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I absolutely devoured the first two books in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins and couldn't wait to finish the third and final book, Mockingjay. This trilogy has really kept me gripped, unusually so as it's aimed at teenage girls, in a similar way that the Twilight series is. However, I'm not so proud that I won't admit I have found these books to be a damn good read, so there!
The following description and opinions about Mockingjay unfortunately contains unavoidable spoilers for the preceding two books in the trilogy, as by reading the Mockingjay's review you will be able to work out the general gist of what has happened in the Hunger Games and Catching Fire.
Mockingjay sees Katniss (the main character of the trilogy) as now a major part of District 13's revolt against the Capitol, after those same rebel forces freed her from the arena in Catching Fire. She is the Mockingjay, the human symbol of revolution for the districts as they fight to overthrow and destroy the brutal regime of the Capitol, led by the ruthless President Snow.
She is mainly being used in a propaganda role, not being allowed to take part in much front line action but instead she gets flown to the aftermath of battles where she is filmed giving battle reports in the hope of undermining the Capitol's morale. The final throw of the dice by District 13 is to attack the Capitol itself, and Katniss finds herself getting sent forward to take part. I won't say exactly what the outcome of storming the Capitol is, all I will say is I found it quite a grim read and was surprised to see who lives and who dies.
Although there were no arena scenes in Mockingjay, I thought that the author had made the story good enough not to require what I think would have been an unconvincing third appearance by Katniss in the arena.
Instead, Mockingjay focuses on the outcome of the revolution she became the face of in Catching Fire after her suicide berries stunt at the end of book one, the Hunger Games. I enjoyed Peeta's (Katniss' love interest) role in Mockingjay, he had been brainwashed after being captured by the Capitol at the end of Catching Fire when the rebels broke into the arena to rescue Katniss. Peeta is eventually recaptured by the rebels and he is at first hell bent on killing Katniss, such is the extent of the brainwashing he has endured. This adds to the overall suspense of the story. Again, I won't say here what the outcome of that particular thread of plot is.
Considering these books are in the children's genre, there are some very heavy adult themes, for example the human shield of innocent children that President Snow uses in the final throes of the rebels' attack on the Capitol. However, I think that for teenagers, this would be an enjoyable yet challenging book and most teenagers I can think of should be able to cope with some of the more adult themes. My eldest is nine years old and I know that she would love these books, but for now I'm going to wait in giving them to her until she is at least at high school.
There are no sex scenes in the book (or the other books in the trilogy) with regards to me mentioning the adult themes, it's just that the whole concept of the Hunger Games is based around children being forced to kill other children, so that's why I'm reluctant to let my nine year old daughter read them.
Now that I've read all three of the books, I wonder if Suzanne Collins has any plans to write any spin off Hunger Games related books. I hope she does, but think that they would only be good if she puts the same amount of effort into the story as she has with the Hunger Games series - any less and it would just be a rushed spin off trying to cash in on the original trilogy's success.
I would only recommend reading this book if you have read the preceding two in the series, as a standalone story it's ok but for best effect I think the books need to be read in order. I thought this was an excellent end to the series, but am slightly disappointed that it doesn't really pave the way for any more books directly following on from it, as I said earlier I think any future books would have to be Hunger Games related rather than an out and out part 4.
Five stars from me, thanks for reading.
Available on Amazon for £4.79 new or £4.19 used
Mockingjay is the third and final instalment to the Hunger Games Trilogy. I was quite keen to read this final book after really enjoying the first two parts, titled The Hunger Games (Book 1) and Catching Fire (Book 2). I enjoyed the first book more than the second, and for this third book I would say my feelings are similar; it was a good book with a great conclusion to the story but I didn't find it as thrilling as the first book. It was probably as enjoyable as the second, if not more.
In this final instalment, we see how Katniss has awoken to a world she doesn't recognise. The 75th Hunger Games (also called the Quarter Quell) from Book 2 have sparked a rebellion in all the districts, just as the evil President Snow predicted. Everyone wants Katniss to lead the rebellion against the Capitol, to be their 'Mockingjay'. What results is more brutality as we see how the rebels fight with the Capitol. We also finally see what lies ahead romantically for Katniss - who will she choose, if anyone? Will it be Peeta who has been kidnapped and brainwashed by President Snow, or will it be Gale, Katniss' old friend with whom she shares so many sad memories?
I did enjoy reading this book a lot. It was a nice follow on from the second book. I should add that this is not in any way a stand-alone book. You have to have read parts one and two in order to understand what is happening. I really liked the way that any questions I had about how things would end were answered. The author, Suzanne Collins clearly thought a lot about what readers would want to know in this final book.
Although I did really enjoy reading this book, after having read parts one and two, the main problem was that it did at times feel like it was more of the same. For someone who did enjoy the first book, I would say this is not much of a big deal and would still strongly recommend you read parts two and three.
