September 9, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The highly anticipated third and final installment of The Hunger Games series was released in August and I had my pre-order from Amazon all set up and ready so it would be on my doorstep the very next day. Mockingjay takes place in Panem, a country in turmoil following a bold move by rebel forces that ended in a stunning Hunger Games climax in the previous book, Catching Fire. This book continues the story of our heroine, Katniss Everdeen, as she fights to avoid being a pawn once again in the games of those in power.

Collins introduces some intriguing new characters in this novel, such as the sharp and haughty President Coin and the military leader Boggs. My personal favorites were cameramen Castor and Pollux, whose names are a clever play on the Trojan men of Greek history who also had to fight for the survival of their civilization. Several previous characters take on larger roles in Mockingjay and, in turn, become far more interesting. Finnick Odair is less of a gaudy, schmoozing, ladies man this time around and more of a damaged soul with a score to settle. Beete, the eccentric victor with proficiency for electricity, becomes a mastermind in weapons of mass destruction. Even Peeta Mellark undergoes a startling and creative transformation that really throws a wrench in things. On the other hand, President Snow who we came to hate as the sickeningly sweet yet vicious leader of Panem, becomes somewhat one-dimensional this time around and almost cartoonish. Even favorites like Gale, Haymitch, and Katniss herself are not as well-rounded or in depth as they have been in the past.

Without the arena to ground the plot, the story doesn’t have the magic of The Hunger Games or Catching Fire. For a good deal of the pages, the book reads as just another war novel where the oppressed fight back against those who attempt to lord over them. The uniqueness of the Games themselves that gave the previous books that special flair is certainly missing. When all is said and done, Collins ties up the series in a nice, neat little bow, but I would argue that the ending feels rushed and overly contrived. The “twists” are predictable as is the sugary sweet epilogue that reads more like a tween novel than young adult science fiction.

An enjoyable book, but not up to par with the first two books who, for better or for worse, set the bar pretty high. This one feels rushed and slightly cliché, but it provides a clear end to a solid series.

3 stars.


  1. I really agree with your review. I felt that this was the weakest of the three installments. At times I was bored with the repetitiveness in the situations, primarily when in District 13. I also felt that the ending was rushed and delivered in a "there you have it" sort of way. Although it didn't have me quite as fascinated as the previous two, it still left tons of cliff hangers that made me continue reading... quickly.

  2. I have read thousands of summary and reviews of this book. but havent read the whole book yet. it makes me wanna read it , like now. i know that it has a great story and lesson.


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