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'It's as if in an instant, a painted window shatters, revealing the ugly world behind it. Laughter changes to screams, blood stains pastel stones, real smoke darkens the special effect stuff made for television.'
Katniss Everdeen has survived two Hunger Games, even though her home has been destroyed. Taken in by District 13 rebels, Katniss and her family are safe, for now.
District 13 has come out of the shadows, and have been plotting a revolution against the Capitol. Katniss has been a part of this revolution for a long time, without knowing it, and now it's time for her to play her part.
Katniss must put aside her personal feelings, and become the Mockingjay, in order to save lives and change the course of the future. The success of the rebellion depends on Katniss' willingness to be a pawn in the rebellion.
So this is the third and final part of The Hunger Games trilogy, and I've loved every part of the whole trilogy. The first two books involved Katniss fighting in different Hunger Games, so I'm glad that this one didn't involve a Hunger Games, as it could have ended up feeling repetitive. Although she is no longer a tribute in the Hunger Games, Katniss is in so much more danger than she was before.
Everything depends on Katniss in this book, and you can tell that at times she really feels the pressure. She puts on a brave face for the rest of the world, because as the Mockingjay, she is the symbol of hope for the rebels, and to show weakness could dampen morale. But deep inside, Katniss is terrified, knowing that Peeta is being held captive by the Capitol; not knowing what they are doing to him weighs on her mind day after day. She also has her conflicting feelings for Peeta and Gale to contend with, as well as fearing for the safety of her family, should the rebellion fail.
I really enjoyed this book, and combined with the first two books, the whole story was amazing. There were a lot of ups and downs; there was tragedy, laughter, hope, despair, and everything in between in this book. There were parts that made me laugh in this book, but there were obviously parts that were sad too. The story is very fast paced, so there isn't a lot of time to dwell on fallen characters, much as the characters themselves don't have time to dwell on fallen friends, as they must continue to fight, despite losing friends along the way.
These books have fast become one of my favourite trilogies. They are full of action, emotion, hope, and fear, and will keep you hooked long into the night. Although I always prefer the books to their film counterparts, I'm looking forward to seeing how film will bring this book to life.
Suzanne Collins is an American Author who has been writing for children's television shows since 1991. She has worked on several Nickelodeon shows, including Clarissa Explains it All, and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Although Suzanne is more commonly known for The Hunger Games series, she has also written a number of children's books, including the Underland Chronicles series.
Kindle Edition ASIN - B006NXICT4
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Paperback Edition ISBN13 - 978-1407109374
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---The Hunger Games trilogy info---
Book 1 - The Hunger Games
Book 2 - Catching Fire
Book 3 - Mockingjay
===The spoils of war===
In the last week, I have ploughed through The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, the first two books in the trilogy by Suzanne Collins that Mockingjay finishes off. I'll try my best to keep the review fairly spoiler free for you as I know how annoying it is to be told the whole story before you read something!
===Keep it up Collins===
Suzanne Collins, who lives in Connecticut in the town of Sandy Hook wrote a series of books called the Underland Chronicles which was on the New York Times best seller list. She also worked on quite a few kiddies programmes, a couple of which I know quite well (who doesn't know Clarissa explains it all!??) but her real fame came with The Hunger Games when it was picked up for a film deal. Being that I tend not to watch a lot of films, I haven't seen it but I heard a lot about it.
Wallet wise your cheapest option at the moment is to buy all three books together as a set. That will set you back £7. If you buy them on the Kindle you will end up paying £3.49 for each book meaning £10 for all three. Buying them as separate paperbacks is even more expensive coming in at around £7 each coming in at a whopping £21 for all three. So please, be sensible, buy them as the set that they are. Or, you know, go to the library!
===How we got here===
Being the third book of a series, you'll need to know a little of the story leading up to this point. Somewhere in the distant future stands the country of Panem. The Capitol is firmly in charge of Panem and is served by 13 Districts who are kept completely separate and under authoritarian rule. The Citizens lucky enough to live in The Capitol have an easy life while those in the Districts live to supply The Capitol with what they want. 75 years ago, District 13 rebelled and was wiped of the face of the earth for daring to go against The Capitol. As a sick punishment every year since them The Capitol has forced the Districts to give them two children to fight in The Hunger Games: A televised event where the children (called Tributes) fight to the death in a booby trapped arena, with only one survivor.
Katniss Everdeen has found herself picked for the last two hunger games. She has won the hearts of the Citizens in The Capitol and become a rallying point for rebels forcing those in charge to take steps to silence her, but surely even their iron rule has to have its limits?
===Making a Mockery===
A Mockingjay is a crossbreed between a genetically altered bird called a Jabber-jay that was a weapon of The Capitol during the first rebellion and a Mocking bird. The cross breed was never intended to happen so after some clever spin, the Mockingjay has become a symbol of The Capitols failure.
This book begins after everyone in Panem witnessed Katniss's escape from the arena with the help of the other Tributes. The plans and plots that have been going on in the background start revealing themselves to Katniss. District 12 has been annihilated as a punishment for Katniss's rebellion and the survivors have had to find a new home with a new way of life. It soon becomes obvious that the rebellion has well and truly begun and that Katniss is the face of this rebellion.
