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Old 03-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Tim_A View Post
I liked the fact that the book was written in the first person. It gave it a narrow focus and a certain naiveté - we don't know what Katniss doesn't know, and have to figure it out just as she does.
Most of what you write after this really should be in a spoiler block!!

Put [ SPOILER ] (without the spaces) before the text and [ /SPOILER ] after the text to hide any details that people who haven't read the book yet wouldn't want to see...

Spoiler:

It'll look like this...
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #62
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Done. My bad.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #63
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Done. My bad.
Thanks... I've already read the books, but I hate spoilers and suspect that some others do as well.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #64
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:13 AM   #65
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Since she had no intention of writing a second (or third) book until after the first was published, the first book sounds like the perfect jumping-off point to me. Since at one point, she fully intended that to be the end of the story.
I read all three in a week, so I had more of a sense of one longer book split into three main sections.
I liked the ambiguity and awkwardness at the end of the first book and didn't need to see it resolved one way or the other. Yeah, it could have ended there for me.

I felt the second book was just a desperate rehash of the same ideas, with the supporting characters less well developed and a bit of a deus ex machina at the end to quickly sort things out and lead into the next phase of the trilogy.

The third book had a welcome change in tone, and felt much darker, but left me with the feeling that Collins was hacked off with the whole thing by then and just wanted to be rid of it. It reminded me of when Douglas Adams got fed up of Fenchurch and the whole Hitchhiker's series in Mostly Harmless.
Mockingjay feels quite bleak, and the ending, from the descent of the silver parachutes onwards, feels rushed. Maybe I'm being too picky, but I don't think it's fair to just dump that on the reader suddenly and dash through without exploring the impact more thoughtfully.
Spoiler:
Prim doesn't appear in the books much, but is still a central character, and it seemed odd to dispatch her suddenly and then move on rapidly towards Katniss' new life in D12 without covering more fully the loss of a family member, and its impact on the other characters. I found myself stunned that Prim suddenly appeared in that situation and was quickly wiped out. I know there was a point to be made about political leaders and the morality of war, but even by the time I'd read the epilogue it still felt unresolved.


My general problem with the whole series is that it felt derivative, and I kept being reminded of other books and stories: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Matrix (Hovercrafts, 13 and the whole idea of being inserted into the games and lifted out again), 1984 (especially the Hanging Tree stuff in Mockingjay - just kept thinking "Under the spreading chestnut tree...")

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Old 04-10-2012, 09:20 AM   #66
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I hadn't even heard of these books until I saw the trailer for the movie. But having sat confused through Dragon Tattoo because I hadn't read the book, I decided to go and read it before seeing the movie, which I did.

I liked the fact that the book was written in the first person. It gave it a narrow focus and a certain naiveté - we don't know what Katniss doesn't know, and have to figure it out just as she does.

Spoiler:

I didn't find myself investing in Peeta's character, even after the 'bombshell'. I guess that's because katniss herself is largely indifferent. Rue on the other hand... she only makes a relatively brief appearance, and from the outset we know how it will end, but for me this was the pivotal point of the book, for this is where Katniss breaks, and ultimately that's what the book is about - the breaking of Katniss.

Just how broken, we don't find out till book 2.

Books 2 and 3 I read after seeing the film (thanks to Kindle, the next book is just a click away...), and so now Katniss Was Jennifer Lawrence, Haymitch Was Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci Was Caesar Flickerman (both expertly cast IMHO) and so on. It's in book 2 that we realise just how bad things are, and what have been the unforeseen consequences of the first book. To the victor, the spoils, but at what price? Things go from bad to worse, and as soon as the Quarter Quell is announced, we just know what's going to happen. This time around though, the games feel somewhat rushed and underwritten. Tick tock... come on let's get this bit over with... Again though it's written in the first person and we're often just guessing what's actually going on. Oh, but there's a doozie of a cliffhanger!

