knowing her character. For me, her choosing Peeta was a sign that Snow and the Capitol has still won.. After all, the Capitol threw she and Peeta together and interupted her and Gale. I was just so disappointed that the strong heroine I knew from the first 2 cooks completely disappeared in this one, and that I got a predictable, tired romance instead.

  17. Makes me wonder how they’ll adapt the third book now that they are all being made into movies. As I said the first two were excellent but the third one definitely didn’t work on numerous levels.

  18. I didn’t like how Peeta was hijacked at all. I know, it sounds wimpy, but I was already starting to dislike Katniss and when Peeta is suddenly crazy, it feels like you’ve lost the two main characters. I would have felt better if Peeta willingly didn’t love Katniss anymore and was fully aware of his actions, but for him to be completely out of control made me want to put the book down. I also thought that the violence was too constant. I kept reading, hoping it would get better, but the storyline became harder to understand. Half the time I didn’t even know what was going on in all the fighting. Even the deaths became tiring. So many people died that it didn’t have the same affect on me anymore.

    The romance in the story never worked out for me either. I never was able to see the chemistry between Katniss and Gale. In the end, I was disappointed because it still seemed that Katniss’s love for Peeta was still an act. Almost like she settled for him. It was also like Peeta was cut off from the reader because it seems like he never fully recovers from the hijack and it leaves you wondering if he ever loved Katniss the same after what they did to him.

    Katniss still seems unstable at the end of the book, which is hard to stomach for the reader after seeing her so strong in the last two books. I think Collins made a mistake there. When the main character suddenly takes a turn for the worst, you expect her to get better. When she doesn’t, she becomes less likeable. It’s not only her instability that makes you dislike her, but also her bad decisions. Her need for revenge when it won’t solve anything. It was hard for me to like the book when the smart, strong character from the first two books was gone. I was very disappointed.

  19. I agree with everyone here. The moment that Katniss votes in support of the Hunger Games using Capitol children, she loses all credibility. Her character was taking a downward spiral up until that point and it should have been the catalyst for Peeta leaving her for good on his own will. I agree that Finnick and Prim’s deaths were indulgent and by the time they died I was desensitized to the violence and the storyline was becoming so convoluted that the deaths had no meaning. There was more than enough violence to get the anti war point across and could have been balanced with a semi happy ending. One or the other should have made a full recovery.

  20. I just finished the third book a few hours ago. I devoured it up within a day. I was hooked. Suzanne Collins’ had an amazing sense at keeping me hooked on each little word, with such an amazing imagery I could not pull away from it at all. While I was a bit confused at some times in the book, I enjoyed it a lot. It was very suspenseful. While I pitied Katniss, I admired her as well. She is dealing with her inside demons and also the demons around her. I cried at some parts, laughed at others, and enjoyed the ending. Yes, it leaves us asking questions, but that doesn’t mean every book has to have a happy ending full of rainbows and unicorns. Tragedies can be good as well. This was my first tragedy trilogy, and I loved it. I disagree. This book was not a disappointment at all.

  21. Geoff– I just finished the book today… I am sick. Emotionally disgusted by what Collins has done. I have been searching everywhere to find someone who might feel the same way I do about the books. So thank you for affirming why I am so upset about this.

    You said:

    Tom,

    If only this series had a touch of LotR in it. That series was about war and change but had an unmistakable redemptive strain to it. The best of humanity (Aragorn) uniting the tribes of the earth to defeat oppressive evil. While it is true that Frodo was damaged beyond repair, his sacrifices allowed his friends and loved ones to be happy and prosperous after the war.

    Was there a single protagonist in The Hunger Games series that had a happy ending?

    Tolkien at least saw good in humanity and hope in the our best impulses. Collins seems to find humanity hopeless and irredeemable.

    I feel this exact same way! SHE WRITES THESE BOOKS FOR “YOUNG ADULTS” or teenagers basically. What kind of Sh** is she trying to pull! I feel like she is sending the message, that if you engage in what you believe you are SOL, can’t win, no chance, you will be broken forever! That is not a message to send impressionable teens! There is no hope. Thank you! Again, Thank you– “Tolkien at least saw good in humanity and hope as our best impulses.”

    All I can think is that she is seriously sick in the head with depression. Living without hope– she might as well be evil herself. Such a sinister way to end 2 very strong hopeful books. Mockingjay stinks!