A new leader emerges in the form of District President Coin. From the offset, even though Kat's people are now being cared for and treated better than they have ever been, there is something not quite right about this new set up. The rigidity, the uniformity, the sheer unending monotony all serve to create an uneasy atmosphere for Katniss who is so used to hunting in the woods with her friend Gale. It raises some interesting questions about quality of life, as even though everyone is being given exactly what they need (food, clothing, bedding, warmth) it would seem their life is in some ways worse than it was while under The Capitols rule-by-fear regime.
Other questions start surfacing about why the plans and plots that begun the rebellion have taken so long to surface and why help for the Districts hasn't come sooner when it seems it was available all along.
===All the Flavour===
This book is where everything you have been waiting for suddenly happens...and it's good. The rebellion is in full flow: WAR!! The Capitol is slowly but surely being dragged down. And yet Collins still feels the need to use Katniss more as a fashionable icon than allowing the story to explore the real depth just waiting to be trawled. I don't really care much for all the chatter about her outfits, though Collins finally uses Katniss's design team from The Capitol to show that the citizens there are just as human as those in the Districts which has been a long time coming.
Occasionally the brilliance of her writing shows through when Katniss is moved to speak publicly about the atrocities that are occurring all around her, however, usually once the camera crew get a good sound byte from her, they yell cut. It makes even the most moving speech seem somehow fake and plastic for the reader. It also snaps you back from the emotion of the situation You can see why it should be moving, but I think perhaps she should have left out the camera crew's orders which weren't really pertinent to the story. The story still suffers from being told from Katniss's point of view which severely reduces what you as a reader can be witness to and helps cut you off from some brilliant topics.
Collins also totally side swipes some brilliant human observation. Throughout the first two books Kat's relationship with her mother has been tense due to her mother withdrawing completely when her father died. It's not been a subtle topic. Yet when Katniss is suddenly facing loss and terror and withdrawing herself, there are absolutely no comparisons drawn and no new found compassion for her mother's previous situation. The grief isn't properly explored even though it is firmly within the bubble Collins created for Katniss. She describes what she does but not why she does it or the emotion that is driving her actions. I found that very odd indeed.
Another issue that Katniss's little bubble throws up is the sometimes disjointed feel of some of the other characters. Finnick is the one that threw me the most. His decline into madness happened faster than you can say cuckoo. One minute he is perfectly functional and the next it's as if he's been a nut-job all along. Something else that wasn't quite well described was the weaponry and traps that The Capitol use in their fight against the rebels. Given that they feature quite a lot, I'd have expected a bit of a better idea of what they were doing but at times the descriptions are quick and disjointed. I also feel that they almost detract from the seriousness of the situation as they are quite crazy contraptions at the best of times. It's not all bad though; Peeta's story is quite well done. You at least see the inklings as to his motivation behind his sudden switch in personality before it happens.
Much of the book suffered from just being too subtle. There is a significant death near the end and rather than hitting you where it hurts, you have to battle through a page of Katniss regaining consciousness before it is confirmed, by which point you've already guessed that it's happened and you don't feel the full hit of it. Even when it is confirmed there's not an awful lot said about it. Some comments seemed quite flippant about the whole situation. One section in particular could be translated as "yeah, we cried, then we stopped and everything was ok again, so, what else is going on?"
The death in question was also used, quite oddly, to separate Gale and Katniss as Gale helped design the weapon that caused the death. It feels akin to blaming Karl Benz for all deaths caused by car accidents. It is used to push Gale away and his disappearance feels unsatisfactory and unnatural.
Even more frustratingly, The story pretty much stops in mid flow. A major event happens and Katniss just shuts down so rather than seeing the repercussions of her actions explode across Panem, all we see is that she is rushed into a room and stays there for a while... and that's it. All of a sudden everything is fine, nothing to see here, it's all ok but we won't tell you how or why. It's very much like Collins said "I'm bored now, let's just shove an ending on there. A bittersweet ending though! Not quite happy, but full of hope and scarred with the atrocities of the past." If I'm being honest, Collins probably could have gotten a whole other book (and quite a good one at that) out of the events that were condensed to Katniss's two or three page "shut-down" if she had just went outside of her bloody little bubble. It was infuriating.
I'm torn. Despite everything I've said, I actually really enjoyed the story. I have the suspicion, though, that I loved it because of all the stuff that my own imagination added to the background. It's incredibly subtle in the story it tells you of the rebellion and Katniss's involvement, but if you really think about it you can complete the blanks yourself. It's just annoying that there were so many blanks to fill in. The ending was mostly a complete let down and though the last page or two was entirely appropriate, the chapter that preceded it just deflated the entire story. I'm sorely tempted to take a star off for the lack lustre ending, but then I remind myself that, actually, despite its failings, it was a decent read. It's also teenage fiction so it gets away with a lot more than if it was aimed at adults. So I'll stick with four stars out of five and plead with Collins to try some real adult writing because she's got all the great ideas there, she just needs to actually put a bit more work into beefing them out! Overall the trilogy was mostly satisfying even with the dearth of delving deep into the juicy ideas.
This is the third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy and I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, so I will say that if you want to read this trilogy but have not read the first two books, maybe you should look away now because this review will inevitably give away some of the things which happened in the earlier books.
