Saturday, 28 January 2012

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy Book 3) - Suzanne Collins

Title: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy Book 3)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2010
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

"Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins is the 3rd and final book in her "The Hunger Games" trilogy which was started by the novel, "The Hunger Games" reviewed here and it's sequel "Catching Fire" reviewed here.

The story is set a month after the conclusion of "Catching Fire" with Katniss Everdeen now hiding in the underground city of District 13. At the same time, the other districts have begun a rebellion against "The Capitol" and President Snow which has lead to heavy losses and the complete destruction of Katniss' home, District 12. As the war continues, the leaders of the rebellion turn to Katniss herself and ask her to be the face of the rebellion, a role to which she is initially loathe to take on. However, soon her desire for revenge leads her to accept the role even though it leads her along a path that could cause her to risk losing everything.

I am going to start by being honest and say I probably enjoyed this novel more than "Catching Fire". It just felt like Katniss was a little bit more in charge of her own destiny that she had been in the previous book. In addition, it was nice to see a slightly different story from the first two novels which had really followed the same overall plot structure in my opinion. In the end though, the book still wasn't as satisfying as "The Hunger Games" itself had been but it is always hard to match up the first book in a series.

The book is full of enjoyable and entertaining periods of action, suspense and adventure, but this time I also think there is a deeper sense of depression and gloom around which did make for an interesting read. This was specifically so in the case for Peeta who has a terrible time of it in this novel and is quite psychologically damaged at one point in the story which was really intriguing to follow.

The shame of it though, was that some of the more shocking moments and saddening episodes within the novel just weren't brought across very well. Several characters die during this book but they mainly seem to be dealt with by only a single line with Katniss then moping about it for a few more. There is no real "oh my god, no!" moment from the reader because it is over in a flash and isn't really written that well by Collins. For one character's death specifically I didn't even realise that it had actually happened until a few pages later.

I also once again I found myself getting irritated by a lover triangle that I really didn't care that much about. Katniss continued to just come across as a little bit uncaring about either Peeta or Gale and it made it hard for me to really care then if she even ended up with one of them. Then when she does end up with one of them, it almost feels like Katniss has just ended up picking them because of the way things occurred without any specific reason.

In summary, whilst I have listed some of my issues above this was still another enjoyable book in the series but it just doesn't match up to the feelings I had when I read "The Hunger Games". The ending is also little bit sudden I think and it would have been nicer to actually watch Katniss live during the years after the main events in the novel rather than just getting a quick and un-satisfying snapshot from the future. Basically, if you have read and enjoyed the previous books in this series then you will want to read this book and should find something in it to enjoy but don't expect it to fulfil all the desires you may have wanted for a final book.

Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Speculative Fiction Challenge
Sci-Fi Reader Challenge