Published by: Scholastic.
Released: 25th August 2010.
Official synopsis: "Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge... The thrilling final instalment of this ground-breaking trilogy promises to be one of the most talked-about books of the year."
I have just finished what has to be one of the most emotional roller coasters of a reading experience I have ever had.
Quite literally, I am speechless. I am blown away by what Suzanne Collins achieves in this book. From the very first page, you get the feeling that this is a very different book to the previous two, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. In essence, it is a departure from the other two. The first two feature heavily on the Hunger Games themselves, whereas Mockingjay is a pure war story. There is really a sense that everyone is up for grabs. That no matter how big a character they may be, they are at risk. This book, more than any I've read before, really highlights the atrocities of war - I have to admit that I wasn't expecting most of the stuff that happened in this book, and some are quite sickening and chilling.
The plot in this one is absolutely huge! There were times when you could feel something bubbling up, and on a few occasions I thought to myself "Oh god, is this going to live up to what she's trying to do? Is it going to live up to my expectations." I'll admit I went into the book extremely excited, but with a little reluctance. There have been many occasions where a final book doesn't live up to the readers expectations (an example for me being Breaking Dawn.) and leaves the reader feeling disappointed. But with me, Mockingjay was anything but a disappointment. From start to finis, it's fast paces, high octane and just as entertaining and addictive as the first two.
It's VERY dark. As the subject matter would suggest. Those who tend to cry easily, I warn you you may get through a few tissues when reading this book! One part near the end made me tear up, it is very sad! The book is actually quite physically draining. In places, I'd even say depressing. It really does take a lot out of you for various reasons, but don't let that put you off! The amazing plot more than makes up for it.
The cover art, I feel suits this book perfectly. The contents. Everything. It's bold, and quite literally, on fire. Katniss Everdeen is, afterall, the spark! I like that the US cover art gives a sense of hope, while the UK cover art gives the sense of death and darkness. Evil. The tagline for the book, which you'll find on the back of the UK cover is chilling, bold and simply put, brilliant. "If we burn, you burn with us." A very powerful line, I'm sure you'll agree!
The characters are just as brilliant as ever, with a few twists that I certainly didn't expect. In fact, there were twists all the way through the book that took me completely by surprise. I can't say much more about the characters without spoiling it, so you'll just have to see for yourself what twists relate to the characters.
Since finishing, I've seen one or two people complain about the ending. Saying that it doesn't live up to what they thought it would. That it ended too quickly. But for, I cannot see any other way of the series ending. When you read it. You'll understand what I mean. That said, the closing chapters may have been a bit abrupt. It all happened fairly fast. The Epilogue however is fantastic. That final line. *SIGH OF AMAZEMENT*. Now that is a line to end a trilogy. Wow.
I guess looking back I'm not that speechless at all, but on reflection this will probably seem like a jumbled mess. But these are my intial - albeit spoiler free - thoughts on the book. A book that I love, and will read again, and again, and again. It actually is phenomenal. One of the best books I have EVER had the fortune to read. Suzanne Collins, I salute you!
If you haven't yet read this trilogy... do it now. You have the luxury of reading them back to back! I only had to wait a few weeks for Mockingjay and that was bad enough. I can't imagine the poor people who've had to wait an entire year!
My thanks to Scholastic for my copy, and to Steven at Scholastic for introducing me to The Hunger Games in the first place. I cannot thank you enough!
May the odds, ever be in your favour.