=== The Hunger Games Trilogy ===
The Hunger Games is a trilogy by Suzanne Collins which can be classified as literature for "young adults" but can definitely be enjoyed by older people too. I was late to get on the bandwagon of these books as I thought it was just a Battle Royale rip off for kids but don't be put off by the young adult tag, as these books are gripping, well written and deal with big, important themes like power, justice, love and friendship. It is not just trivial nonsense for teenagers! The trilogy plays out in a dystopian world of the near future where a rebellion years earlier has caused the regime to instigate a shocking annual game show - The Hunger Games, where the participants must fight to the death until one remains - so that the people never forget that it is the Capitol which has the power.
=== Book Three: Mockingjay ===
The second book, Catching Fire, ended with a surprising turn of events. Katniss and Peeta were competing a second round of the Hunger Games, as it was a Quarter Quell year where the Capitol makes the games even more extreme, so they had decided to send previous tributes back to the arena for the 75th Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta end up being some of the very few people who have survived not one but two Hunger Games, as while the games were well underway, Katniss was was lifted from the arena as part of a rebel coup against the Capitol and found herself in District 13 - a place which people believed had been destroyed and turned to waste land when the citizens of District 13 rose up 75 years ago. In fact, it is still inhabited and their people live there mostly underground.
Being set in this new environment, this book has quite different atmosphere to the previous two. We soon hear that Peeta has been captured by President Snow, and for much of the book he and Katniss are separated so the development of their relationship takes a different course to what I was expecting. Gale is there with her in district 13 as well as tributes from the disrupted Hunger Games such as Finnick O'Dair and Johanna Mason (it cracks me up that most have such made up names, yet one is called just plain Johanna Mason LOL). There are a lot of new characters and I did find it a bit confusing to start with, especially as some of the characters have changed sides, such as Plutarch who was a Gamemaker in charge of devising the Hunger Games for the Capitol and who now is a rebel fighting against the regime with District 13, Katniss and co.
The rebels persuade Katniss to be the face of their cause and to take on the role of "Mockingjay". One of her main tasks is to make propaganda videos and throughout this book too there is the constant concern of how to present themselves to the media. I do like that they continue with this theme as the media has always been heavily present in the characters's minds as obviously even throughout the Hunger Games competition everything is recorded and sometimes characters doubt what is real and what is for the cameras, as with Peeta and Katniss' relationship.
The action in this book starts a little more slowly as Katniss, Peeta and a lot of the characters start off quite physically and mentally weak. Katniss in particular is very conflicted as she does not know what to believe about the rebellion, what Snow is doing, what she feels about Peeta and Gale...
As the actual fighting gets into full swing towards the end with the main characters playing a part in it, there are some shocking parts and some sad events which made me kept me gripped to see what would happen next. The state of Peeta when he actually comes properly back onto the scene was also very surprising - though I don't want to say too much about it and give spoilers. I was quite annoyed when I first saw how he had become, because it was not what I wanted for that character.
I really liked this book but I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as the previous two. However, I think the end of the book was fitting, as it was the ending I had wanted and it was a happy end in a way, but there had been so much loss and destruction to get there that it did also show the horror of war and the devastastion that the oppressive regime followed by civil war had left on the survivors. It did not try to make it seem like once the fight was over everything would immediately be perfect.
=== Over all ===
I really got into this trilogy and I am gutted to have finished it! I would recommend it to anyone who thinks the concept behind these books sounds interesting, and if you have read the first two then obviously you have to read this final instalment!
Mockinjay is book three of Suzanne Collins 'Hunger Games' trilogy. The Hunger Games as a concept is a great story. Set in a futuristic America, now known as Panem, the whole country has been controlled for many years from the Capitol City. The rest of the citizens live in one of twelve districts that provide resources for the capitol while living in poverty themselves. To keep them in line, President Snow holds an annual Hunger Games. A males and female aged between 12-18 from each district is selected to enter the games, and out of the 24 entrants only one can survive.
Book one saw our heroine, Katniss Everdeen volunteering to take her sisters place in the Hunger Games, and against all odds, winning. We continued in book two, Catching Fire, with a special twist for the 75th annual Hunger Games, where the candidates sent in had to be from the previous winners.
Book two ended with Katniss being plucked from the games, and we were unsure who had picked her up with a hovercraft. Was she safe or not? Book Three starts the action almost exactly where book two ended, which was great for me having been so absorbed in books one and two.
Katniss is now in District 13, a place no-one really knew existed any more. It used to be a district which made nuclear power, but when they held an uprising against the Capitol the district was bombed, and the survivors reformed power living underground until they saw the rebellion that Katniss's behaviour in the games was inspiring.
Katniss's home, District 12 has been fire bombed, so it is interesting to see how the survivors are coping with living in this very restricted environment where there is not enough so there can be no waste.
I liked the change of location. I felt this gave somewhere new for the plotline to go. I enjoyed seeing Katniss's mother and sister Prim, both being put to good use working in the hospital, and reading about this secret underground world, which has really different routines and very little freedom compared to what we have been used to in district 12.
