Well, number three in The Hunger Games trilogy, and 17 year old Katniss Everdeen is out there fighting for her life...again. Surprised that girl does not have grey hairs strewn through that beautiful blonde braid. Plus the ever present Peeta and Gale - who to trust, who not to trust. Certainly gives a different perspective on the life of a teenage girl than those reading these books could ever lead. And yet despite her toughness and outstanding attributes as a hunter and master of weapons, her unwanted destiny as leader and figurehead, she still manages to retain the angst and anguish of being a teenage girl, especially with regards to boys. Is this the real secret of the amazing success of these three stories? That beneath the horrific plot lines, sickening themes and all round ghastliness of it all, there lurks a normal teenage soul, that makes her so relateable to her audience?
And yet, something has been lost in this last chapter in Katniss's fight against the Capitol and President Snow. Yes, it has a gripping plot line, full of surprises and the unexpected. Characters we have grown to love and admire die - violently. In fact I don't think one single person dies a peaceful death in the whole series of books. Where would be the fun in that. but as a whole this book lacks the page turning intensity and frightening suspense that was on every page of The Hunger Games, and almost every page of Catching Fire. There are many pages in this last book where nothing happens, and it actually got just a little boring. When Katniss was in fighting/survival mode, it was marvellous stuff, but the reader has to read a lot of pages before the Katniss we know and love asserts herself.
Taking up right where Catching Fire finishes, Katniss, unsurprisingly, is a bit of a mess, with her home destroyed and her life upside down. She doesn't know who or what she is. In common with many 16/17 year old girls and boys. Maybe it is because she is now nothing more than a pawn or a tool in the war between the rebels and the Capitol that it seems like this. She is continually torn between Gale and Peeta, her mother and sister don't seem to need her as much, her best relationship seems to be with her sister's cat Butterscotch. She doesn't seem to like anyone else, nor they her.
Still as expected the Good Guys win, the Bad Guys don't, and there is some Happy Ever After. It is a good story, but somehow to me, it just all seems a bit tired. Hope the movie is better.....