Book 2 is really a bridge to book 3. I guess if I'd had to wait a year for it to be published that would have made it somewhat disappointing, but Kindle-click and off we go. This is where the rebellion really kicks off, and the body count keeps rising. People we don't like die. People we like die. People we *really* like die. By now we have a lot invested in many of these characters, and their deaths come like body blows (although some of them could be better written). We do really share the sense of desolation by the end. And then it all falls apart.

Unfortunately the last few chapters degenerate into a poor, rushed, unsatisfying mess. We've had 1200 pages of being put through the wringer: Can they survive; will they survive; will they; won't they; which one; tragedies; agonies; more screaming nightmares than you've had hot dinners; an entire box of Kleenex (and I'm a 50 year old man, for crying out loud!), and the payoff is a throwaway "oh, x got a cushy job in district 2". I nearly threw my Kindle across the room!


Overall though, I'd say it works well as one long book. Shame about the ending.
I think the first book was great from Katniss' point of view. The second book suffered a little because of it and the 3rd book was terrible, only partly because of it.

Spoiler:
The third book misses so much being from Katniss' point of view. She blacks out/passes out about 30 times in the 3rd book and each time she wakes up, some new development has happened. "Hey, we're going to rescue Peeta but you can't come. Go to bed, wake up, Peeta's back."
I couldn't believe the author killed off Prim....it kinda made the whole story pointless to me as the entire point of the first book was Katniss taking her place to save her. Not only that, Prim was killed while Katniss was blacked out...so again, being written from her perspective, she wakes up, finds out her sister is dead and the plot moves on. Poor Prim didn't even get a decent send off!
IMHO, I think Katniss should have died in the explosion, saving Prim. The remainder of the 3rd book should have been written from Prim's point of view. Especially since I think Peeta and Gale both became kinda unlikeable and by the end you dont' really care which one she ends up with...
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:55 AM   #67
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I think the first book was great from Katniss' point of view. The second book suffered a little because of it and the 3rd book was terrible, only partly because of it.

Spoiler:
The third book misses so much being from Katniss' point of view. She blacks out/passes out about 30 times in the 3rd book and each time she wakes up, some new development has happened. "Hey, we're going to rescue Peeta but you can't come. Go to bed, wake up, Peeta's back."
I couldn't believe the author killed off Prim....it kinda made the whole story pointless to me as the entire point of the first book was Katniss taking her place to save her. Not only that, Prim was killed while Katniss was blacked out...so again, being written from her perspective, she wakes up, finds out her sister is dead and the plot moves on. Poor Prim didn't even get a decent send off!
IMHO, I think Katniss should have died in the explosion, saving Prim. The remainder of the 3rd book should have been written from Prim's point of view. Especially since I think Peeta and Gale both became kinda unlikeable and by the end you dont' really care which one she ends up with...
I would love to quote from your SPOILER section but I won't, much - just to suggest that the "Hey, ... but ... " thing is a helpful literary device if you have a book to complete and a deadline looming, and you need to skim over a lot of plot quickly.

Completely agree with your other points - your alternative ending would have been better - I thought it was heading that way for a while anyway, disappointing that it didn't.
On the unlikeables, no I didn't care either. My money was on Haymitch, which shows how wrong you can be.

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Old 04-10-2012, 01:34 PM   #68
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I think the holes in the story are kind of the point of the third book. In the first two books Katniss is the center of the story. In the third book, still told from her perspective, she is important, but there is no longer a central character of the events that are occurring in the world. In other words the third book is to a large degree about the disorientation that she is constantly bombarded with. I.e., the fog of war as no one really fully understands what is happening during war.

Spoiler:
As for Prim's death, Katniss was there when it happened... she is just knocked out as things are developing. As for the end of the second book, I think that was set up fairly well through out the book. Cinna using his designs to heighten the sense of unfairness around the Quarter Quell. The behavior of the other characters who aid the escape, etc.