One thing this book has done is got me interested in other work by the same author. Although this book and the entire trilogy is aimed at young adults/teenagers, I think it would be appreciated by all ages. The writing style was brilliant and Suzanne Collins has a brilliant ability to tell a story.
Thanks for reading!
WARNING! THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOK CATCHING FIRE.
After being so impressed with the two previous books i decided to just plough on and get to the conclusion, which to be fair by the end of the second book i really wouldn't have been able to second guess!
After surving two hunger games (though only just!) Katniss finds herself the face of the rebellion against the Capitol, a postion she wouldn't have even considered if it wasn't for the facts that A, they now had Peeta, and were doing god only knows what to him, and B, they had bombed Katniss home town (though thankfully had failed in killing her firends and family, but had killed hundreds of others).
Initially Katniss is led to believe that she is integral to the revolution, but soon finds that she, like so many others are simply chess pieces, being moved to try and checkmate the opponents, though she does have a few tricks of her own up her sleeve.
Once stalemeate is established there is one last hairbrained mission, that feels really familiar, a final unofficial hunger games with the prize no longer her life, but Peeta's.........
This book out of the three felt a little stale at times, with there being a little re-hashing of the two previous books in certain scene's, though did love how they kept the two main charcters apart (Katniss and Peeta) creating a real, "will they, won't they" feeling to there on/off, real/unreal romance (the book would explain this a little better, but they had a fake romance in the first book, that turns into something more).
I enjoyed the final mission which takes all the main charcters into the Capitol itself, and found that some of the "traps" that had been laid by the hunger games gamemakers really original, although a couple were completely unrealistic, and i found myself finding these moments comical rather than frightening.
There are real gasp out loud moments, particularly in the last half of the book, where many of the main characters are killed off or change sides leaving you with a real feeling of uncertainty as to who will win the final fight, and whether Katniss and Peeta will ever find their way back to each other, or even if they want to.
All in all this was a good read, and i loved the very realistic ending, which was perfect and fitting in with how gritty and lifelike the story has been in general, though i didn't feel this was the better of the three books.
The book is actually written and aimed at children, with my daughter falling into the age bracket (11 onwards), but have said to her that she is probably going to find the book a bit too gritty, so would reccomend this book for teenager onwards, though there is no swearing or sexual content, there are a fair few imaginative deaths, and most of them involve children.
I am glad i read this book, it was the conclusion that i was hoping for, though wasn't expecting, with this book keeping me guessing right until the last page, reccomended!
Price wise this was purchased as part of a set from "the book people", which i managed to get for £5.00 for all three books.
Thanks for reading x
The final part in the Hunger Games Trilogy, Mockingjay definitely brings the series to a close wrapping up all the loose ends. As a reader I am a huge fan of happy endings and I have to admit that Mockingjay can't really be described as a "happy" ending. It wasn't a tragedy by any means but it was rather sad. I think though, that the fact that everybody didn't just live happily ever after is what makes the story more memorable and more real. For Katniss it is obvious that she will be forever scarred by what she experienced during all three books and this really is how it should be. How could she possibly experience what she did and then go onto to live happily, free from any regrets or traumatic memories.
As for the rest of the book, leading up to the poignant ending there is plenty of drama and suspense although a lot of the time it feels as if you are waiting for something to happen. Still despite this, Mockingjay is a page turner and I couldn't wait to see what happens.
I will admit that I missed the interaction between Peeta and Katniss as he is such an integral and likeable character. I did like the twist when he did return to the story. For the third wheel of the love triangle Gale it feels as if we get to know him a bit better in this book than we did in the previous two books.
Despite the fact that this whole series is based on a highly disturbing concept the page turning nature of the books means that it is another great incentive to encourage reading in young people. I would not reccommend it to highly sensitive individuals however.
Mockingjay is the final book in the Hunger games trilogy and brings to a conclusion the story of Katniss Evergreen. In the previous two books Katniss a girl from District 12 has survived the brutal Hunger games twice; the games have been designed as a tool to keep the districts supressed by a totalitarian regime. At the end of the second book, Katniss was captured by the leaders of District 13, District 13 was supposed to be destroyed however it has managed to survive and is in rebellion against the government.
Mockingjay tells the story of the last days of the Panem regime; Katniss is persuaded to become the Mockingjay, a figure head for the rebellion. During the two previous games she has played the love interest of Peeta also from District 12 however Peeta was captured by the government and she despairs for the return of her friend. This the final book introduces us to District 13, here in this district we have a tight controlled environment whose only real plus is that they allow free speech and liberation compared with the government. In this district everything is controlled to maintain supplies as the people all moved underground during the fight with the government.
