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.
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.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - Almost everyone has seen the movies, read the books or heard of the Hunger Games series. This final book does not disappoint. The Capitol and President Snow are under attack and out for revenge, and Katniss has become the figurehead of the rebellion. The characters we've come to love must continue to band together and fight for what they believe in, as opposed to being in the arena. They aren't super-heros. They are young adults who are forced to grow up in lives they didn't chose for themselves, but they are smart, brave and resourceful.
The story has lots of action and violence, so there is loss and sadness. The conclusion doesn't tie everything up with a big, happy pink bow, but it's realistic, positive and very good. It's also hard to predict. With only 45 minutes left to listen, there are still major questions unanswered, so the story is suspenseful to the very end. I wanted things to turn out a little differently, but overall it's the perfect ending to a great series.
PERFORMANCE - Initially I didn't like the narrtor's voice, thinking it sounded too old for Katniss, but I've come to totally accept her and enjoyed her performance.
OVERALL - Recommended for just about everyone but, due to the violence, I wouldn't recommend for below about age 15. Great book, great series. Definitely listen to them in order, and definitely get them!
I didnt like this book as much as the past two. There are some awesome things in the book but once you hit the last few chapters it starts to get a little convoluted and a bit confusing. I was getting to a point where i just wanted to finish the book just so I could know how it ended, not to enjoy the last bit of the journey.
The books overall are great amazing books and this does end it in a justifiable way that wraps things up. I would also recommend this to anyone. I do have some quibbles about the ending but it doesn't ruin the books or make them mediocre.
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 don't have time to sit and read, but I have plenty of time to sit and listen! :)
What do we expect of war? Why does every book have to have a happy ending? Because life does not. I can only imagine how people who have seen the starving, dieing and murdered end up living their lives. Loosing everyone they love, watching them die. Killing people they do not know.
Though I would have hoped for a more happy ending, a better love story between the characters, we have enough romance novels out there to read to make up for this ending. This book is true to war. True to how people are used for a cause that can cause them to go mad.
I am sure if they make a movie it will have a happier ending... Hollywood does that, rewrites the story. But this book though depressing, makes you think about life around you and how you might be one of the citizens in today. Which district do you live in? The Capital, never starving, always clothed and warm? How does this book help you see the world around you.
The way things are portrayed via news and real life. What people see and how it's twisted and used for their own political purposes. How the Media easily manipulates the mind of the citizens and has for thousands of years in human history.
The constant struggle between being in charge of your own mind, opinions or are we manipulated for entertainment?
It just keeps you thinking....
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.
Reading the reviews that came before, this is clearly a love it - hate it book. The author has never held back on the grittiness, and I'm not sure why people would expect her to in the finale.
If you're looking for sunshine and light at the end of this series, you'll probably give this book one or two stars. If you're not squeamish and go into it a bit more realistic about what the author has in store, you'll probably like it.
It's The Hunger Games, people, not Eat, Pray, Love.
I'm a grad student with very little time to edit reviews because I'm editing research papers. Audible helps me with my book addiction.
If you are reading this without having listened to the book first, perhaps the best I can hope for is that you'll go in with lower expectations and thus have a better time reading this than I did. The wonder that was the first and second book were completely lost in this third and final installment. I'm baffled at what happened to the spirit the author maintained through the earlier novels.
I waited a few days to digest the book before writing a review because I would have given it 1 star and said how horrible it was. A pageturner/audio addiction it is, mainly because I was waiting for Katniss to wake up and become the girl we fell in love with. It never happened. In fact, the entire book, with the exception of a few moments, can be summed up as "meh."
(Minor SPOILERS ahead)
What earned the book two more stars is the moment I took to step back and really look at the book from outside the eyes of an adoring reader. Katniss is seventeen. She has no power in government save being "the mockingjay" and no true love for either boy in her little triangle. As a reader I expected her to at least progress somehow. To rise up and lead her people. But she didn't. And when you get down to it, how could she? It's fantastical to think a 17 yr old could hold such power in a book but the author was trying to maintain realism... I think... though it earned no love from her readers. I suppose we must remind ourselves that most stories end with a happy ending and we expect this. Grand triumph. Since we didn't get that we feel robbed. But the ending did remain true to the devastation that the Capitol inflicted on Katniss. She's a tramatized war soldier.
As for the love triangle... there's really no love in it. Gale summed it up pretty easy in the book. I found it strange that one of them just gave her up and the other accepted their circumstance together as if after all that they should just accept being together. I didn't feel love, I felt fondness.
The book is fantastic and will leave you crying for all the characters involved.
Personally I started reading this novel a little skeptical because I have found (in my past experience) that dystopian novels generally don't end in a place that leaves you feeling satisfied, instead they generally end with something that makes you go "and....." So I was quite pleased that Mockingjay was able to tie up every lose end (even if it leaves you balling in public) but at the end of the book you'll feel like you were involved in something special.
Through this trilogy I have become very attached to Katniss Everdeen, Peta, and Gale but Suzanne crafts the novel so expertly that in the end you are willing to say goodbye and thank them for such an excellent experience that the novel brought to you.
Overall this book is a real keeper and something that will stay imprinted on your heart.