Last August, I was harping about waiting from the third installment of Suzanne Collins‘s Hunger Games Trilogy, Mockingjay. Well I’ve finally read it, and I’m not disappointed. From my previous post, you can tell how much I admire this work.
I won’t get into specifics here. You can read about the trilogy’s plot and theme in that previous post.
What’s so admirable about the work to me—beyond the imagined world, plot twists and tight writing—is the author’s uncompromising vision of the main character, Katniss Everdeen. This girl can be stubborn beyond belief, infuriating to the max, and independent to the extreme. She has a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and has a special art for assessing a situation and then doing the most unexpected things. She also has a steady moral compass, is fiercely loyal to family and friends (the few she has), and has a problem with issues of trust. Yet all of these are the qualities that allow her to survive in a futuristic hell of devastating war and poverty.
Would she have been as believable in a third-person narrative, or a narrative with multiple viewpoints presented? I don’t think so. Throughout the trilogy, Katniss is the sole voice of the story, and we only see the action through her eyes. We hear no other character’s thoughts or can surmise no other character’s motivations. All we know is what Katniss is thinking, what Katniss is seeing, what Katniss is hearing. And as a result, we are with her, and only her, all the way to the end.
Not once did I believe Collins’ betrayed the nature of Katniss as the story progressed. The author knows this character inside and out. She is what she is. The world may change, but Katniss remains Katniss.
There be spoilers: As far as the book’s ending, let’s just say there is some controversy out there. Four Oklahoma youth librarians take sides about it on this podcast. Finish the trilogy, and then have yourself a cup of tea while you listen to their discussion about Mockingjay.