Sunday, 20 February 2011

Review: Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Format: Paperback
Pages: 458
Genre: SciFi, Dystopia
Published: 25th August 2010 (Scholastic)

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

There's a war going on in Panem. Katniss is now living in District 13 - the one that no one knew existed - reunited with her mother, sister and Gale who escaped an attack on District 12. She has no idea what happened to Peeta following her rescue from the Quarter Quell arena and the rebels want her to be their Mockingjay - the face of the rebellion - to unite the districts against the Capitol.

It was interesting to read about how District 13 differed from 12, with everything being very regimented and structured, and also to find out more about the first war in Panem - the one that led to the start of the Hunger Games to remind the people of the districts that the Capitol is in charge. The author doesn't hold back in writing about the aspects of war and the part where Katniss visits a hospital in one of the other districts is particularly heart-wrenching.

There was a change in dynamics between the characters in this final part of the series. Katniss is more withdrawn into herself following everything that has happened, which is completely understandable. She spends more time with Finnick and Johanna, who she collaborated with during the previous Hunger Games, probably because they get how she's feeling more than most people can.. There's still the tension between Katniss, Gale and Peeta but it takes a different angle as this time Gale is the one who's around for more of the story and Peeta's not quite himself (I thought this was a great twist to the story, although I'm not going to reveal the cause of it). It's also interesting to see how the two boys react when they're together, knowing how they both feel about Katniss.

A fantastic finish to an amazing series, Mockingjay was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. In fact, that was the case for all three books. I read the first two back to back but then put off reading this one for a while, I think because I didn't want it to end and because I didn't want to be disappointed by it. Fortunately that wasn't the case. I loved everything about this book. My only complaint ... the series being over.

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