So… remember when I read Catching Fire and I thought it was pretty crappy but I was willing to let the third book decide my feelings and I said please for the love of goodness count me out of the love story?
Well. I have now read the third book. And I am just not pleased.
I will grant that it is, like the others, a quick, engaging read. I really wanted to know what was going to happen to these kids, even if I didn’t care about the kids themselves so much. And there’s definitely a lot more of the fun action-y goodness of the first novel than there was in the second. So these are good things.
But, I was amazed at how much I didn’t care about the characters. I cared about the situations they were in, sure, but you could have swapped a character here and there and I would have cared about those situations the same amount. And even then, sometimes a situation would get me all interested and then it would be incredibly anticlimactic and I felt a little cheated. Specifically, there is a point when one character gives some very explicit instructions to another character, which would have been very interesting if said instructions had been followed, but they were not, and yet nothing comes of it. Nowhere do we find out why the instructions might have been given; nowhere do we find out even why they weren’t followed. Nothing. I felt like I did with those darn spiders from The Name of the Wind, only repeated several times in a much shorter book.
Luckily, that love story business that I hated so darn much takes a bit of a vacation in this book — there’s some appropriate worrying at the beginning, but then it tapers off — except that luckily turns into “annoyingly” because there is a really stupid reason that the love story falls apart. But then, definitely annoyingly, the love story comes back at the end, albeit in a much more depressing form.
And then there is an epilogue, and you know how I feel about epilogues (if you don’t: I despise them). Though I will admit that this is one of the more unexpected epilogues of those that I have read, and therefore I have a little bit of respect for it. A little.
All in all, book and series? Meh.
Recommendation: Read this if you’ve read the other two. If you’ve only read the first, just live with that, you’ll be happier. If you’ve not read any, well, you should of course start with the first one. If you want to. I am very ambivalent about this series.
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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.