(Cover picture courtesy of The Book Smugglers.)
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even through her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans—except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay—no matter what the personal cost.
I loved the Hunger Games trilogy up until this last book. I wish it could have ended better, but it didn’t.
In Mockingjay, Katniss has transitioned from a strong, independent-minded protagonist to an annoying, whiny narrator. All she really does throughout the novel is watch District 13 fight the Capitol and moan about how they’re using her as their symbol. She dodges training sessions, which explains why the rebels are annoyed at her all of the time. Katniss also angsts about how the rebels are using her, which I find annoying. If you’re trying to overthrow an evil empire, which is more important: your independence or winning the war? And if it takes being used to win, isn’t that worth it?
This might just be me, but I found the ending rather disappointing. As if to demonstrate the total senselessness of war, Suzanne Collins kills of 90% of the characters we meet. I can understand some deaths (after all, it is a war), but I don’t like how she killed off almost everyone, then wrote a ‘happy’ epilogue to stop her readers from tearing her to shreds. To me, it’s reminiscent of how JK Rowling ended the Harry Potter series, then wrote a poorly-written hurried epilogue to placate her readers.
In some ways, I wish The Hunger Games had been a stand-alone novel. What do you think? Were you satisfied with the ending? Or did it feel forced? Please tell me in the comments below.
I give this book 2/5 stars.