In previous books, Katniss is railing against the government and the perfumed excesses of the people in the capitol however in this book the enemy is clearly defined as President Snow. We get more information about the Presidents rise to power and why he so ruthlessly represses the districts. Katniss is now about to lead a brutal and bloody rebellion against President Snow, she only accepts the role because she wants to finish things with the President in person.
The use of District 13 gives a focus for the rebellion but also creates problems engaging with the characters, introducing a hugely significant element in the stories after 2 full books is always a tricky balance. Here Suzanne Collins tries to use the sterile environment of District 13 as a contrast to the hedonistic Capitol and the extreme poverty of Katniss previous home district. There is a sense of using District 13 as a tool allowing Katniss to get personal with President Snow where the possibility of rebellion within the supressed Districts would have been virtually impossible.
The book moves very quickly into a pure action thriller, there are plenty of fight scenes, atrocities and chances for Katniss to play the Joan of Arc style rebellion leader. The president of District 13 (Coin) is introduced and instantly cast as the Stalin style figure, which at the time she's your friend but has totalitarian beliefs almost as unpleasant as President Snow. Katniss and Coin almost immediately clash heads and the resolution is truly shocking.
This book does bring the trilogy to a close, there are possibilities of further books and Katniss does have a future but the book has a rather forced feel the ending rather complex and bizarre at times. There are plenty of shocks and twists but there is a sense that the author wanted to go down the line of the Harry Potter series where the last book has a degree of killing off minor characters and one or two major ones. I enjoyed it but it was the weakest of the three which was a shame and I'm hoping that Suzanne Collins gets a bit of form back for her next novel.
I cannot believe this is a childrens book - it was brutal and a bit tummy clenching in places.
This is the third book in the trilogy and it does complete the story. But i found it to be boring and Katniss thoroughly got on my nerves by the end of it. It lacked the power and emotion of the first book and didn't flow very well as a story. I wish i had read reviews before hand and i would have stuck with just the first book and have been awed by it. Now in retrospect of the second and third it seems a bit flawed. I have heard that Suzanne Collins didn't write the first book with a triolgy in mind and this may be why it didn't work.
Katniss has been rescued from the Arena by the secretive inhabitants of district 13 and is to stand as a figurehead for war against president Snow and the rebellion. All she is concerned about is getting Peeta back from the prison in the capitol. The head of 13 may be a worse enemy than Snow and life may not turn out to be better for everyone if they manage the task of killing him as they plan..
All a bit muddled and bloody. The images don't come so i couldn't get 'in there' like the first and i thought it was a let down and a poor conclusion to a story that should have ended with the first. Why was it necessary to kill off so many loveable characters. Why was there never a conclusion to the love triangle that gripped people from the off (although by the end i was of the opinion that Katniss didn't deserve either of them!), and why wasn't it finished in a descent manner....? All very disappointing.
The Hunger Games - Mockingjay
Why read this one?
Mockingjay is the final part of the trilogy by Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two offerings so I anticipated a great finale. The book was on offer at Tesco for £3.86 so I couldn't go wrong really.
Katniss Everdeen has survived two gruelling; and character building rounds, of the big brother style reality TV show that is known as The Hunger Games. At the tender age of 17 this girl has survival skills that modern day adventurers would be proud of - having lived in District 12 which supplied coal to the wealthy Capitol. Things have changed since she first entered the arena to fight for her life - her priorities for one. As a symbol of hope to the growing number of rebels in the 12 Districts she is named Mockingjay and if she accepts the role of the title she may well led a rebellion - this has been attempted once and ended very badly. Can the 'girl on fire' be tempted back into her Mockingjay suit? Can she trust her new allies? Can Panem ever be a better place?
'One of the best written books and most thought provoking books I've read in a long time' - Anthony Horrowitz
If we burn you burn with us....
I was eager to get going with this one - continue the journey - I really didn't know what to expect and wondered what Suzanne had up her sleeve to make this book different once again. I didn't expect another Hunger Games arena experience, though at one point it seemed possible, and I wanted to know what President Snow was all about with his distinctive odour of fresh white roses and putrid blood.
Katniss remains true to her character and consistent in her traits - I still like her and admire her tenacity at such a young age. To be considering death as an option to save others - Peeta especially - provokes much thought. As she is now residing in the relative safely of District 13 (previously touted as destroyed with no human life evident) she needs to navigate a new underground environment, adhere to a new set of dominating rules and attempt to find out who she can trust. I was relieved to find her safe in 13 but it soon became apparent that President Coin was capable of being as cold and cruel as President Snow - Collins portrays human nature beautifully here and the future soon appears just as bleak if Snow is assassinated. This held my interest and I was happy to see the direction that the prose was taking, this was Hunger Games for the whole population now and not just the unfortunate tributes that ended up amusing the folk in the luxury of the Capitol.
