Because this book is the last in the series, the review is partly of The Hunger Games
as a whole.
Once again there are annoying dichotomies, as there were in the first two books. Katniss and Gale are allowed outside District 13 to hunt. The quarter rations food; why don’t they have teams of hunters and gatherers to supplement the food supply? Why haven’t they captured and bred animals for slaughter? Also, Katniss is a national freedom symbol the resistance leaders are bent on protecting, yet they allow her in combat.
Katniss finally seems to be thinking less of her own welfare and more of others’ and is beginning to be believable as a heroine, but it’s a case of too little, too late. She is still self-centered and despicable, unlikable, and implausible as a role model, which she is compelled to be as a central theme of the story. To cap it off, in the end when she chooses between Gale and Peeta, her reasoning is based solely on what she needs without regard for either man, what they might feel for her, or even what she might feel for them. Her choice is the result of nothing more than what she’ll get out of it.
The story is interesting enough. I suppose it’s typical of the YA genre, whose works seem to be written at about the fourth-grade level, like the average newspaper column. But like that in the typical paper, the writing is not beautiful, bereft of anything to stimulate the intellect or evoke images that rise above the level of mud, blood, and crud.
On the editorial side, there were problems with word usage (“even if the marble continues to leech [leach] my body heat”; “But the general consensus was [“But the consensus” because general
is inherent in the definition of consensus
]”), verb inflection (“Everyone on the roof, except for the soldiers manning the machine guns, begin [begins]”), and comma splices. And Collins’s editors still have no idea what a subjunctive is, what the difference between hung
is, or how to use who
. Oddly enough, gerundives are used correctly, and as with the second book, there were far fewer problems than the first one had.
There seem to be plenty of readers who have no quarrel with any aspect of Collins’s series. I’m not among them.