The Hunger Games
August 1, 2010
"Review from Ashia" By The Romance Reviews 2 years ago
Ironic. That's the one word that came to mind as I finished reading MOCKINGJAY. Unfortunately, to explain further would be a spoiler, so that's as far as I'm going to say.
The rebellion is in full swing, and Katniss has become the face of the rebellion. District 13 is using video clips of the Mockingjay (Katniss) to undermine the Capitol and to inflame the rebellion in other districts. Katniss allowed herself to become a tool, in exchange for some things, like the safety of Peeta and the other victors who were the Capitol's prisoners, and the privilege to kill President Snow. Yet, when they finally rescued Peeta from the Capitol, he is much changed, brainwashed to become the Capitol's tool and he doesn't recognize Katniss anymore and even wants to kill her...
MOCKINGJAY, as the third book in the trilogy, is a natural progression of the events in the first two books. Surprising twists and turns continue to keep the readers enthralled, especially toward the end. Here, the tension ramped up, not only in terms of the fate of Panem, but in a personal way especially for Katniss, as Peeta's condition hangs in the balance. Should Peeta be killed as an act of mercy? Or is there still hope for him?
Though I would've loved to see the same old Peeta doing his level best to protect Katniss, this reversal is a master stroke on the part of the author. Suzanne Collins sure knows how to keep readers riveted to the pages. In the first two books, Peeta has burrowed his way into our hearts and to see him like this creates angst and conflict and yes, hope, that he would get better one day, that he and Katniss would have their HEA. (Yes, speaking purely as a romance novel junkie.)
Loose ends are also wrapped up and answers are given to questions raised in the previous books. Yet, even here in these final moments, maybe especially because these are the final moments, the characters continued to evolve and change, and as the chaos and confusion in the world served to hone Katniss, Peeta and Gale even further, several inevitable truths are revealed and can be clearly seen:
In a war, no one wins. Justice and peace and freedom come at a cost. War changes everyone.
Something Gale said seemed to portray Katniss as cold and self-serving. Yet, in the entire trilogy, even in MOCKINGJAY, she was the one who didn't lose her core of humanity and her compassion. Though she realized things needed to be done, yet she didn't condone the cold-bloodedness of some of the methods employed. She saw clearly that the war served no one, most especially the innocents, who are merely victims of the ones in power. She saw people at their very basic level, not as rebels or those siding with the Capitol, but as people--men and women whose loved ones wait for their return alive.
The book ended on a somber (and fitting) note. It is without doubt that such an experience would change everyone, especially one as Katniss, who lost so much since she joined the Games as a tribute. Yet, there's also a note of hope, symbolized by the dandelion in the spring. That in the bleakest of situations, there is always hope.
I don't much like to read about war, but I have to admit that Suzanne Collins did a masterful job of writing this book. Though I didn't like much of what happened here, I have to admit that some things like the rebellion are inevitable, and the author also knew how to manipulate things to create the most impact in the readers. So, superb writing, surprising twists and turns with a last, unsuspecting bomb toward the end. If you haven't yet read this trilogy, pick up The Hunger Games now. It's worth a read.