Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Alert! Alert! Alert! There may be spoilers in this review for all three of The Hunger Games books. DO NOT read this if you don’t want to be spoiled!!

As you may remembered, I reviewed The Hunger Games and Catching Fire recently and, as with the first two books, I really did enjoy Mockingjay. Since reading the book I’ve read many a review saying that this book ruined the series and was lazy writing and was too dark, but I’ll admit I thought it was a really strong book and, perhaps it did take a darker turn but, given events in the the first two books, I’d certainly make the argument that there was not really another way for the characters to be. Katniss and Peeta’s experiences in the arena and their inadvertant involvement in politics and revolution afterwards can’t help but change them. Add to this the damage done to Peeta under torture and how Katniss witnesses friends dying in horrific ways, then to expect them to be their old selves from th first book is a bit unrealistic.

So, following on from the end of Catching Fire, Katniss has been rescued from the second Hunger Games arena, but is devastated to find that Peeta has been captured by The Capital. Plans are made in District 13 – which has been in uneasy truce with the Capital since the first attempt at rebellion – to support the overthrow of the Government and assist the districts. Katniss is told that she has become the face of the rebellion, she is the Mockingjay, a symbol of defiance, so she tries to put aside her fears to visit some of the rebellious Districts and be filmed tending the sick, but never putting herself in danger. Katniss being as she is, she defies this order and in her first visit manages to shoot down an enemy hovercraft during an assault.

I don’t really want to spoil any more, but this episode is near the beginning of the book and after that, the action just piles on. I’ll grant you, there were some deaths that I did wonder if they were entirely necessary, but on the whole, even though this third book was much darker than the previous two, it didn’t feel out of place for me and I really enjoyed the writing in all three books. I was more taken with this book than the second in the series and even given the criticism this book has received, it is definitely beneficial to read it.

I was quite sad to finish The Huger Games trilogy as I really did enjoy it very much. At least though I can look forward to the films!

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