UPDATE: This is an older blog that I am transferring over from Blogger.
Well I don’t want to ruin the ending for anyone who hasn’t read it yet…
**If you haven’t read The Hunger Games series do NOT read this blog. It will have spoilers since I am giving my thoughts and opinions.**
I really enjoyed reading this series! I think Suzanne Collins, for the most part, is a brilliant writer. I loved the way she wrote in tiny human nuances which made the main characters really come to life. I felt like by the end of Mockingjay I really knew these people. I also think it may take a kind of messed up person to write a book about, as my coworker called it, teens killing teens. The Hunger Games in actuality is a really f**ked up idea. They psychological aspect of following these teens (in the Hunger Games) and victors (Catching Fire) is a mind rush and that’s what makes it so fascinating. There is a lot of sadness and sympathy for these young people and adults trying to kill innocent people who are only trying to survive. I also loved the fact that the author managed to keep the effect of killing innocent people with Katniss. I remember a line where Katniss says that people she killed have stayed with her. Through out the books those people have stayed with her. They boy who killed Rue (her first kill), Clove, and especially Cato among several more.
I also thought it was clever how Suzanne Collins incorporated a Hunger Game battle in each book. The first one was heartpounding enough. When I finished the first book I thought, “Well I guess here is where they will start the revolution to take down the Capitol.” I was really surprised when they started another Hunger Games in Catching Fire. I have a natural talent of knowing what is going to happen (for the most part), but I was still surprised to be right when they held the 75th Quarterly Quell Hunger Games and the stipulation for that one was the existing victors had to get back into the arena. That really upped the ante from the first one. When that was all over, they they managed to include a 3rd arena style battle in the form of the attack on the Capitol. This one was different because it was no holds barred, no parachutes to help from a mentor, but the chances of people living were higher since it wasn’t actually one of the Games.
The array of characters and their intertwined relationships was another element of the series that really made it addicting. The author did a brilliant job with creating these characters! I absolutely loved Cinna and found the prep team Octavia, Flavius, and Venia just adorable and sweet! I admired Johanna’s brassy personality, but she had these tender moments that were really touching too. She was a product of what life did to her. You can’t fault her for that. I think I fell in love with Finnick as I learned more about him. From his reaction to Mags dying in Catching Fire, to his love for Annie, and his friendships with the other characters. There was a lot of depth to his personality. Then there is Rue..little sweet Rue. I immediately loved her like a baby sister. She was precious! Same for Katniss’s baby younger sister Primrose. Gale was a great character. His closeness with Katniss and his protection of her family were admirable, but his distinct ability to get the job done was his best attribute. Like the attack on the Nod and his plan to shut down the train station to keep everyone inside the mountain. Brilliant! It was a great strategic plan. It would’ve saved Katniss getting shot later. Then there is Peeta. How does someone not love Peeta? He is just a walking heart of gold and an amazing guy. Any person to be loved by someone like him is one lucky son of a bitch. Speaking of, then there is Katniss. I know, like Johanna, she is a product of her environment. She is cold, unfriendly, and sometimes callous. The other times, she is fun and sweet. I suppose the before happened because so much happened to her and was placed on her shoulders. It’s hard to believe she was just a teenager while all this happened to her.
I picked up a heavy RPG element in this series. Maybe it was just my inner nerd. I saw a lot of Final Fantasy in the story lines of the books. The evil and corrupt government that is Capitol, citizens living in districts (or sectors like in FF7), the creating of allies, picking up supplies from fallen enemies, even the names of the characters where all very Final Fantasy like. I could easily see myself joining Peeta, Finnick, and Katniss as my party in a Final Fantasy game where Finnick’s summon would be Poseidon or something. There was a also a mythological aspect to the books. A few names like Castor and Pollux were mythological inspired. Of course there has to be a revolution to take down this said evil government. No story line would be complete without rebels!
The most interesting part of the entire series was the main story. The evil and corrupt Capitol abusing and torturing their own people because of absolute power. Something that the world has faced since the beginning of civilization. The Hunger Games were created to remind and punish the rebels of the first rebellion. The Hunger Games ALONE would have had me starting a revolution! Children murdering each other? Unfathomable! I’m glad it took Katniss defying Capitol in the first Hunger Games to get the ball rolling!
There were also a couple of things/directions that I didn’t like:
The death of Cinna was sad, but there was something grandiose about his death and it really helped give Katniss cause to fight forward. I would’ve loved for him to be alive to see Capitol be taken down.
I was really disappointed and heartbroken in the way Finnick died. If he had to die, it should’ve been another way, like saving Annie’s life from mutts and her telling him she’s pregnant so that this green eyes can glow with joy one more time before he passed away. Being ripped apart by mutts with minor characters like Castor and Pollux? Dying like that was a slap in the face to everything he went through. I did cry when I discovered Annie had his baby. I’ve named their baby Valdet, since it means waves and they are from a fishing/water community. It’s also different enough to be in the series lol.
I thought it was cruel of the author to kill Prim after all this time. She might as well have brutally died in the first Hunger Games and saved me time in reading all three books lol. I guess the way she is died is good though. She was a healer trying to help others. That’s how she should have gone I suppose.
I was also getting angry at Katniss for the way she was trying to balance Gale and Peeta. Peeta is absolutely insane for being so in love with Katniss. So is Gale. Her only redeeming quality to me was what she went through to protect Peeta when he became useless in both Hunger Games. Other than than, I found her to be extremely frustrating and difficult. I suppose that is great compliment to the author for being able to evoke that kind of feeling toward a character.
I also did not like how after the whole Katniss/Gale/Peeta triangle, Gale ended up just vanishing off into another district doing work. That wasn’t a very climactic ending. But Peeta and Katniss did belong together. There was no doubt about that, even though I was initially team Gale. I am glad that Katniss did give Peeta children. After all they have been through, they seriously deserve some happiness.
Most of my frustration about the above listed is purely emotional. I grew an emotional bond with some of these characters. There is always a cost when it comes to war. Lives will be lost, loved ones will be gone forever. It was bound to happen.
I thoroughly enjoyed the series and look forward to the first movie, The Hunger Games, and the following sequels into a trilogy.
Please check out my blog here discussing the casting of Finnick Odair, Johanna Mason, and Gloss.