I can't adequately express my disappointment with the final installment of this triology, it was really lack luster, disappointing, and uninspired...and this is coming from someone that loves this story so much that I scheduled months in advance to have the release date off of work, just so I could sit around and soak up the story.
I'll admit that the series has always been a rather dark one, but it had that underlying promise of hope for a better future, good will triumph evil in the end, etc.. and characters so real that the reader was really invested in their individual stories. However, that aspect was completely missing in this book.
It was almost as if the author wanted to destroy everything and everyone just to make a philisophical point..and I'm not sure what point she was trying to make. We all know that war is terrible, but in every great tragedy their is always something redeeming or hopeful to hold on to. Not in this war; everything of beauty was taken away, everyone is destroyed physically, mentally, or emotionally, and in the end you are just left empty. The last ten pages of the book, meant to be a happy ending?...just aren't enough to redeem the characters, or repair the damage and heartbreak, the reader has experienced.
Mockingjay was my favorite out of the series. All three books were wonderful and had their own strengths but Mockingjay was my favorite. This series is funny at times, heartbreaking at times, and infuriating the rest of the time. I do not want to give anything away so all I will say is that if you have read the first two books and think you have seen the worst of it you are wrong some of the things that happen in this book were enough to drive the listener crazy with why’s and how’s. This was a great end to a wonderful series. I now need to take a break and relisten to something to give my mind time to get away from The Hunger Games Series (I can still hear The Hanging Tree, it’s haunting). As with the first two books I would recommend Catching Fire to any adult and leave it up to the parents of children since these books are very violent.
once scholar, now bibliophile
I'm assuming if you're reading this, you've already read/listened to the first two books and plan to read the last but are looking here to see what to expect.
Throughout the trilogy there is the opportunity for the characters to develop, but yet they remain shallow and in many cases one-dimensional. For example, Katniss, who plays the part of a pawn throughout the first two books, never redeems herself. Towards the end of the book when she has the opportunity to kill Snow, she has one moment to become a strong and worthy character; the reason behind the decision she finally makes neither builds her character nor endears her to the reader. In fact, the reader is never quite sure why she makes her decision--there are only brief allusions. Also, her decisions throughout the book are so contrived, I believe the general adult reader sees most of the action coming.
I'm the type of reader who expresses herself verbally when she reads (or listens to) a book; very often I'm like that annoying person in the theatre who laughs too loudly or yells out, "Don't go in there!" This book made no impression on me. While it was still a "page turner" and I listened to the audiobook for nearly the twelve hours straight, there is nothing in this novel that really stands out as original or philosophical. I'm never in love with any of the characters with the exception of Prim or Finnick, and as such I never had an overwhelming response to who dies. Katniss isn't strong, she's dull. Gale isn't down to earth, he's vengeful. Peeta isn't peace loving, he's broken. The story is tragic but predictable. It's clear that Collins never loves her Katniss the way Hardy loved his Tess, Larsson loved his Salander, or even Meyer loves her Bella.
One note on the narration: sometimes it is difficult to determine if a character is speaking or if it is part of Katniss's inner dialogue. McCormick doesn't adjust her voice enough sometimes for me to hear the difference.
I found this to be a wonderful ending to this epic trilogy. It went on so many twists and turns that I had no idea where it would end up. I would guess what would happen next, and though I was right, the book would amp up what just happened to levels I wasn't expecting. It is quite violent, but that's the nature of the series, and I applaud it for being so gritty. All in all, this is a series that should be read. Dark? Yes, but also quite moving.
As for the narration, I found it to be excellent. Carolyn McCormick did an excellent job of mixing up her voice for the various characters without being silly. Some of the voices, basically those of Capitol characters, might have seemed a bit silly, but that actually fit the characters best. All in all, she did a superb job!
I found the first two books of the series to be enjoyable and thought-provoking. Any first book of a series is full of discovery and often the most eye-opening as was The Hunger Games. The second book can sometimes be a sophomore slump, but I thought Catching Fire was as entertaining and moving as the first.
I anticipated Mockingjay would hold the same kind of discovery and adventure. Instead, I found the plot to be haphazard and confusing. I was left with questions throughout the book. I expected many to be answered by the book's end, but as the time wound down I became frustrated knowing that some of my questions would not have answers.
The dark edge of the book did not bother me and I enjoyed Carolyn McCormick's narration. She has become a character of the audiobook series.
With all that said, if you are a fan of the book, you will undoubtedly have to listen to this book, too. While I am disappointed in some of the aspects of the book, I do not regret listening to it.
