I finished Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy last night. And yes, I know that makes me pretty much the last person to read the series. I read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire when they were released, but didn't read Mockingjay until this week.
And I was disappointed. Bet you couldn't guess that from the title of this post. It's hard to discuss my frustrations without spoilers, but I'll try just in case there's someone out there who is behind me in their reading.
The whole book was a buildup to a final battle. And when it arrived, it was a huge letdown. I get that Collins was trying to make the point that war is bad and ugly and the consequences are terrible, but in literature there are certain expectations. Frodo destroys the ring in Mount Doom. Harry defeats Voldemort. We read series with an expectation about how it ends. How we get there is up to the author and how it plays out is up to the author. Of course, the books belong to them and they aren't obligated to adhere to readers' preconceived notions about what and how things should transpire. But that doesn't stop me from feeling let down.
Plus, there's a twist at the end that's so obvious I was begging for it not to happen, simply because it was set up, blatantly, throughout the book. The twist was so obvious, it wasn't a twist if that makes any sense.
Looking at what I've written so far, it looks like I don't like Mockingjay. That's not right. I do. I like it a lot, despite the shortcomings I think the end has. I think one of the problems for the series is that the best book is first. The Hunger Games was fantastic. I read it after hearing about all the hype. Too many accolades heaped on a book can ruin it for me because my expectations are raised too high, but in my mind the reviews I'd read didn't do it justice. The book was fantastic. Catching Fire was good too. I liked it better the second time I read it, but to me it wasn't as good as the Hunger Games.
And Mockingjay was my least favorite. Still good. Still enjoyable, but not as good as the first two. Maybe I'll enjoy it more the second time around like I did Catching Fire, but I can't imagine enjoying the end.
Still, a great series that I will read again. And I can't wait to see the movies.