This novel's strong focus made me switch off a little though. It was very much based upon the rebellion, and military strategy. I felt the plot moved a lot slower in this novel when compared to the previous two, and we have a twist where Peeta who has been in love with Katniss has been tortured so he now hates her and wants her dead. I really didn't like this. There was a lot of plot focussed around recovery of the main candidates in hospital, military training and then skulking round in the capitol and hiding out. I just felt like I was waiting for something to happen, and it took so long to happen I just got a bit bored with this one.
If this had been book one or two, I don't think I would have been that bothered about reading the rest of the trilogy, but as I had started, and the book was quite a quick read due to being a young adult novel, I persevered to the end where it did get a bit better before smouldering out a bit for me again.
So my lasting impression of this one is that I guess you should read it if you loved book one and two, but just don't expect it to be anywhere near as good. Such a promising start, and such a shame it just fizzled out a bit. I guess if the first two books hadn't been so stunning I would not have noticed it as much, but they were and it is hard to put that out of your mind.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
Within minutes of finishing Catching Fire I grabbed my copy of Mockingjay eager for more. However, I'm sorry to say that I was bitterly disappointed by the final novel in The Hunger Games trilogy. I'm a sucker for a good love story so after Catching Fire I was looking for many more romantic moments leading up to the end of Mockingjay, but I did not find them. Instead I was presented with a story miles away from its two predecessors. The atmosphere was completely different with characters separated and all over the place as well as numerous new additions. Some people see this book as a brilliant ending to the series, but for some reason, I just don't see it that way and after reading this book my Hunger Games high has most certainly been subdued.
This books kicks off straight after Katniss has been removed from the Arena of the Quarter Quell by a mysterious hovercraft. She wakes up to find herself amongst a group of rebels taking her to District 13 where it turns out there is still a thriving and rebellious population despite the fact that the Capitol has claimed for years that the old District is deserted. It is on the hovercraft that Katniss realises that Peeta hasn't been rescued from the Arena as she was, but instead he has been captured by the Capitol. Katniss attempts to recover from the heavy injuries she sustained during the Quarter Quell whilst fearing for Peeta's life. After swearing to keep him safe and bring him home alive after the Quarter Quell, Katniss is desperate for news of Peeta - her supposed fiancee and father of her 'child' - and is also furious with Haymitch for double crossing her. In this book we see the fight of the rebels against the Capitol play out
One thing I do have to give credit to Suzanne Collins for is surprise. I could not have been more shocked at the way that the events played out in this novel and it was absolutely unpredictable. This book really reinforced my view that it's not just the ending that matters, but how you get there, and I wasn't very pleased at all about how this book played out. All the characters go through dramatic personality changes which altered everything that had been set out by events in the previous books. Whilst there were many moments that filled with me much emotion and even left me with a few tears streaming down my face, the predominant emotion I was feeling after I'd finished was frustration. I didn't feel like my hunger (excuse the pun) for The Hunger Games had been satisfied and I needed more. I'm sorry I can't say more, but I don't feel that I can express exactly why I am so dissatisfied without revealing what exactly the plot line is.
For me, this was definitely the worst book out of all three in this series and the ending really let me down. I was incredibly frustrated for a couple of days and then I discovered The Hunger Games fanfiction, which really has been the only thing to stop me from killing myself after the s*** ending to this series. For those of you who haven't yet read Mockingjay, I'd almost suggest that you just don't, because it almost ruined my love for this series, but then again, I can't imagine any true fan only reading two out of the three books. Some of my friends disagree with me, but there are also many who agree with my point of view. I've read reviews about how brilliant and about how disappointing this book is so I suppose this is a love/hate novel and it really will be up to the reader to decide. Despite the less than satisfactory end, this is still my all-time favourite series after Harry Potter and I highly recommend to it boys, girls and adults for a captivating read.
I have to admit.. I'm gutted that I have now finished the Hunger Games Trilogy.. what am I going to do without myself now?? However, after quite a few evenings of going to sleep much later than I planned to do after thinking "just one more chapter" maybe the answer should be,.. catch up on some much-needed sleep!!
This is the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy and its by no means a disappointing end. Not everyone gets out alive (I wont spoil the surprise by telling you who does or doesnt) and the love triangle isnt neatly tied up, which did disappoint me a bit after reading the Twilight books.
So, the story. Having survived two Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself at the centre of a revolution. The rebels are plnning on overthrowing the Capitol, and Katniss has a key role to play as the symbol of the rebellion "The Mockingjay".
However, she finds it far from easy. Peeta, her ally in the last two Games and one of her potential suitors was captured at the end of the last games and President Snow, the head of the Capitol, isnt against using him to get to Katniss. She is also struggling to decide who she cares for more, Peeta or Gale, her childhood friend.
In the end she agrees to play her part, but only if she gets her revenge.. she gets to kill Snow!
This book has everything you could want, action, emotion, drama.. its a real edge of your seat ride. My only complaint is that its over!!
This is a review of the 2010 book "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins. The third book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. I had read the other two books in quick succession and the second book is a real cliff hanger so I was desperate to read this one.
