As promised, I downloaded Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay, the third and final book in the Hunger Games series, to the Kindle app on my netbook the day it came out. In spite of being incredibly busy, I read it pretty quickly, because Collins is gifted at that most important writing skill: making the reader desperate to find out what happens next.
It’s a dark book. I’d contend that, in some ways, it’s darker than the first two. I won’t say more than that — it’s too hard to write about this series without including spoilers. Just go read it, but not until you read the first two books first. This is a series that absolutely must be read in order. In fact, it’s really one book broken up into trilogy format for bookselling reasons.
Mockingjay isn’t yet on The New York Times YA bestseller lists, but give it time: Catching Fire is currently number 1, and The Hunger Games is number 3. Having read all three books, I continue to be amazed that a series of stories about a particularly nasty bleak totalitarian future society that holds an annual event in which teenagers kill each other on television is the most popular YA series out there. I’m not displeased — these are wonderful books and I think they’re quite suitable for teenagers — just puzzled.
Obviously I don’t understand the rules of publishing. I keep trying to imagine the “elevator pitch” for these books — which in my mind is American Idol meets the Roman gladiator arena, with teenagers in the starring roles — and wondering how Collins pulled it off.
But I’m glad she did.
I have two essays in the lastest Book View Cafe anthology, Brewing Fine Fiction. My 51 flash fictions and a few other stories are available on Nancy Jane’s Bookshelf, and anthologies containing some of my stories are available through Powell’s. The free, chapter-by-chapter version of Changeling starts here. And check out my stories in the Book View Cafe anthologies The Shadow Conspiracy, Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls, and Dragon Lords and Warrior Women.
And you can also read my latest story — “Or We Will All Hang Separately” — on Futurismic.