My rating: ★★½☆☆
Honestly, I’m still trying to decide whether this deserves two stars or three, because frankly… I’m not entirely convinced I enjoyed it. I was pleasantly surprised by The Hunger Games; I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, and I ended up giving it four stars, which is rarer for me than I’d really like to admit.
But this…? I just don’t know what to think. I guess when it all comes down to it, I was simply shocked by Collins’ plot choices. I really don’t understand why she set things on the path she did. I mean, revisiting the Games? I hate to say it, but it felt like something of a cop-out. Like she was falling back on a proven plotline, and then only put in a mediocre effort.
Still, I suppose I could have pardoned that if it hadn’t felt so rushed. There was just too much plot crammed into too few pages, and so nothing got to develop at a proper pace. I didn’t get to know the new characters, though I could tell I would have liked them if I had–these were characters I wanted to get to know and yet didn’t have time to, which ironically is a problem the first installment didn’t have.
And I could even have pardoned that if the last chapter(s) hadn’t been so damn abrupt. Suddenly so much happened in so few pages that even though the supposed twist could be seen a mile away–especially considering the multitude of spoilers about this trilogy that permeate the internet–it still seemed to come out of left field entirely, throwing itself in the face of all that came before it. There’s no word for my feelings toward the ending other than dissatisfied.
In the end, I’ve opted with two and a half stars. I’m mostly running on the idea that the third installment will bring me enough satisfaction that I’ll be able to pardon the shortcomings of the second.