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Old 04-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #69
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #70
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In the third book, still told from her perspective, she is important, but there is no longer a central character of the events that are occurring in the world.
I think that was one of the things that just irritated me so much about the third book (more so than who lives/dies/ends up with who etc.). It would be like writing a single novel, writing the first two thirds of it in one style, and then writing the last third completely differently. Some might argue it is a bold and creative approach. For me (and others it seems) it completely destroyed all the momentum and interest built up by the first two books.

Having set a baseline of a certain style of book in the first two which for many people were addictively successful, the final book just was a massive anti-climax. The first two books combined an entertaining action read with a backstory of a world ready for a revolution. They led the reader to wondering how in the third book the author was going to take these characters and bring them together with a tiger by the tail of "changing the world". She wrote herself into a corner with that - if you spend two books putting great emphasis on how iconic these characters have become to some people and sacrifices others made in the cause of change, the third had no choice but to see it through with some sort of epic "overthrow of the empire".

What transpired instead was a giant cop-out. Perhaps she couldn't figure out how to write the characters into such an ending (which is quite understandable given where the characters began from). Instead we end up with something that for 2/3rds is just repetitive dullness, with all the plot that would move the story forward relegated to "here's what happened while you were away" type of snippets. I see some people think the 3rd book is quite "cleverly" about the mental reaction to what the characters went through. However as I said above it is completely out of pace and style with the first two books - you open it expecting a continuation of what has come before and instead get something that looks like it was written by a different author.

It just felt like a mish-mash of a book, as someone else said above perhaps deadlines got in the way. There were a few silly dead-ends in there like this...
Spoiler:
Like making a big deal describing this voice activated bow when the story *finally* started moving forward with some action again... but then not actually making any use whatsoever of it? Obviously she used the bow at the end, but no fuerther mention in the book of this supposed uber technology voice feature.
which hint that perhaps she had other ideas in mind but they didn't make the final cut.

As I said on another thread somewhere about the movie, Hollywood are going to have to be very creative to spin this out into four movies. You are not going to have an entertaining movie if the grand revolution consists of people wandering into a number of conversations and telling what happened after the event now, are you? Who knows, maybe they will actually do a better job than the author did... or not.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:46 PM   #71
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So I read the first book last night.

I don't have a ton of interest in reading any of the others at this point but I still give the book 7/10 stars. I would have given it eight if there were more details and the writing was more descriptive instead of being a little simple. Is that what Twilight is like?

The plot was good, for me the Capitol had an H.G Wells feel to which is good. Kind of like When The Sleeper Wakes.

I wish she explained
Spoiler:
The wolf tributes? Explain a little more on that please Collins.

That part in spoiler tags gets a little more clarity in book 2.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:25 PM   #72
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I finished the first two and am 70% done the third, I have to say that they are the best books I've read this year.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:31 AM   #73
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I finished the first two and am 70% done the third, I have to say that they are the best books I've read this year.
You're a teenager aren't you, Mr. T? You're the market that these books are written for .
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:19 PM   #74
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I recently read this trilogy. I see why it gets compared to Battle Royale but it should not be. Once you get past 'kids fighting kids in a dystopian future' they are completely different.

BR did not delve into the reasons for government behavior (kept it relatively faceless), had less serious interaction between characters, and did nothing like the coming-of-age stuff we get from HG. There was nothing at all in BR like the social dithering and which-boy-do-I-love we got from Katniss.

The first HG book was quite good, to me. The plotting was spot-on. You know, the 'how is she going to get out of this situation' and 'what happens next' stuff. The second book was ho-hum. The third book was atrocious, a train wreck, and I only finished it because I was invested in the series by then.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:31 PM   #75
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I disagree. In the beginning of Battle Royale they talk quite a bit about the government using this as a means of control over the population. Once on the island its more about the entire group rather than just 3 characters, even though Battle Royale is about 3 characters as well
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