A bit about
I suggest you read the other two book reviews before reading this one as I won't go over old ground and the first two explain a lot but here it is in a nutshell without giving away too much. Lead character Katniss (who is also the narrator) lives on in book three and has been allocated a very important role of 'Mockingjay' (a bird) and the mascot for the rebels. She heads up all their campaigns and is the face of the Rebel's movement. But does Katniss actually want this role? She is tormented mentally from her experiences in the Hunger Games (books one and two) and is having problems coming to terms with her former best friend Gale and on screen boyfriend Peeta. Everyone seems to have changed over a short time including herself and she remembers friends she once loved who are now dead. Winning the rebel's war becomes Katniss' focus in this book as she navigates the Capitol with her troop, a select number of stars from the Games and Sector 13.
The book is set in the future in a dystopian state and there are a lot of new gadgets and trends to get your head around in the Hunger Games trilogy. It is a Young Adult (YA) fiction book so nothing in there is too complicated and everything is explained very well. Katniss is a tough character, sometimes likable but it can be difficult to guess her next move which is great for the reader as there truly is a surprise around every corner.
Everything about the book reroutes itself into the main theme of survival. Wherever Katniss is, there is a new set of challenges for her to overcome. She spends a lot of time recovering from many injuries she suffers and is fortunate to be cared for well by the hospital teams.
I swapped my first book (thanks Jo!) and then bought the second and third books from WH Smiths on a buy one get the other half price deal so the two books ended up costing me exactly £12. You can buy a full set from The Works for under £10 I later found out. I don't know if they are the same quality but my books are lovely thick crisp pages and a pleasure to read.
It's still running along the lines of the first two books, keeping you guessing around which boy Katniss will choose, Gale or Peeta. Of course I'm not going to tell you! Family spirit is still disjointed in Katniss' household with her mother and sister working in the hospital while Katniss is playing war games with the Capitol. I hoped for more affinity with her family after what she went through in the Hunger Games to save her sister Prim (Katniss volunteered in Prim's place) but this doesn't seem to happen, with Katniss even choosing to room with one of the other survivor tributes whom she doesn't even like that much!
The film for the first book in this trilogy is released next week (March 23) and I am looking forward to seeing it, to see how close it is to the book and watch how it plays out on screen. I enjoyed reading all three books, and was not let down by the third book. There is no cop out or easy ending and thankfully it doesn't end with Katniss waking up and finding out 'it was all a dream' !! The book is full of highs and even more lows and lots of desperate situations. It keeps you pulse high and the pages turning right until the end. I am sorry to have finished the Trilogy but am pleased that I was introduced to it before the film comes along and changes everything.
The third and final book in 'The Hunger Games' trilogy, 'Mockingjay' concludes the
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Katniss is taken to District 13 and is prepped to become the 'Mockingjay', the symbol of the rebellion. Within this district with rules arguably stricter than the Capitol and led by the suspicious Coin, Katniss is made to film 'propos' (propaganda footage) to rally the districts to allegiance.
But when the Capitol retaliates with their own footage of Peeta calling for a ceasefire, will Katniss allow his torture to continue? Or does it break her beyond repair?
Similar to 'Catching Fire', the last book offers a lot of filling the gaps and backstory. Unfortunately, it doesn't follow a simple flow like the first book where there is a reaping, the prep, the games and then the end. The plot of this one goes everywhere, from a bit of prep to filming a propos, to a battle scene, to arguing in district 13 to training, to plotting... and so on. For about 2/3 of the book.
Once we finally understand what is going to happen, the last third is beautiful- the battlefront mirroring the Hunger Games and this was the most intense section which I've been waiting the whole book for. Unfortunately, just as it got to the climax, Katniss gets incapacitated and is whisked to safety. Just like at the end of the last book.
I really disliked it when Collins did this. I wanted to see Katniss in the thick of the action. It was too convenient for her to just be 'safe' whilst she gets filled in on what happens. I didn't like it in the last one (though it made more sense then), but now it just seems far too 'convenient' and 'dull'.
That said, the ending offered lots of twists, turns and shocks. I won't spoil anything, but one event leads me to think that everything has been done in vain (not sure if this was the author's intention) and that no matter what happens, humanity will be the same.
Regarding the characters, it doesn't deal with them in much depth at all. It kind of feels a little unfinished and rushed. However, the question on everybody's minds must be how Collins deals with the Gale or Peeta love triangle. I personally had a favourite between the two and was very happy to discover that Katniss ends up with him, but I was disappointed with the way the other guy was dealt with or lack thereof. Does she just not speak to him ever again? Surely not. But the explanation for her choice was reasonable.
'The Hunger Games' is definitely one of the best trilogies of late. Despite the gradual loss of structure as the books went on, if read from cover of book 1 to the end of book 3, it flows better. Whilst Collins' writing was solid, and addictive throughout, the plotlines waver here and there but ends appropriately, if a bit rushed and characters not dealt with properly.
Nonetheless, this book and the trilogy is a must read, is simply unputdownable and I can't wait to see the movies.
Mockingjay is the third and final book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It was released on 25th August 2010 by Scholastic and the book is 448 pages long.
Most people only ever go through The Hunger Games once and most of them don't come out alive. Katniss Everdeen has been through the treacherous games twice now and has come out alive, although battered, both times. Now that she has escaped President Snow's sick games she should be safe, she should be well and she should be getting on with her life. Instead, President Snow has declared an all out war on Katniss and everyone she is close to as well as any of the other rebels.
