I began to fully understand the lengths to which people have gone to protect me. What I mean to the rebels. My ongoing struggle against the Capitol, which has so often felt like a solitary journey, has not been undertaken alone. I have had thousands upon thousands of people from the districts at my side. I was their Mockingjay long before I accepted the role.
(from Mockingjay, page 90)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, was one of the most highly anticipated books of the year. I admit that I was one of the many readers who greedily ate up this book shortly after its release, and I’ve been trying to put my thoughts into words ever since.
I know there are still many people who haven’t read this series, so I’m not going to discuss any spoilers or reveal too much of the plot. (If you want to know more about the previous books, read my reviews of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.) Let’s just say that in retaliation for the events of the previous book, the Capitol and the districts of Panem are at war. Katniss assumes the role of the Mockingjay — a symbol to unite the resistance as they wage war against the Capitol. All of this is learned in the first few pages of the book.
Collins’ use of the first-person present tense is a rare instance in which it really works. Katniss describes the action as it occurs, and with a war between the Capitol and the districts in full force, there is plenty of action. Katniss is the same strong girl I’d grown to love in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire — well, strong except for when it comes to her feelings for Peeta and Gale. But she’s changed. She’s seen a lot of death and destruction, and given her role in it, she understandably feels both guilt and anger and a need to be as close to the front lines as possible because it’s her fight, too, even though she never asked to be a leader. There is a lot of violence and a lot of death, but knowing what we know about the Capitol and war in general, it makes sense. It’s not pretty or easy, nothing is black or white, but Collins handles it in a way that feels authentic and not overdone.
Overall, I loved Mockingjay. The story took off from the first page, and I had a hard time putting it down. So much of what I’d wanted explained in the first book about the government and the districts is explored (finally!), and while I was happy with the way it ended, I wanted to know more about certain characters and how they fared after all was said and done. There is so much that can be said and discussed about the three books taken together, but I’ll be honest and admit that I read them for pure pleasure and didn’t get all analytical. And that being said, Mockingjay is a decent end to a trilogy that kept me on the edge of my seat until the final page.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Mockingjay from Scholastic for review purposes. I am an Amazon associate.
© 2010 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.