*This review contains spoilers*
Well, I was very excited to read this book... I loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. I couldn't wait to see how it all ended! I even pre-ordered the thing from Amazon and started reading it as soon as it arrived. And now I have finished it. And I am not very happy. And I wish it could have been different...
It wasn't a patch on the other two. The whole atmosphere was different. Katniss was no longer a strong survivor, but a weakened puppet unable to think or do for herself. The love triangle was laborious and even tenuous at times. The Capitol no longer seemed to be such an enemy when it was targeting only one person, for a specific reason - rather than everyone, for fun.
That's not to say the book was awful though. It just wasn't what I personally would have liked the Hunger Games to end with.
I didn't like that Katniss was so passive throughout the book, and I think that's what ultimately let down my expectations. I loved her strong headed-ness and hot temper. It was the reason I compared her to Will from His Dark Materials in a previous post. But this was gone in Mockingjay. As the face of a rebellion, she was actually very limp. I liked that she was uneasy infront of cameras but she has been the leader of her family for years - she can lead! I think what I enjoyed in the Hunger Games for it's flawed characters, I actually ended up resenting in Mockingjay, as I think the author tried to enforce it too much.
Yes, Katniss is traumatised. Yes, she has a lot of responsibilities. Yes, she is only 17. Yes, she has been a catalyst for war - BUT - she is a survivor! And that didn't carry through here.
She made no decisions of her own except to skip classes, and she quickly gave that up for an opportunity to get out of District 13. Even when she shot Coin I'm not sure that was her own decision - what with being addled on morphling and having Snow whispering his conspiricies in her ear.
As for the depressive withdrawal at the end... Did I suddenly pick up the wrong book and end up with Twilight? Her sisters dead - the Katniss from book 1 would go out to right it, not lock herself away. Its the exact thing she hated her mother for doing at the start! *sigh* Some people may say shooting Coin was revenge for Prim. But I think that was more to do with the proposal of a new Hunger Games and for using Gale against her (with the bomb) just the way Snow used Peeta.
Like I said, all a matter of personal "I wanted it this way" taste more than anything else. I like strong female leads!
That aside, other characters were brilliant. Finnick was possibly my favourite character of Mockingjay closely followed by Johanna. I wish there had been more of her!
Just one last point - the end. Generally I thought it was a bit of a cop out. No explanation of how Peeta got better. No explanation for Gale's decision not to return to 12. Katniss seemingly forgetting all about him for a life with Peeta. Children?! ... Its as if book 1 never happened, and if it did, it was a lie :(
Emma is a designer living in Bristol, UK. A self-confessed stationery addict, book lover and TV sci-fi geek, she enjoys sketching zombie-eyed women and finding her next source of inspiration in the pages on the bookshelf.