Normally the second book in a trilogy is the most difficult to write. Yet in this it seems as if this third book was the one that was off kilter for Collins. Perhaps it was the pressure of the success of the first two. Or perhaps it was simply difficult to end. Regardless, I found the book to be somewhat disappointing. Katniss, who never really understands her role or grows into it, becomes a whining brat. She became a heroine with no redeeming characteristics. Constantly hurt, unable to support a single person, she is a liability to the rebellion. While she displays moments of being a "real live girl" they are short lived and she is undependable at all turns. Gale, on the other hand, is a far more interesting character and becomes better developed. But then Collins just throws him away at the end. And Katniss, of course, watches without doing anything. She doesn't even follow up later when things have settled down. The story line was hard to follow and did not have the "edge" the first two books had. It was just another war story at that point. The fact that Collins brought back the arena was irrelevant because she didn't really use it. When the war ends, neither side is really victorious, which is a typical ending to any war in fiction or real life. The ending lets you know what happened to everyone, but it is disappointing. I looked forward to this book for months, but it was all hype. McCormick reads the book in the same style as the first two and I have to give her credit for keeping outrage at the cardboard handling of the characters out of the narrative. Nothing is new or fresh in this book. Save your money if you wish, although it will be tough to not finish the series if you've read the first two.
I just finished and after having really enjoyed the first two I was really disappointed. I am afraid of even slightly spoiling this for anyone so I give warning I will not reveal what happens but it may be contrived from what I have to say from this point on.
I felt the story had so many opportunities for what may have been somewhat predictable to the average adult, but satisfying conclusions, and yet it did none of that. It came so close- to the point where i found myself annoyed wanting the story to just get to it, and then it almost does, but by sort of narrating what happens through what Katniss is told rather than by showing us, which would have been far more interesting, and what happens falls so short of answers. I don't know if I am making sense, but those who read Catching Fire will remember the last chapter where we are told what Katniss is told by her mentor about what happened after the hunger games. So much of the end of this book as well as much of the middle is like this. As though the author did not really know herself what she wanted to happen and threw something together at the last minute to just finish the book.
It reminds me of the days when I would write a book report on a book I only half read and then looked at the cliff notes for the ending and interpreted it slightly wrong in the retelling.
The first book was great. The second book was good. The third book seems to focus on 'message' at the expense of character development and storytelling. Disappointing.
I loved reading about King Arthur and Knights of the round table when I was a wee lad. Now I am older and love Game of Thrones!
I was thoroughly disappointed that Ms. Collins let me down. She originally wrote about a resourceful, strong willed, brave young girl who was meant to survive in the district and become a leader of many districts. She made HG a page turner, or I hungered to keep listening to my audiobook! CF was good, but I expected more for the last book, instead it became a drag to finish. Katniss kept her family alive by hunting, with survival skills and raw energy. HG, Katniss was a selfless girl who saved her sisters' life by sacrificing herself. Instead by CF she starts to loose that control, to the third, MJ , what do we get? *(spoiler) A girl who's can't make up her mind who she loves, is just a pawn or puppet used by others, and becomes this spineless, whiney girl, who's drugged on morphfling, much way that Haymitch strayed in character as a drunk though out the trilogy. Just as the action gets exciting, she gets knocked out, and ends the buildup, the rebels won, we read or are told the Capitol fell, and no Katniss in it.. What a let-down. Prim is barely in the story, but yet we are supposed to feel remorse when she dies. Prim dying meant nothing, I don't know why Ms. Collins portrayed Katniss this way. It turned me off, and was left wishing the story would move on, and tired of people around her dying. . By the time the back third of the story was upon me, I just wanted it to end. I felt disattached. I felt no joy that the Capitol fell, or the rebels won.
She didn't choose Peeta, she ended up with him because he was the only one who stayed.
Just to have kids because Peeta wanted them, and raised them on the ashes of her people in the bombed district. I felt that Ms. Collins wrote this book just as if pushed to finish it for a big movie deal.
I need to read reviews.
If I ever write a book or trilogy, then I am going to make sure I have a prepared answers for why I chose to write it, or follow the direction of that book or series. I am not impressed with the let down of the trilogy.
Whats to tell I am your avarage 30something, with kids, a husband, job and life. Besides that I drive a lot and love to listen to books instead of the radio. I will stay up until 3am in bed listening if the book is worth it, and I have also been known to return a couple of books that I could not get threw the first chapter. I am a bad speller so I apoligize for it now, but will be honest about my reviews.
This was a great series, I would reccomend it to everyone. I loved the ending and the late nights, loss of sleep and extra coffee where worth it. Credit well spent.