9 March 2014 1 Comment
Author: Suzanne Collins
Summary: Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But she’s still not safe. A revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans – everyone except Katniss. And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle. Katniss must become their Mockingjay – the symbol of rebellion – no matter what the personal cost.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
Review: The conclusion to The Hunger Games series. I don’t think i can review this without spoilers. I was hoping by the end of the last book, i would want to go back and give all the books five stars, but no. They stand firm at four stars, though had this last book been a little better, the series could have made it to five stars.
I got what i wanted, after finishing the second book: this book has no Hunger Games and is purely about the revolution. It’s the revolution through Katniss’ eyes, though, so there are limits to what we see. Convinced into becoming the Mockingjay, the rebellious figurehead of the revolution, Katniss is less fighting in the revolution that she is a pawn in it. She makes promotional videos that are, basically, used to advertise the rebellion and encourage other districts and citizens to join the resistance. It was tacky and made me cringe, but i loved it because, that was the point. War, with governments and rebels seeking support and soldiers is not pretty, and is ultimately played out like a game for those orchestrating the thing behind closed doors.
Katniss, in this book, is already broken. It seems she’s only put back together and broken again several more times throughout the story. At times i found her as headstrong as her original self, but a lot of the time i found her too passive, too unsure of herself and veering between different ideas, motivation and plans. The only thing she was sure of throughout the book–that she wanted to kill Snow–she managed to fail at, but, i also view that scene as her greatest accomplishment in the book. I just wish there could have been more discourse on it, i wish she’d been allowed to air her reasons. Of course that would have landed her in prison, or worse, but that was me still hoping for an unrealistic politically unachievable ending. I can settle for the fact that Katniss did it, without the world realising why it was such an important act.
This book introduced a lot of new characters. Both the previous books, of course, had a lot of characters because of the participants for the Hunger Games, but realistically, we only got to know a handful of them. Here more characters are of more importance, and honestly, i couldn’t follow them all. And with a few similar names (Flavius/Fulvia Cressida/Messalla) i was often getting confused as to who was who. I will say: I loved Boggs, Pollux, Paylor, and most of the returning characters. The rest i either disliked, or didn’t care enough about. So, really, only two deaths upset me. One that didn’t, was actually the one that affected Katniss the most. I just think that death wasn’t made the most of; it ultimately made everything Katniss has been through pointless, but nothing was made of it.
Gale versus Peeta. Well, i will say i like both of them. Peeta is so positive, so genuine and so kind, and what he was put through in this book was horrible. Gale is strong, a fighter, independent and Katniss’ equal. I liked them both, but realistically, i didn’t want Katniss to end up with either of them. It would have seemed forced, whoever it was. And it was; i felt the wedge being forced between Katniss and Gale, leaving Peeta as her only option, which was rubbish.
As the end approached, and Katniss and Haymitch headed back to District 12, the emotions got me. Both of them wallowing in their misery, alone, not leaving the house. As upsetting as that picture was, it was real. After everything they’d been through, how could they be okay? That’s where i wanted it to end, not happily, but full of emotion, and realistically. Then Peeta showed up and ruined it all.
Don’t even get me started on the epilogue. Katniss was ruined by the end; not by the Games, or the war, or her emotional and physiological problems, but by being turned from a strong, free-thinking female character, into a woman who has to settle down with a nice man and have kids. Honestly, it made me sick.
My favourite relationship throughout all three books has been Katniss and Haymitch. How they understand each other, rile each other, but ultimately trust each other. I think that’s why i found the pair of them living out their lives in parallel misery seemed so fitting to me.
I said there wasn’t a Hunger Games in this book, but the war was being played out like one. Collins is drawing parallels between the two, showing wide-ranging and mis-matching opinions of both. For anyone looking beyond the superficial love stories and traumatic personal plights, this book takes a very interesting look at government, politics, power, the media and rebellion.