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Good, But Not Great
The Hunger Games: I have mixed feelings about this story about 24 kids being forced into a Battle Royale where only one survives by a tyrannical government. It held my attention at some points, but I thought the story got a little dull when Katniss was taking care of Peeta. Interesting, but not as great as I thought it would be.

Catching Fire: I think this one is the best of the series. It has Wham Line after Wham Line, and even though we didn't get to see Katniss as a mentor, the twist of the Quarter Quell and the new characters made up for it. The Quarter Quell ended up being much more interesting than the Hunger Games of the first book. Although I was disappointed that Peeta was made to be The Load again. Was it really necessary to make him walk into a force field?

Mockingjay: This book had two serious flaws. The first was that the whole propaganda thing was rather useless considering that almost all the districts had already started revolting. The second was that the assassination mission was useless and a Shoot The Shaggy Dog story that ended up with characters dead with nothing to show for it. It did almost nothing to advance the story. (And Finnick, what are you doing on the battlefield? Get back to your wife, you idiot!) All in all, Katniss doesn't really do anything important until the very end.

As for the Love Triangle, it wasn't bad, but there wasn't really any perceivable reason behind it. I liked Katniss as a character, but she didn't appeal to me at all as a Love Interest, and by the time the story ended, I wasn't that convinced that she was actually in love. And while it may be because the books are written from Katniss' perspective, not revealing the reasons behind why Peeta and Gale are in love with her detracted from the credibility of the love story. (No, Peeta, the mockingjays stop when she sings may be a valid reason for liking a girl at the age of five, but not being in love with her at seventeen.)
Catching Fire was the best? I gave all the books away after getting halfway, the book seemed to be nothing but a recap. I liked the Hunger Games, and it made fine movie fodder, but it lacked any punch. Since we know next to nothing about the other tributes, you don't really care when they die. We know damn near everything about what Katniss eats and wears, but all the other characters are like ciphers. The story suffers from devoting a lot of space to irrelevant bullshit that could have been used to flesh out other characters. It's not so bad as Twilight or The Wheel of Time but it's there. You're right on the money on the perspective part, just because we're stuck in one viewpoint doesn't mean we should be in the dark about other characters's reasons and motives.
comment #15046 morninglight 23rd Jun 12
At the ' I wasn't that convinced that she was actually in love' is at least partially because she wasn't. In the end it's a practical consideration not an intangible decision that decides the situation from her.

I'm interested that you liked the Quarter Quell (this site's font has awesome Q's :D), I found the build up much more effective because with the Hunger Games there was a sense of curiousity but by Catching Fire we knew to dread it, but I found the actually thing itself much less exciting. It felt more like a sideline attraction. The deeper mystery was more interesting though

And I will say that whilst it would have helped the love interest to reveal motivations, it helped the better story by allowing us to sense the same mistrust that Katniss applies to everyone and keeping some intrigue, I guess maybe in the third book they could have done something? Gale was pretty obvious, but Peeta could have done with some expansion. Maybe. He's a pretty idealistic guy and him keeping onto an unrealistic crush doesn't seem too out there. I'm pretty sure I've known people who talked the same at the same age and especially after all Peeta goes through with Katniss
comment #15050 Tomwithnonumbers 24th Jun 12
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