Mockingjay is the final installment in The Hunger Games series, one that I started after I saw the first film. There are many concepts that are introduced in this trilogy, from killing and survival to dictatorship and oppression – therefore I never doubted that the text depicts reality in it’s most horrifying and naked form. However, I will go on to say that the final book of the series was a huge disappointment for me.
The book starts with the whole confusion about Katniss’s escape from the Quarter Quell, she is in District 13 (which was thought to be destroyed) and she realizes her role in the grand scheme of bringing down the Capitol. Previously being oblivious to the plan, she is surprised to learn everybody’s alliance, however she soon gets into the swing of things and accepts the reality. Her main concern is Peeta, who has been taken captive by the Capitol.
The rest of the book depicts Katniss’s preparation for war. Collins masterfully portrays the power of media controlling people’s reactions into the book. I thought this was an interesting aspect of the books since it is what happens in real-life as well. One of the issues that negates the value of the text is Katniss’s personality. Since she has always been portrayed as strong-willed and mature, this book made her appear weak and reckless. I would have liked to see Katniss mature and take charge, instead of being child-like and act her actual age – something which was absent in previous texts.
Despite the shocking concept of The Hunger Games, I found the third book the least believable and thought that Collins didn’t exactly know how to end the series. Yes, a drastic measure was a nice way to end the trilogy (similar to the many deaths in the final Harry Potter books), however the final death of the book was a bit extreme. When I read that part, I sincerely felt that the whole point of Katniss’s story become obsolete. Her entire story was based on protecting her sister, she didn’t care about the Capitol or it’s injustice (like Gale did) – therefore her madness and anger towards the end of the book was a bit unnecessary. It felt as if Collins ended the book in a hurry, quickly placing characters in different places to just get the story done with.
At the bare bones of it, The Hunger Games are considered to be books for children and young adults, and this is the reason that I was shocked at the end. It not only doesn’t end on the note expected, it ends on a low. Personally, I really liked the characters and the themes of the trilogy, however for the sake of the genre and the audience, the ending should have been one of hope, happiness and closure.