Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins

Let's get one thing straight. I didn't finish this book. I made it 2/3 of the way through and stopped. I couldn't continue. Some was due to friends telling me that the book was great and then the last 1/3 of the book just died. One friend was so upset he said he threw the copy of his book (hardback) into the trashcan. He hated the ending that much. I told myself it didn't matter, that I needed to know the ending, but I just can't finish it. I think I am happier with the ending I have created in my head. Also, I grow weary of Katniss.

I promise I won't spoil the book for those who haven't read it yet, but I ca tell you this...Katniss is bring. All she does is sit around and whine and complain as those in power use her as an unwilling and completely naive chess piece. She acts as if she knows what is going on, but as far as I can tell (for the amount I read), Katniss is never a real instigator of anything. She is always the pawn. This girl was completely clueless about the insurrection her acts of "defiance" created. Not that she was ever willfully defiant, those acts were always completely by accident. In act, it feels like everything Katniss does is an accident. She is terrible at fake acing, so they drop her off at a field hospital where she witnesses the death of hundreds and finally is able to deliver her defiant line about fighting. Truly, it was just a happy accident. Would she have been able to deliver such a line if no one had died? Probably not, because Katniss doesn't do anything with purpose. Falling in love. Friendships. It all just happens to her and the poor thing is just along for the ride.

What made this book harder to swallow was that Katniss was the only character telling the story in this narrative. No jumping to Peeta's viewpoint, which was a little annoying a he is a far more interesting character. Also, in this book he is clearly being tortured and for some reason I could never figure out, the rebels label him a traitor, which just made no sense. It's like calling a Prisoner of War a traitor simply because they had the misfortune to be captured. They already know the government is manipulative and that Peeta was in danger by leaving him in the government's hands, but the instant he appears on television they call him a coward? The logic just doesn't pan. But why aren't we given Peeta's perspective as in the other books?

For me, the setting and plot of this final book are weak. Which makes the characterization so much more critical and sadly, it fell. I think it was already stumbling in Catching Fire, but for me this books failed. Anytime I can't finish reading a book out of fear that the author just can't fix all the mistakes they are making is a very bad thing indeed. I need my characters to be intentional. Especially the heroes. And especially if they are willing heroes like Katniss is supposed to be in this final battle.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner Book Review

The Scorch Trials
By James Dashner
The Gladers have escaped the Maze, after losing nearly everyone including Chuck, only twenty are left alive, taken to some safe house where they are fed and given warm beds. Book Two opens as the boys are woken from their dreams by Crazies with cracked faces, screaming at the windows. Within hours of rescue, the boys are thrown into a situation worse than before. This time there are metal balls that drop from the ceiling that literally suck your head off. Lightning bolts from the sky that will fry a person where they stand. Crazy people who will chase you down just to chop off your nose. Beings with light bulbs on their bodies. Betrayal. Friendships. Loss. Pain. Mystery.
Book two of The Maze Runner series starts right where the last book left off. No back-tracking. No quiet reminders of what happened last time. If you didn’t read The Maze Runner, don’t read this book because you will be more than confused. No starting in the middle for this series. And all those questions left in book one…Why were they locked up in the Maze? Who are they? Why kill Chuck? Who is WICKED? What do they want with the Gladers? What is The Scorch? What is the purpose of them being there? Who was Thomas to WICKED?
Not a single one of those questions is answered fully.
I liked the book. Lots of action and adventure, however, I really needed some questions answered and after two books I am growing impatient. Of course I will read the next one. I want to know the answers. Here’s the catch—those answers better be damn good. I usually figure out twist endings, yet I have no idea where this storyline is going, so the answers to all the questions listed above will have to be mind boggling. I think after two books, the readers deserve that much.

I'm Back!

Did you wonder where I had gone? Well, I got a new job. One of those new 9-5 jobs which means I work 8-6:30. Then I moved. Then my computer was stolen. Let's be silent for a moment for my poor Mac.

Luckily I do have a terribly slow Dell to write on, but no Internet. Not sure if I am ever going to sign up for it as it is a huge distraction in my writing life.

That said. I am back in a much more subdued form. For now, book reviews will be the staple, at least until I can get back into a normal rhythm of life that will allow three times a week blogging. I have backlogged two reviews and will be posting them on Fridays just as before. Enjoy.

The Name of This Book is Secret

The Name of this Book is Secret

By Pseudonymous Bosch

It’s so secret that I can’t tell you what it looks like. Or where you can buy it. I can’t tell you whether or not you would like it. Perhaps you would, but I can’t tell you whether this is a story about orphaned children or a little girl who loves dogs or even whether there are girls and boys in it at all. Which means you may or may not like it. Honestly, I’m warning you, don’t read this book at all. It’s dangerous. It’s information you should not have nor do you want to know. Turn back now.

Okay, well I guess I can tell you something about this book. It is boring. How many times did I start and re-start this book, sure that with the next go-round this whole crazy jumble of nothing would begin to make sense, that it would suck me in, that this time, I would make it more than a chapter. Eventually I did, but only by sheer will and determination. It’s not that the book was bad, it was that it was…well, I don’t know. What’s it about? Does it matter? The book itself is funny at times, an entire book that is secretive and full of clich├ęs, both done on purpose, which is different. But it got old and I can’t really see myself reading another four books like it.

But go ahead, read the book if you dare. The characters are, well, I can’t tell you, but you may or may not like it. You may or may not find it interesting. But beware, you may not be able to get into it. And if that happens, don’t say I didn’t want you.
Ender’s Game

By Orson Scott Card

This is the first book that my youngest brother fell in love with. Up until the point of this book, he had only read two other books in his entire life. After this, he wanted to read the sequel, he asked for the third one for Christmas. What made this book so special? Why didn’t he react this way to Treasure Island or The Outsiders?

Because this is the ultimate “male” book.

By male, I mean written by, for, and like a man. This is how a man thinks. It is action upon action upon action with very little ruminating. Not that Ender Wiggin doesn’t think, no he thinks a lot. He thinks about his family, about the Battle school, friends, combat training. But the difference is that Ender thinks AND acts. He doesn’t think and then act. He doesn’t act and think later. The two are the same. The action is immediate. Constant.

So why Ender’s Game and not Treasure Island, which is rumored to have the same thing, action and thinking? I think that in truth, the action isn’t constant enough. Too much talking in Treasure Island. Talking and not doing. Sure there is action, but there are also long drawn out conversations and eavesdropping. Ender’s world is always in the now and it makes for a riveting story.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Orson Scott Card, especially his more recent books, and I will probably never finish reading the series, because for all the action and twist ending, I found I could only take so much Ender Wiggin, who was never a pure genius to me. Smart for sure, but he was a kid, a military kid trained to the point of insanity, but a kid nonetheless. I also found the constant action, the never ending battle training to be boring after a while. Like reading a sports novel with one game after another. But again, those may be the very things that make guys love this book.