Name: The Hunger Games Mockingjay (Book Three)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Ltd.
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Themes: Death, Love, Power
Rating: 4.5 Stars
After surviving two Hunger Games, the battle is far from won as Katniss and the others face their most challenging obstacle yet: revolution. Years of repression have led to this moment, and they all must face up to what is morally right and sacrifice everything in order to achieve their freedom.
We begin in destruction, as Katniss and her family face the hardships of District 12, adjusting to their new life and coming to terms with the loss they have already faced. There is no time to mourn or accept loss as Katniss is plunged into the role of the Mockingjay, the face of the rebellion…
In other words, I step out of line and we’re all dead…
The team shoot footage in different areas, intercepting the news feeds of the Capitol to broadcast rebel footage, distribute propaganda and voice opinion, however life without Peeta proves difficult for Katniss and we see how their once staged love runs deeper.
Along the way, Katniss, Finnick and Haymitch become closer, facing life changing decisions which shape the face of the future. Forming various squads, the rebels head towards the capitol, filming footage along the way, but with an ultimate and collective goal in mind…
President Coin: We learn a lot about her physical description in the book, that she is 50 years old and she has grey eyes, described as ‘the colour of slush that you wish would melt away’ immediately connoting something unpleasant and dis-likable. Her name itself ‘Coin’ connotes the idea of money and possibly a shallow mindset, holding a lack of passion for the rebellion itself but rather of personal gain from it all. We learn that she possibly the most dangerous and powerful character in the book, using the reel forces and the capitol forces to oppose one another with the goal to gain overall control.
Annie Cresta: Finnick’s one true love, and their relationship runs parallel to that of Katniss and Peeta. Annie was held hostage by the Capitol after the games, and this only worsened her already deteriorated mental state as a result of the games. Finnick loves her regardless, and this proves how in a world of superficial costumes ad make up, and where the the media and reality mix, there is still genuine affection and love.
Tigris: A minor character in comparison, however she is a former stylist from the Games, and owns a shop in the Capitol. She helps Katniss’ squad as they seek a place to hide for a while, providing food and clothing. It proves that even within such a tightly controlled Capitol, internal opposition and rebellion still occurred.
Pollux: An avox who proves very useful to the squad as he leads them through a series of underground tunnels to be concealed from the watching opposition. He is moved by Katniss’ ability to sing to Mockingjays.
Death: Running continuously across the three novels, this one is the most prominent in terms of the sheer amount of death there is. The rebellion takes a turn for the worse and many innocent people are murdered and many homes destroyed even from the start. Not only is the Capitol responsible for death, Katniss faces many decisions about the lives of others, bringing in moral values and the choice of personal suffering. Death imagery is present across the entire book, with little safety and little reassurance, as well as the theme of murder and suicide. Personal sacrifice is very apparent, as the characters agree to protect one another from torture. On more than one occasion, members of the squad die to save others, and every character loses those closest to them.
Love: More apparent in this book, relationships become clearer and more defined. Although Katniss is unsure of who she truly loves to begin with, the hardships and challenges that follow really define the stronger people, and bring out the true colours of every character. Katniss finds that although Peeta is in a deteriorated mental state, their connection runs far deeper than she originally believed, and even with Gale by her side in district 131, she is unable to continue without knowing Peeta is safe…
“You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.
“Real,” I answer. “Because that’s what you and I do, protect each other.”
We also see the love of Finnick and Annie unearth, as we learn more secrets about Finnick’s past, the way in which he was treated and used by Snow, and the ways events of his life have damaged him. His connection with Annie is special, and they provided hope of new life on the announcement of Annie’s pregnancy.
Power: This theme is apparent across many of the characters: Katniss is the Mockingjay so the power that her words carry surpass those of Snow, mainly because her cause is something that each district feels passionate about. People have complete faith in what she can do, and how she can destroy Snow and liberate them all. President Coin has immense power, controlling the rebel forces and the form the fighting takes. She has the whole of District 12 behind her and she is trusted by most. Even with the power she carries, Katniss is able to see pas her facade and understand her true intentions, allowing her to save everyone from further repression. President Snow has power, even at the end when his physical state is significantly weakened, and it seems everybody is against him, the power of his words over Katniss compels her not to kill him and to understand the true situation that they all face.
My Personal View
Personally, I loved this book. Not as much as the second, but I did love it. Not only were the characters spot on, and equally balanced in terms of personality, but the way in which the book carried emotion and swapped so quickly from death to love with plot twists and surprises, was really special. It really finished off the series well, not providing a new equilibrium until right at the end, killing all of my favourite characters until I was certain there would be nobody left, and teaching us all valuable lessons of how deep love runs. I loved the relationships the different characters built with one another, and how the words of one can move a nation. I felt the books inspired change, and hope for a future where much seems bleak. Overall, a fantastic, emotional and inspiring series.
Which is your favourite book? Or favourite character?