Katniss' plan was never to save herself though. It was always to save Peeta and her family but with things going from bad to worse at every new turn, Katniss wonders whether or not she can succeed at her mission of being the Mockingjay, the face of the rebellion and the person to bring down the Capitol. Is the fight going to be worth the end outcome?
What I thought
Having read the first book in this trilogy and loving it, I heard so many mixed reviews about the other two books. Some people loved them more than the first and some even went as far as to tell me to not bother reading them. Not one to follow what anyone else says, I wanted to carry on with the trilogy at my own pace and so I did. I am bloody glad I did too!
So much happens in this book and I cant quite believe how much, especially in less than 500 pages. Normally I would say that the pacing was rushed and that things weren't done to their full potential but for some reason, here, Collins makes it work perfectly. The country is at war and different things are happening in the different districts/ the Capitol so it seemed only natural that people were moving quickly from one place to the next within a matter of days. Wars aren't about sitting on your ass waiting for things to happen so I liked that there was a lot of get up and go from all involved. This made the war aspect of the book feel real and it added to the tension and excitement of what was going to happen next.
I think anyone who hasn't read this book needs to be warned just how brutal it is. Having mentioned a war already, it is fairly obvious that there is violence and death in this book but I have to say that there is a lot of it. While there was both of these things in the previous books, it wasn't done on this level. Not only that but there is quite a lot to do with mental health and psychological damage this time around but I was glad to see this. No one could go through what these characters have without being troubled in one way or another so I was happy to see that it had been addressed and in the right way. Yes, some of it is a bit disturbing and anyone who has read it will know which parts I am talking about but I don't think it was done unnecessarily. This book definitely needed a harshness and Collins gave it to us.
Mockingjay is very much a rollercoaster of emotions and this was something that I loved about the book. Not only did it make me cry (quite a few times) but it also made me laugh, it make me feel compassion, hatred and jealousy all at the same time. I don't think I could have ever been prepared for what this book was going to be, no matter what anyone said about it. The fact that so many horrible things happen in this book yet Collins still manages to bring feelings of happiness, joy and love to a reader is an amazing thing in itself without even thinking about the rest of the book. Who knew that a book with a topic like this could bring out so many unexpected emotions.
The ending is the only part of this book, quite possibly the trilogy as a whole, that I didn't completely agree with. After so much action, so much death and generally so much, the ending was a bit of a let down. I was glad to see Katniss end up with who she did but the ending seemed a bit rushed. Not very long after the massive build up that was the whole book is Katniss getting on with her life again without much explanation as to what has been happening. I think I would have maybe preferred if the last couple of pages had been done as an epilogue instead of just being thrown in with the main story. This would have definitely had more of an 'after' feel to it rather than it to feel like a rushed ending.
Mockingjay is the end of one fabulous trilogy that I wish I hadn't put off reading now. The books are soon being made into films and I am quite excited to see whether or not they are done right and what they are going to miss out/ what rating they will actually be given. With so much violence etc, will they be done to suit a younger teen audience or will they be giving a rating of at least 15 which they wel deserve?
Mockingjay is the third and final book of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
Picking up where book 2, Catching Fire left off we rejoin Katniss who has just been rescued from almost certain death in her second Hunger Games. Alliances had been formed, thoughts of rebellion had been sown in the minds of the populace of the various Districts but now after recovering from her violent ejection from her last combat trial Katniss has no idea who is friend or foe any more.
Most of her new life is documented in District 13, no longer a far off mythical place.
Now set in concrete or rather firmly under it, hidden away from the prying eyes of the Capitol who seek to eliminate the last traces of any resistance to their regime. Would that they could have it their way but these are last the days of the Roman Empire as it were.
Panem has been revealed as the Latin quotation for Bread And Circuses, the ancient Roman games of yore. However with her escape and defiance as a cat amongst the pidgeons, or Katniss amongst the Mockingjays to be more accurate to the story. She is the spark to start the fire, hers is the name that is the call to battle, hers is the face on the banner of freedom.
Katniss has in fact become the ultimate figurehead, Boadicea, Eva Peron or even Joan Of Arc.
Her relation with Peeta has gone beyond complicated, captured by the Capitol, brainwashed and used to spread doubt amongst his fellow rebels Peeta is used as a visual Lord Hawhaw (the younger amongst you might need to Google that reference). But of course plans are afoot to rescue him. The star-crossed lovers can not be kept apart by guards, or guns.
It will take torture and mind games to achieve that aim.
In District 13 President Coin rules, and rules are enforced. Food is rationed, time is accounted for, citizens are made to be useful. Katniss has simply swapped one totalitarian regime for another, only District 13 does not bay for her blood. Or does it?
In this final book we will follow the battles to free the remaining 11 districts after the carpet bombing which has destroyed most of District 12. We will follow how she trains to become a soldier for the new regime, all the time keeping her own personal revolution and agenda in mind - the one underlying thought, to kill President Snow, ruler of the Capitol.
In him you see Caesar, Caligula and the worst of Roman Empires. This is a man who won't go down without a fight, who will kill your friends or family if he can't kill you. His troops are loyal to the point of blindness, his inner circle of citizens think his is the right way to live. Only that life, that status quo is about to come tumbling down like a house of cards.
The rich will see how the poor in the Districts have been treated, the war will be taken into the very heart of their own previously protected society.
