Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games: Can one book ruin a trilogy?
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 02:11
I am a fan of the first two books in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. However, “all’s well that ends well” works both ways, and the final book of the series is a letdown, making the entire trilogy disappointing.
The first book introduces readers to Katniss Everdeen. We see her overcome and cope with countless obstacles and complex relationships, like a battle to the death with her peers and a staged romance.
The penultimate book in the series, Catching Fire, is an engaging development of the government-defying underground revolt that Katniss sparks—with even more battles to the death.
But then we come to the final book of the trilogy, Mockingjay, and are left with nothing more than adolescent angst. Instead of exciting archery sequences or arguments about love forlorn, the last book is a mere compilation of Katniss’ whining.
As opposed to the well-crafted first two books, Mockingjay lacks positive action from Katniss. She never does anything. An active main character makes for an engaged reader—a passive main character makes for excellent kindling, and I am not talking about the tablet from Amazon.
I can see how this uninteresting outcome could result from the first two books—when someone endures so much hardship, chances are they will just wallow in it for 390 pages. However, it was still a choice that Collins made.
If a boring third book was the only possible outcome of the first two, then Collins shouldn’t have written the third. Or she should have written the first two in a fashion that led to a more well-rounded finale.
A disappointing final book means that the series failed. Any collective work is only as strong as its weakest link, and Mockingjay is a weak link filled with one-dimensional character relations and not much substance beyond pubescent sniveling.