I absolutely love the first books and I was totally certain the third would be just as great but I have to say it was overall really disappointing. The worst part for me was the lack of character development, I was expecting anything tragic to happen to any character including Katniss but I never thought she would completely ignore their relationships which were the foundation of the first books. Maybe success ruined it for the author, she started believing she had to write "Literature", send a big message and somehow forgot to be loyal to her story.
I guess my major complaints are: Katniss's mother is never "real" to me, there is not a single scene in this book that makes her alive, differently from CF and in the end she just disappears, doesn't even visit Katniss in recovery. Finninck's death was so gratuitous, they seemed to have time to escape those mutts and he was an excellent survivor, didn't seem realistic to me. The capitol city is full of pods? Why??? The last rebellion was 75 years ago! One of Katniss's best qualities in the arena was her capacity to evaluate her chances. How could she and a bunch of trained soldiers cross an occupied city and invade a well defended mansion to kill the president ??? It was totally absurd to me and this was the whole last third of the book. Prim's death was a big mistake, not because it happened, I was imagining the HG series being what it was, dark and realistic, somebody big was probably going to die in the war. I didn't think it would be Gale or Peeta because that could be a cheap way to save Katniss from choosing one of them and Collins didn't run from tough choices in first books. I was betting on Haymitch or Prim from the beginning. But I thought it would be a sad, well written scene like Rue's death not the insane bombing I didn't fully understand yet. Coin was maybe evil but not crazy, she wouldn't kill lots of children with such a big chance to be discovered. Worse. What was Prim doing over there? A thirteen year old girl still learning the basics? When the war already won? What exactly happened to Johanna? Gale?
And of course, Peeta. He was the ray of sunshine that made the first books feel hopeful despite all the violence. I could have done without that but I wish it had been for a good reason. I understand the choice of his "mental confusion" when he returned. I always thought he idealized Katniss too much and I as soon as he tried to choke her I thought that would be a great way to develop their relationship and conclude the series. He would slowly come to his senses, become the old Peeta again but finnally see her for what she really was while she would learn to really value his qualities and fight for what they had, what they could have, learning this was what she really needed. This would be "the choice" that was hinted in the first books, a slow realistic proccess, without an actual "choice" scene. But that never happens. Katniss mentions she would have chosen him anyway and that she does love him but it is too little too late, by then it seems he only went crazy so she could infuse the book with more suffering and there was no point in it. Not that it has to have a point, I don't mind reading sad stuff, watching sad movies, but they have to be really good and well made otherwise it is just melodrama. Like most people have already said the ending is totally rushed, that is a poor way to end a trilogy. I would have liked to read about them "growing back together" at least to make up for all the previous mistakes in the book at that point. I really hope in the future I can reread the first books and make up an ending of my own!
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