It may be difficult to read this final book, there is no literal Hunger Games this time but the battle into the heart of the Capitol becomes a mirror to that battle ground. Many will die in terrible and pointless ways.
Even when the regime falls, Katniss is still left with doubt. Has her leader Coin done the right things to defeat Snow?
Beyond that I wish not to spoil your reading any further. Be reassured there are twists and turns, twists within twists and an actual ending that can be enjoyed.
Of the three books this will probably get re-read the most as the action happens so quickly you may frequently miss character deaths or plot twists.
Suffice to say I am ready to return to the fray with Katniss. She has been a most excellent companion across her story arc.
(this review also appears on Ciao! I am the original author)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games trilogy was certainly not a set of books I would have originally picked up if it was not for my friend really encouraging me to give them a try. I went to the library and rented all three books at once on my friend's recommendation and got down to reading that same day, and I found myself pleasantly surprised. Practically from the beginning of the first book, I found myself captivated with the story and characters and so was so glad to be able to continue straight through the three books of the trilogy;
The Hunger Games
To read my review on the first and second books in this trilogy, please see my previous reviews.
So, the question is, does this third book in the trilogy stand up to the anticipation from the other two?
"Katniss Everdeen's Final Battle has Begun"
In a dark vision of the near future, Katniss, a sixteen year old girl lives with her family in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what was once the United States, where she fights for food on a daily basis to ensure her family stay alive.
Long before, the districts had all waged a war on the Capitol and one district were wiped out as the others admitted defeat. As a result, the Capitol wanted to make sure that a rebellion like this would never happen again and so introduced The Hunger Games, a terrifying reality television show where twelve boys and twelve girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen are forced to take part. The terrain, the rules, the level of audience participation...all may change but one thing is for certain, it is a deathly game where in the arena, it is kill or be killed.
After surviving the 74th Hunger games, and continuing to exist despite President Snow's attempts, Katniss is rescued by the rebels and reluctantly agrees to become 'The Mockingjay', the symbol of rebellion against the Capitol, a symbol that she, herself, began in the very first book. As part of the deal, Katniss demands that the president of the rebels grant immunity to all of the victors of the Hunger Games who are now held against their will in the Capitol, and also demands a very specific act; that she, Katniss Everdeen, is the one who will kill President Snow. The Capitol wants revenge and President Snow has made it clear that no one is safe, especially not Katniss Everdeen.
This is certainly one set of books in which you do not want to read spoilers, and I will attempt to give you as much detail as I can without ruining it for you.
The third book continues approximately a month after 'Catching Fire' ends and so falling back in to the story is extremely easy to do. Once again, the style adopts the same flow as the first two book, bringing the whole feel around in a tight circle. The slowness at the beginning is old hat for me now, a trait I feel that may have originally put a lot of people off, though if you are reading this book then you would have already got used to this style from the previous books and in some ways, it will feel almost natural now. Despite my dislike of this style right at the very beginning of the series, I feel that this is part of what makes this set of books special. Not only has it got a great storyline, but the style is well thought out too and aids in the flow of the story and the emotions of the characters. Like with the other two books, this slowness does dissipate as the story enters the second part of the story and then really takes off.
Continuing on with the subject of the style of writing, which I feel is very important within this series, Mockingjay is written in three parts like its predecessors. Each part is specifically laid out and each have a different feel and emotion to it. Like with the second book, though, Mockingjay's parts are not as solidly defined as the first book, and whilst in the main, they do seem very well placed; I would have personally moved the title page of the sections to different places for more of a heightened emotion. The first section, or part, is like the other books and acts like a long introduction to where the story is and what is happening, introducing new characters and re-familiarising with old characters. It, once again, has the slight feel of going back to basics, as though each book runs in a small circle inside the larger, more dominant circle of the series as a whole. I personally think that this really works well as it is able to distinguish the differences and similarities of the story and the new world really well. I do admit that this slower start did take me a while to like, though once I could see the reasoning behind it, I just felt more love for the book. The second and third part of the story works more like one whole part. It feels as though the author simply added this barrier in to the story so that it would mimic the first book. There was a point in which the feel of the story did change enough to mark a new part of the story, though this was pages from where the author chose to separate the sections which is unfortunate as this later part would have worked out much better.
Although a continuation of the first and second book, it has the same feel both in style and happenings within the story. In a lot of ways it is like a stand-alone story, yet you will need to read the first to understand what is going on. The subject matter of the Big Brother type world is certainly still a very much a part of this third instalment, and if anything, the story has moved on to a much darker stance than both the previous books put together, and if possible, the characters have grown much more fuller and we learn a lot more about both existing characters as well as new characters. In other ways, though, this story is set completely different. The actual games are now behind the characters and the storyline has taken a turn which shows the whole world has turned into one large Hunger Game. This will become easier to understand when you read the series as it is difficult to explain fully without giving anything away.
