DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,

"Deadline" and "Mockingjay"

Today has gotten off to a rather crappy start, which i may or may not post about later. In the meantime though i already had this post mostly finished up, so i might as well go ahead and post it.

I finished up Mira Grant/seanan_mcguire's "Deadline", and i'm now almost exactly halfway through Mockingjay (just after the "nut" bit)

Deadline was very good. I still think it has one of the best setups for post-zombie-apocalypse world. I still also think it's not quite totally believable (at least i'm unclear on how there are still roaming packs left, even with reduced metabolisms i would think that after a month or so with no food they'd die off) but the suspension of disbelief necessary is far less than just about any other zombie story.

There are two pretty big deus ex machinas at the end of the book, about which i'll say very little about other than that i thought one of them was set up reasonably well, and the other one i'm not so sure of. Guess i'll have to wait and see how good the explanation is in the third book :)

As for "Mockingjay", i'm going to speculate about the second half of the book, so behind a spoiler cut it goes.

So things seem to be going _way_ too well so far. I'm not sure how they pushed back the Capital so quickly, particularly i'm not clear on how they overcame the Capital airpower. When the Capital was bombing District 8 it didn't seem like there was anything District 13 could do to stop it directly, but by the time they're dealing with the Nut in District 2 they seem to have gained air superiority.

So now all they have left to deal with is the Capital. I'm not even entirely sure why they need to fight. If they invade there's always the chance the Capital will decide to launch a nuclear strike. It seems better to just sit back and let them starve until they decide to surrender. As has already been pointed out the Capital doesn't have the mettle to survive on their own the same way District 13 did, but even if they did (presumably by killing off a lot of the "useless" population) it's not like they'd be a serious threat in the future. At least not as long as whatever government replaces the Capital is more benign.

Which in a roundabout way brings us to what seems like the only possible source of big remaining conflict. One way or the other with the Capital surrounded and without outside support it doesn't seem like that can be the main point for the whole rest of the book. Well, not unless they start checking nuclear missiles around. So i guess option A: is nuclear war and setting up a post-post-apocalypse society. It doesn't seem like some deus ex machina is needed to sweep in from outside the current context and save them like i originally speculated. (Well, unless they have anti-ballistic missile tech that is.) Option B: seems to be the one that's getting foreshadowed at least a little bit right now, that they're going to find out that some of the people in currently in charge of District 13/the rebellion aren't really any better than Snow and the other people running the Capital.

It's certainly true that historically violent revolutions have very rarely resulted in a free and open society in which the winners are willing to peacefully pass power to their political successors. So if Coin or the game maker guy or someone else turns out to have less than perfectly pure motives i won't be that surprised. However even if the final conflict doesn't involve thwarting their plans somehow, it's hard to imagine a situation being set up that is worse than their current one. Certainly the spartan lifestyle of District 13 isn't anything that the rest of the districts would enjoy, but from what little we've seen it does seem to be reasonably fair and equitable. Sure beats being intentionally starved, brutally beaten, and occasionally forced to fight to the death in gladiatorial combat anyways. And even if somehow one of the leaders turns out to be completely off the deep end and tries to go Caligula or Nero on them, (as popularly portrayed anyways) then at least the precedent of successful revolution will have been established.

And no, i'm not expecting any comments from people who have read the books about my spoilery speculations :)
Tags: books, reviews

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