Newest Review: ... === The second book, Catching Fire, ended with a surprising turn of events. Katniss and Peeta were competing a second round of the Hun... more
"Real or Not Real?"
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
Member Name: helenc72
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
Advantages: Gripping, more development and shows more of Panem, brings conclusion to the story
Disadvantages: A bit slower, some slightly strange bits
=== 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!
Summary: A good conclusion to the trilogy but I am gutted to be finished!