  22. As most of you are already saying, Mockingjay is truly a disappointment. Unlike the first and second book, that got me excited every turn of a page, the mockingjay is a complete *I can’t even find the words to describe it*. With all the useless killing and everything, I was hoping for something that will tell me “You will not regret reading this book,” but unfortunately the opposite happened. Nothing makes sense anymore, the love triangle, Gale, Katniss, PEETA. The only thing that keeps me going is Peeta, I was hoping that he will changed into a strong person, but no, he was still the petty boy. Then Gale, boom, he was suddenly the Knight in Shining Armour, kissing Katniss and everything, he was like a forced individual for us readers to like. It’s like reading EdwardxBellaxJacob over and over and over again. The only difference is that I love Peeta. What pissed me off is that Katniss chose Peeta over Gale because (in my opinion) he was the one who stayed or better yet, she wants to repay Peeta the kindness he had given her, the owe she’s always talking about. It was like she forced herself to say “Real,” to Peeta. I wasn’t convinced, really.

    It was so heartbreaking to read Mockingjay, not because of the violence, the gore, the killings it was because it was slipping from its’ shine. I can understand the cliff-hangers in the first two book and I really, desperately wants a closure but for me the third book is still a cliff-hanger and it annoys me so much that I couldn’t sleep at all, I was like “Dafuq?” Yeah, yeah, wars are bad and shouldn’t be started, but we are always in war, to others, to other countries, to the world, and especially to ourselves. Is that how we should behave? Dreading, depressed, losing sight to hope? It just made those who sacrificed their life pretty useless (Finnick’s and Mags’ death truly hit me and I DESPISE how Finnick was killed).

    I don’t know how to end this review because I’m still not over myself how disappointing Mockingjay is, so this is what I’ll just say: “Ms. Suzzane Collins, you can DO better than that,”

    P.S: Is “Always” a reference to J.K Rowling’s Snape’s “Always” ? I love it and the dandelion thing. I just love Peeta. I really can’t believe how disappointing this is. I just can’t reread Mockingjay, maybe in time, but right now, it’s quite impossible. *sighs*

    P.P.S: I just reread my review and it’s pretty awful and confusing, but hey that is how I feel. I need to speak it out or I’ll just burst. Peace Out!

    Xoxo,
    Lindsay

  23. The ending was absolutely terrible. Katniss the independent and strong heroine we’ve come to known throughout the past 2 books by a self-loathing, self-pitying creature in Mockingjay. Honestly, Katniss did nothing but whine during the entire book. She would whine about having to be the Mockingjay (which would give HOPE to all the Rebels) and sit
    around hating herself for things that were clearly out of her control. All she really did was whine while she watched D13 take down the Capitol. Even her last “mission” was completely
    stupid and pointless at an attempt to assassinate Snow. She ended up doing more harm than good.
    Another thing that didn’t make any sense was Prim being out in the battlefield. Why would anyone would allow a child to be in a warzone is beyond me. It’s never even addressed by Katniss to Coin or with anyone else. Katniss just pouts a little and pretty must just forgets about it.
    Then there was the whole thing about recreating the Hunger Games but, with Capitol children. It felt predictable to me, I was actually expecting this to happen but hoping they wouldn’t take such an obvious “evil” route. The main thing that ruined it for me was Katniss actually accepting the idea of CONTINUING the Hunger Games. I literally just spat out “What the ****” while reading it. Katniss the girl who was always strong and brave for herself and others and ultimately traumatized by the games ends up wishing this pain onto other children? This is not the Katniss from the previous 2 books. The only excuse she gives is “for Prim.” Really? Prim would want people her age to torn from their families to continue the barbaric games? Another thing was the whole idea that Gale just went to District 2 and left Katniss seems totally out of character. So Gale her childhood best friend didn’t even ever come to say good-bye or anything?
    Katniss was turned into a complete and utter mess, she acted as if their lives were any better BEFORE they rebelled. Actually the reader doesn’t really know what happened to the world after D13 took over the Capitol. All were given is a vague ending knowing that the Hunger Games have stopped and that Katniss has never been able to overcome her depression.
    The author seems like she must’ve written this ending when she was terribly despressed or when she was mentally unstable (as Katniss was). A book targetted young adults just ends in complete and utter depression. The ending doesn’t even bother to tie up loose ends about the world, about Haymitch, Gale, or even her mother for that matter. Katniss and the Rebels have finally defeated the corrupt and treacherous Captial and have earned their freedom, but all Katniss can think about is moping around. Instead of being happy for standing up for what she and many others had believed in and for being able to have children in a world where they won’t be tormented by the Hunger Games, she stays in a broken fragile state only a shell of her former self. After reading the hopeful endings of the previous 2 books, the author seems like she just really wants to suck all of the life out of young readers and it seems that she has just accomplished that….. at the expense of a good ending to the trilogy.

  24. It was quite disappointing.

    Just a warning–this response will have *spoilers* and a lot of criticism (so crazy fans might want to avoid reading this).

    The war efforts were always a bit silly to me, with folks just being called “Soldier” (I guess post-apocalyptic America threw away their military ranking system, but still taught children who live in the mining district about centrifugal force and DNA) and all of the ridiculous mutts (which really render the Peacekeepers obsolete–why even send them down into the sewers when the mutts do a far superior job?).

