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Mockingjay (The Hunger Games) Paperback – February 25, 2014
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Fans will be happy to hear that Mockingjay is every bit as complex and imaginative as Hunger Games and Catching Fire."
Suspenseful... Collins' fans, grown-ups included, will race to the end."
At its best the trilogy channels the political passion of 1984, the memorable violence of A Clockwork Orange, the imaginative ambience of The Chronicles of Narnia and the detailed inventiveness of Harry Potter."
-New York Times Book Review
Unfolding in Collins' engaging, intelligent prose and assembled into chapters that end with didn't-see-that-coming cliffhangers, this finale is every bit the pressure cooker of its forebears. [Mockingjay] is nearly as shocking, and certainly every bit as original and thought provoking, as The Hunger Games. Wow."
-Los Angeles Times
* This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review
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I felt that it started out strong and Katniss showed some serious hope and depth in terms of her character and what she wanted and how she was not going to compromise, but then it became a little boring, the characters in District 13 were not very interesting and the absence of Peeta, as another reviewer carefully mentioned, took away that balance - that harmony - that common sense side of Katniss. Leaving Peeta largely out of the story forced us to focus solely on Katniss and her dark world, and I also wish there was more of Prim. If Prim was the one and only thing that Katniss lived for - besides Peeta although she figures this out later - then why could we not get to know Prim more?
I am almost sad to admit just how impatiently I was reading the book, just to read it, not to enjoy it. I was almost sick of Katniss and the whole war between the capital and the districts, and the ending just petered out. There was no true peace or happiness for Katniss after all, thanks to taking Prim away and I do understand it was a necessary part of the story - but I wish it had been her mother or maybe her "cousin" Gale who got the ax and not little Prim.
Also I do wish there was a clarity as to what in the world had happened behind the scenes between President Snow and Coin but no explanation.
I am glad I read the whole series, and I appreciate Suzanne Collins's amazing writing style and story telling. I just think this one came up short. That's all! Here's hoping the next series of books she gives us makes up for it :)!
The series is full of intrigues - intrigues which are mostly solved by the time one reaches the end but so precariously that they will be reopened, reexamined, redeveloped again and again as the series unfolds.
While the story so far has little parallels with Harry Potter, one is struck by similarities with Orson Card's Enders Game. However, it is almost given that unlike the Enders series that turned more and more unreal as well as more distant from the subjects of the first book, this one could develop with more continuity.
A great start - made me immediately jump to the second book. Only hope is that the author does not drag it endlessly.
Other young adult fiction /dystopian future books can be boring and hard to follow, but Catching Fire shows a good pace, and is easy to understand. The book is also very entertaining, and filled with suspense for what will happen next. My favorite quote from this whole book was on page 174, "My body reacts before my mind does and I'm running out the door...". This quote expresses suspense, and the idea of mind over matter, which she loses at this point. I won't spoil why she ran out the door, but let's just say that I would have too. The book also relates to the movie very well, unlike some other books in the genre. Overall, the book Catching Fire is 391 pages of suspense, entertainment, and a true underdog story.
Collins ruthlessly depicts the war between the Capitol and rebels in a grisly, violent fashion, leaving nothing to the imagination. Once again, she proves adept at peeling away layers of personas of pertinent characters. Katniss is portrayed as a young woman who wants to live a simple life and does not care for her perception as a heroic young woman ready to lead the cause for freedom yet finds herself thrust again and again into this role. The ending will surprise some readers, although this reviewer sees no other way it could have concluded.