Now, with the series title of 'The Hunger Games', you would be forgiven if you thought the same as I did originally; that it was a story full of blood and gore in a full on battle scenario which lacked story and had little more than cardboard characters. I am extremely happy to announce, though, that this idea is completely wrong. Yes, there are a lot of battles and certainly a lot of imaginative deaths which, at a lot of points, are very dark and shocking, though these are performed perfectly. Each death, each battle...they all have a meaning and are well placed within the storyline. They come across in the main, very powerful moments, and this is due to the strong characters and nearly flawless story found within the pages. At many moments I feel as though I am watching this story pan out in front of my eyes instead of reading it. Every moment, every death, every breath...it is all so vivid and real that I can almost smell the fear and upset in the pages. A mark of a great story, I believe!
As Collins quoted at the back of the first book; the idea for the story came from channel surfing one night and flicking between a reality show and a documentary on the Iraq war, and through the blurriness of sleep, the two intermingled and formed the story in her head. She also cites the Greek myth of Theseus, in which the city of Athens was forced to send young men and women to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur, as inspiration for the nation of Panem. This is very apparent in reading this story, yet with a unique and interesting twist of its own.
So what about the love story of a sort which has been a dominance in the past two books?
The love story became apparent in the very first book, though certainly not one which is fluffy and light. The act of the love story was more about survival and this surfaced in the second book, though became more strained with opinions and feelings coming out from the different characters. There was also a slight love triangle effect going on in the second book even more so. In this third instalment, the love story and the love triangle as a whole has pretty much disappeared. It is still in the background, though has become a much more friend-to-friend feel which seemed fitting, yet I know there will be others like me who are willing the love story to surface one way or another. By the end of the book, my hopes did surface to a degree, though not at all as I was expecting, and possibly not in the way that many people will like.
The whole book is written from Katniss' perspective, and although some people may not like the first person format, I can safely say that the way this story is written, you may even forget that you are reading from the first person view. It is so in depth, yet in a simple way so not to confuse or frustrate. It covers both the story and also the inner-most thoughts and feelings of the character without being too in-your-face, and it touches upon politics, retribution, death and many other sensitive, and quite dark, aspects without offending anyone. It is so cleverly written that you do not actually realise that the story is questioning your own views on life aspects, and it is not until you close the final page that you realise that you have begun to question not only the society within the book, but also our own society and government.
Far from my original thoughts that the characters within the story would be little more than cardboard figures, came a whole array of wonderfully written characters, which each held a very specific personality. The characters continue to flourish and are explored even more so in this third instalment. I really found myself becoming attached to characters I did not think possible, and through this, emotions really started to run wild through the story. There is a certain amount of background information given on the characters, though certainly not an overabundance of useless information. Katniss' own memories continue to fill in any blanks in a type of flashback setting from her own past as well as those around her, as well as the use of video tape ideas which add to the backgrounds of characters Katniss did not know personally in the past. Through this information, the missing pieces all begin to slot together nicely.
The story itself is not overly long. It only took me a couple of days to read, though it is certainly not a quick-read. I quite often prefer longer books, though this book works well at the length it holds, and gives the exact right amount of emotion, story, action etc that is needed. The timeline of the story spans a little longer than in the first two books, though the time frame is not focused on too much, it is only in the writing which we understand how much time has passed.
One thing which I find very important in a book is the ending. A story can be written perfectly, though if the ending is wrong, then it gives me a really terrible feel to the whole book, almost as though I feel my time was wasted reading it, even if I did enjoy the rest of the story.
So how does the ending of Mockingjay compare?
As with the first two books, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book, and had a few ideas and hopes of what was to come at the end, and although it delivered, I was not overly impressed. Yes, it was a really good ending, and many have said that it was an amazing ending, though I just felt empty after finishing it. There was a large confusing moment near the end and then it was as though the author had run out of words and had just decided to slot the ending in just like that, without any further story to link it together properly. Everything was well rounded up, and the excitement and shocks were still paramount, and I even found that a lot of my hopes came true, though it was simply the style and haphazard feel which put me off. Saying this, though, on the other hand, the style did serve a purpose of keeping with the circle idea and due to this, the ending was able to be saved to a degree. The author also added a short epilogue style chapter to bring the story into the future to round everything off completely. Although a sweet epilogue ending, I just felt as though something was missing and it was too rushed.
An excellent finale to 'The Hunger Games' trilogy with a shocking, and exciting ending which, unfortunately, was not my cup of tea though it was not enough to ruin the book for me!
This story was extremely captivating once the flow and energy picked up and the future twist of the world combine with the aspect that Big Brother is watching is a perfect mix. It is an emotional story whilst being quite a scary one, and incorporates sensitivity into the mix absolutely wonderfully. I do feel a little disappointed in the ending, yet it was a apt ending so the whole book did continue to excel.
This book can be picked up from most libraries or bought for its RRP of £6.99 which is well worth it. I rented my copy from the library though am certainly going to go and buy this as I would definitely reread this many times.
Do I recommend this book? Most certainly!
Themes to be aware of in this book include; Death, extreme hardships, betrayal, violence, poverty, starvation, oppression and war.
A/N: Due to the immense success of the book, they are going to be bringing out the film of Hunger Games possibly next year. As of yet, no information on set casting is available. Hopefully the film will be a success and the two sequels will be filmed also.
I wanted to add this youtube link to the end of this review as I watched it the other day and was amazed. It is a fan made video though it really captures the essence of a scene in the very first book of 'The Hunger Games'. Please do note that this is a fan made video and just an added extra to the review.