Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(I was given this book for free on a read-to-review basis.)
This book (the third in the hunger games trilogy) takes off where Catching fire ended. Katniss is in the hands of the rebels, while Peeta is at the mercy of the capitol and President Snow.

What follows is a story which is very different to the previous two. There is no pretence of games now, and it’s no longer 24 teenagers fighting to the death. The rebels are slowly taking over the districts, with an aim of taking the capitol and Snow in the end, and there will be many deaths before this is over.

Poor Katniss is finding herself breaking down, especially when she realises what is happening to Peeta on the orders of President Snow, but digs deep and somehow finds a way to go on, although her new objective is much darker than her previous objective of survival. Now she wants President Snow’s blood, and as unlikely as it is, you know she has the determination to do it.

Peeta has had his memories altered by scientists at the capitol, and finds it hard now to distinguish between things that really happened, and his false memories. What is most heart breaking about this though is the fact that they have destroyed his love and trust in Katniss, taking away what little support she has come to rely on, and have turned him against her. Peeta is also struggling mentally to come to terms with what has happened to him.

Gale has joined the rebels, and now begins to show some pretty nasty characteristics that we haven’t seen from him before. He is intent on winning this war, no matter what the cost to human life, and at times even comes across as sadistic. At times he makes reference to himself and Katniss becoming an item, but makes no attempt to even tell her the truth at times, never mind actually trying to romance her.

The turn this series has taken in this book, shows what the hunger games have done to the nation they were supposed to entertain. Both tributes/victors, and their family and friends alike are suffering mentally and emotionally, and are at times unrecognisable from the people they started out as, and the vote to hold a 76th hunger games with the children coming from the capitol, shows that the victors have now come full circle, and are now turning into the people that they themselves hated.

While the first two books in the series were ultimately about love and survival – with Katniss stepping in for her sister, and both Katniss and Peeta protecting each other in the arena, this book is about hate and war, and the death toll rises sickeningly from the very first chapter to the very last. The romance storyline is practically forgotten, with Peeta trying to kill Katniss, Gale generally seeming to want something from Katniss without offering anything in return, and both making some comments about her which make her feel bad about herself. I also hate the way the romance angle ended with Katniss basically ending up with Peeta because he came back to live next door while Gale abandoned her and went to live in district two. Even though both Katniss and Peeta seem to be emotionally crippled to a certain extent, I think Katniss should have made a choice to be with Peeta, rather than being with him by default. When all is said and done, Peeta is a pretty decent human being, and has treated her with such care and consideration throughout all of this, and she never really voices her love for him.

Overall this book is much darker and grittier than the first two, with gruesome deaths and shocking plot twists including intricate booby-trap bombs (which remind me of the weapons in the film The Cube), the slaughter of children, Katniss shooting someone through the heart with an arrow in cold blood, Finnick’s death at the hands of Mutts just days after his marriage to Annie, and worst of all the death of Katniss’ sister Primrose for whom Katniss volunteered to go into the games in the first place for.
To be honest I actually feel quite traumatised having read this, and can only hope that nobody ever has to go through what Katniss has been through.
In empathy to poor Katniss – 8 out of 10.

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1 comment:

  1. Love this trilogy! Actually liked this book... except for the last two chapters I think. That is when the book when kind of dull(after the booby trap bombs) and then just rushed into "the end" part. It was odd.
    Again great review!