The last installment of The Hunger Games trilogy will surely leave you ablaze with emotion. It’s been a while since I read it. I’m not sure why I procrastinated so much in writing the review. Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to repeat what I had written in my reviews of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.
In Mockingjay, the themes of war and humanity’s need for freedom, self-determination and a fair, just society are brought to fruition. We learn that District 13 thrives. It is preparing for an assault on the Capitol and its oppressive regime. District 13 believes in equality, justice, fairness – but, their methods are brought into question too. There is so much fear of oppression in District 13 that, ironically enough, its people are not quite as free as they claim. Both ends of the political spectrum are under scrutiny, neither fairs well in Panem.
I had the most trouble with Katniss Everdeen in this final book. She has been made the symbol of the revolution. She is the mockinjay because she challenged and survived the cruelty of the Capitol. This is not her choice. Ultimately, she knows that she has no choice. To refuse to be the symbol would be to abandon the rebels and allow the Capitol to crush them – which would mean Panem would be in a worse situation and her family would die. She has to allow her image to be used as inspiration for the rebels. She must help to lead the fight against the Capitol because it is too late to turn back.
Throughout these decisions, the book is littered with her doubts – fine, I’m with her, at least at the beginning. But she keeps making questionable decision after questionable decision because she never stops to think. Yes, her character is meant to be fiery, she acts on instinct – and for the most part, it works…there were too many moments where I felt infinitely frustrated by her.
Don’t even get me started on Peeta! Poor Peeta! That’s all I’m going to say about that in case you haven’t read it, and wish to, I don’t want to spoil it for you. I truly do not understand the decision to make his character undergo such an experience.
The love triangle returns. Each character must make their choices about where they stand within the revolution. This decision is what finally decides the outcome of the love triangle for Katniss, Peeta and Gale. Collins serves her protagonist well because Katniss falls into her choice, as she does everything else. There is a definite decision made and it seems to be for the benefit of all. Actually, each character in this trilogy that readers come to care for makes a choice early on in Mockingjay that leads to their final outcome. Primrose, Haymitch, Finnick, Cinna and Mrs. Everdeen all have definite resolutions. I can’t say I’m a fan of many of these outcomes but Collins is showing the consequence of war and revolution, after all.
Katniss has her final confrontation with President Snow. It was not at all as I had expected (in fact, on more than one occasion I was left flabbergasted). Considering Katniss’ motivation was always the protection of her sister – it made complete sense.
This trilogy was well written. It was engaging, creative, full of action and emotion. It offered a conclusion that was both somber and hopeful. I believe Collins gives a good sense of finality in Mockingjay, yet she leaves her readers wanting more. This is not a bad thing. Once an author has tied all loose-ends and she leaves her readers wanting more, then I believe she has done her job of creating a place where it is so much fun to get lost in.