The Hunger Games: Wrong Perspective?
In preparation for watching the movie, I went ahead and reread (ok, more like frequently skimmed) all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins, if you haven’t heard).
I wasn’t a fan of the second two the first time I read them, and this reread made me a little more sympathetic towards the second book, but I still intensely dislike the third book. Not because of the ending, but because the structure just didn’t do it for me. Collins is at her best when she’s writing action sequences–at least when she’s using Katniss as her mouthpiece–and dumping that girl into the middle of a bigger conflict that required both finesse and strategy just didn’t go well. Especially since there are a lot of useful insights that would have made the third book better. I wanted to be in the command center or otherwise behind the scenes finding out what everyone else made of having such an oblivious symbol of the revolution, instead of being forced into Katniss’ obliviousness.
Which brings me to the point that I don’t think it’s possible to write a good trilogy and keep it to a limited first person perspective, at least not if that person isn’t always at the center of everything. And I’m specifying trilogy, not series, because that limited perspective works fine for Charlaine Harris since her books, though sequential, aren’t set up with an overarching plot that is going to encompass everything in mind. They’re actually about Sookie’s adventures.
Honestly…even by the second one, I was less and less impressed by Katniss. She’s got severe PTSD, let her suffer in peace! Yes, it’s a real thing and not putting it in would make her less human, but it’s hard for a reader to sit through pages and pages of a fictionalized version of a real disease, especially when that’s a substitute for events that are supposed to be rapidly moving forward.
Anyway, what do you think? Should Collins have written the sequels to ‘The Hunger Games’ in third-person or someone else’s first-person perspective? Or was building that much rapport with Katniss part of her success?