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    « New Fiendish Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano | Main | New Fiendish Review: Grace by Elizabeth Scott »
    Thursday
    Dec022010

    New Fiendish Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

    Book:                      Mockingjay

    Author:                   Suzanne Collins

    Publisher:               Scholastic Press

    ISBN/ASIN:              0439023513

    Release Date:        Out now!!

    Rating:                    4 Stars

    Collins has detoured straight into full-scale revolution with Mockingjay-the final chapter of The Hunger Games series. And the plight of Panem, Katniss Everdeen, District 12 and her band of Hunger Games victors has been thrown to the wind as conflict shadows their every move, rarely letting readers up for air.  

    In these moments we are pensive, forever guessing at the direction that Collins is taking us. Never do we dare think that the road that we've been diverted to is one that will only end with very real casualties-and this is where Mockingjay morphs from a YA dystopian novel into something more perilous.

    Through each page turn, I kept remembering the poem Plato Told by ee cummings, that particular poem reverberating through my head endlessly as well as the lyrics of “Strange Fruit”. Those cautionary, but powerful words portend the tone of this final chapter in Katniss Everdeen’s life. It is as if Mockingjay was the proverbial wolf in sheeps clothing: a raw and harrowing amalgam of world history. Our own.  Like Peacekeeper: Road to Sarajevo cloaked as a young adult novel with a subliminal message to its readers. 

    For fans of The Hunger Games, Collin’s overtly somber tone and stoic ending might derail them, unwilling to follow the long road of a once entertaining but serious tale into a world where hope is diminished and not without very real sacrifice. Will readers follow? Most likely yes, but unwillingly. 

    Mockingjays’ grave finale works against everything Collins started with her series, and sometimes it leaves bitter ashes in the mouth. Palpably the conflict churns between Peeta, Haymitch, Gale, the rebels, and the ongoing inner turmoil that Katniss feels. There are glimmers of hope of love, however fleeting and yes there is the satisfying conclusion with Peeta and Katniss at the very end. But at what price? 

    Mockingjay cannot be denied as a powerful piece, and thoroughly engrossing, but it is a Crazy Ivan nonetheless. Gone is the enigmatic rebel, the leader who launched a revolution and in its place is shadow of her former self. It is clear that Collins is imparting a lesson to her readers and at times it devolves from a thrilling story to cautionary tale.

    The best that can be described for this much-heralded conclusion is that it is a pyrrhic victory of sorts.

     A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)

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