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 more sympathetic towards the second book, but I still don’t like the third book. Not because of the ending or even most of the events, but because the structure didn’t work for me. Collins is at her best when she’s writing action sequences–at least when Katniss is the narrator–and dumping that girl into the middle of a bigger conflict that required both finesse and strategy doesn’t work because that’s not who Katniss is.
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.
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. 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.
As far as Katniss goes…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 rapidly moving forward in the background with her knowledge.
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?