The fragile structure of the Capitol and President Snows rule was becoming evident the more I read - this was captivating at times as well as thought provoking. It showed how fickle human beings can be and to what extent they are prepared to go to get what they want. Turn a blind eye to atrocities if it means victory. Some scenes I found upsetting as I had developed relationships with the main characters in the prose - in this book I got to know Prim (Katniss's younger sister) very well and, even though I knew I liked her before, I began to really care about her in this volume.
It was interesting and at times surprising to see how the personalities developed - from book one where I was first introduced to Haymitch, Katniss's mentor and a Hunger Games victor, I have discovered elements of his past, what he wants out of life and what he is prepared to do in to get it. I developed a fondness for him during book two (Catching Fire) but within the prose of Mockingjay I feel I really understand this man. He has suffered so much at the hands of President Snow that there really isn't any going back for him and the only way he manages to cope with his existence is by losing his senses and finding the bottom of an alcohol bottle. So many have been cruelly employed and hurt by President Snow who specializes in mental torture as much as physical - this wasn't fully exposed until the characters open up in this book. Looking back the clues where there in the second book particularly but it all becomes painfully clear in this one.
This book excels in a different way to the other two in my opinion. Previously the books have all been about pace in the arena - shocking new games to overcome - competitors to kill. Children in a big brother style TV show turning savage. Mockingjay offers insight into human nature when the chips are down. What we are capable of doing to each other in order to maintain our power. I saw clearly the way the fear and hopelessness impacts a person mentally - how do you build yourself back up to be strong minded with a single focus? Katniss was at rock bottom, all but given up as she saw no reason to fight for a similar set of leaders - nothing would change, what was the point. Out of this darkness came a new, selfless, determination - to rid Panem of its evil at any cost. She intended to die; she had no thought for her own life.
A common issue with all victors is recurring nightmares and guilt. They may think that winning the Hunger Games is the best outcome when in reality the ones who died in that arena were the fortunate ones. Victors cannot live their life as it was again - they are damaged - haunted by children that they have killed or the suffering that they witnessed. Paralyzed with fear when they have flashbacks of near death experiences and the memory of the mutts who hunted them down. There is a realisation that humans cannot live in harmony for long before rivalry and arguing begins - the result we are all familiar with - human nature? I found this captivated me and provoked much thought.
Character development is rewarding in this part of the trilogy - I got what I wanted. I found out what I pondered over in book two - President Snow's odour - and I also got a build-up to some page turning, fast paced finale. Collins is creative and builds suspense once again, this time around you get a feel of the bowels of the Capitol and how the folk there had lived. I found it fresh and new - interesting, no worries about it being another repeat in the arena and she remembers what she has hinted at in previous volumes - nothing was left out.
There is still the relationship issue going on which involves Peeta and Gale. This was not a priority theme but it was nice to see the developments and struggles that it provided. Both of these young men I cared about but if I had to pick I would say I was rooting for Peeta more than Gale.
Even though the pace of the book is somewhat slower in the first part of the prose I enjoyed learning about supporting characters and was happy to see them become more rounded. When the pace picks up the book was not put down as I needed to know the outcome. There are some twists and turns that I wasn't expecting - that was good though as I like it when I haven't guessed the ending. As regards the love triangle, between Katniss, Gale and Peeta, I was satisfied and pleased with the outcome. I also liked the short epilogue detailing life some years later - this answered questions that I may have thought about.
This prose provided a thought provoking insight into human nature, at the same time there was suspense which had those pages turning. The standard of writing was good and Suzanne sticks to the story. A successful ending to a fascinating trilogy.
'Constant suspense...I couldn't stop reading' - Stephen King
Price and sourcing...
RRP £7.99 but widely available on offer at present.
Have you read the first two instalments of this trilogy? If so then yes I can highly recommend this book. You many as well find out how this saga concludes for one and it's a well written, suspenseful read which I found thought provoking. I enjoyed getting deeper into Katniss's persona and saw her strengths and weakness exposed - wide open. I could relate to her predicament and realised the horror of her situation - at the age of 17! Sometimes when reading the prose I forgot she was only 17 and when it occurred to me it intensified my admiration - I cared what happened to her. Prim, her younger sister settled herself right in my heart and there she will stay for some time. Peeta, Haymitch and Gale were given more coverage and my interest grew in all of them - especially Haymitch who I now understand and admire. Other victors make for interesting reading as they are developed more and the new persons in power fit into their role perfectly - intrigue and suspicion where at the forefront of my mind when they were introduced. Coverage of human suffering - both physical and mental - was fascinating and believable; Collins excelled in this area and it is what I have taken away from this trilogy. Even though there is a story, which interested me and kept those pages turning throughout the whole of this series, it is the illustration of human nature that stands out to me and provokes much thought. I can see myself pondering this tale for some time yet - there are lessons to be learned. The reason for picking up this book was to enjoy a good story though - Suzanne has succeeded, on many levels, to stick to the story.
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