    And despite all the gore, the author avoids even subtly mentioning the very real possibility of rape with all these women running around the battlefield (or, I suppose, every man in Panem has the self-control of Edward Cullen). But, that’s fine–excessive rape is not cool to read or write about (especially one for younger folks).

    Reading about the Capitol and the Rebels and their rudimentary military know-how, I generally forgave (but, really, they have the technology to simulate Capitol blocks, project holograms, and maintain hoverplanes, but it took the rebels that long to figure out that they could trigger the pods with a car?). I forgave the lack of realism in the war for the same reason I forgave the lazy narration: the books are meant for young adults, and the publisher most likely imposed page limits which forced Collins to give us things like the the horrible, 1-paragrah summary of the entire rebellion effort (you know, when Haymitch sums it up for Katniss at the end of book 2… and Collins doesn’t even bother writing it out in dialogue to allow for reactions and character building, but just paraphrases the entire speech into a paragraph).

    Anyway…

    The love triangle was resolved in a very lazy, last-minute manner. I was wondering how she would resolve it. All the while, I was hoping she wouldn’t just kill either Gale or Peeta off in a manner beyond Katniss’ control so she wouldn’t have to make a choice. That would’ve been pretty lazy. But what Collins actually did was just about as lazy, though she did many teen girls a favor when she kept both of the dudes alive (I mean, if you were all for Team Gale you would be pretty mad if he just got blown up, yeah?).

    So, Gale just basically cuts himself off from Katniss BECAUSE they both suspected his snare tactic killed Prim (this is one of the rare instances where Collins does not spoon feed her readers, and I think some people missed it). Then Katniss’ rationale is simply that she and Gale are both angry, angry people and that she needed someone who would calm her instead. So, Peeta is a good fit. He provides balance. Sadly, after Peeta’s hijacking, his ability to do so seems a bit diminished.

    The “war sucks and I’m emotionally broken” thing reminds me of Frodo and the Lord of the Rings, as well. But, it also reminds me of All Quiet on the Western Front, and a Farewell to Arms. I think part of the reason the war-jaded veteran angle sort of fails with Mockingjay is that Collins’ portrayal of it falls flat due to… well, her not being a veteran. It doesn’t have the depth to wrap up the end of the story in a satisfying manner. Tolkien, Remarque, and Hemingway were all World War I veterans–and they learned a lesson which they each told very well. I’m not saying you need to be a veteran to be able to write about the veteran experience, but I guess Collins either just got lazy or the publishers didn’t give her sufficient time (or a third, sadder possibility).

    I’m also a irked by Katniss’ assent to a final Hunger Games with the Capitol-leaders’ kids. There’s so much hypocrisy, though it’s not entirely out of character since she’s fairly wrothful and unstable (I mean, she was pretty ready to shoot Peeta in the throat when they announced in her first Hunger Games that only one could survive). But, Haymitch, too? That’s more out of character. Haymitch, in my opinion, had consistently been portrayed as compassionate, despite his drunkennes and anger at the world. He drinks because of his compassion and regret–he’s haunted by having killed the other folks in his Quarter Quell (though he only killed… three, if I remember correctly), and couldn’t get close to anyone because anyone a Victor gets close to is immediately in danger. And that’s why it was okay for him to develop affection for Peeta and Katniss–they were already in danger (plus, I suppose, he knew they were good for the rebellion). But, overall, he seemed lilke a guy who wouldn’t agree to the last Hunger Games. Yet, he just went along with Katniss to give it the greenlight.

    But, back to Katniss–I guess she already became fairly questionable when she killed the unarmed Capitol civilian. She was pretty willing to kill in the first Hunger Games, already somewhat desensitized from it all from her time killing animals as a hunter (she’s practically a serial killer), and like I said in the paragraph above, she had her bowstring drawn and was very ready to kill Peeta before she saw him drop his knife. However, despite all of that, agreeing to the final Hunger Games was still out of character. She had never killed anyone unless there was necessity. The only person targetted for death as punishment previously had been Snow. But, eh, Prim died, so rage wins. I guess it serves to show that even the protagonist is susceptible to petty human inadequacies. And Peeta and the others who vote no are still there to contrast from Katniss and the yes-votes–to show there are still folks who have a sense of justice. Actually, Collins kind of uses general psychological profiles pretty well here–middle children have a sense of justice and are a bit reserved and have self-deprecating humor (so, we have Peeta); whereas first-born children have an excessive sense of responsibility and are very self-righteous and bull-headed (Katniss and Gale).

    Well, I could go on forever criticizing things…

    I’ll just summarize things (a la Haymitch summarizing the rebellion efforts) and say I did enjoy the series overall, despite the less than perfect narration and somewhat disappointing finale. I can’t say I can do better (especially in terms of market success).

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