Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Real let down after the first two. Don't bother.
on 8 October 2012
I loved the first Hunger Games book. Liked the second. Hated the third. Probably hated it all the more because it is such a let down after the first two. There was so much potential to wrap the story up well and make a really dramatic statement, but this book is just filled with complex, interminable and pointlessly detailed battle scenes, and Katniss having a completely uncharacteristic breakdown. If you have read the first two, don't bother with this one, it'll ruin it all for you. I'm feeling quite bitter about that.
I think the problem is that Ms. Collins was rushed. As a writer myself, I know about deadlines, and I think that with the first two books selling like the new Twilight, she was put under too much pressure to get book 3 out as quickly as possible. It shows in that some of the writing really is quite juvenile and unpolished. I felt a bit like a teacher saying to her "I KNOW you can do better than this." I really wish she'd told her agent, editor, publisher and readers where to get off and taken all the time she needed to make a really satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
SPOILER ALERT: To save you having to buy and struggle through this book, I'm going to summarise what happens.
District 13 is alive and well and underground, and Katniss is taken there following the end of book 2 where her mother and Prim are living with the other survivors of District 12. It's ruled over by President Coin, who asks Katniss to be the symbolic mockingjay to unite the districts against the capital. Katniss does so, but starts to realise that Coin is just as corrupt and cruel as Snow and would be just as much a tyrant were she to gain his power. The Districts do all rebel, all-out war ensues with huge loss of life. During the battle Katniss sees a cloud of little parachute bombs kill a group of children, and then sees the unexploded bombs go off a few minutes later to kill the medics - including Prim - who have rushed in to help the survivors. Having heard this tactic discussed in District 13 she realises that this atrocity was committed by Coin, not the Capitol as Coin later claims.
When the Districts have won President Coin suggests reinstituting the Hunger Games - using the Capitol's children - as punishment for how they treated the Districts. Gale supports this idea (and Coin) but Katniss feels it makes them just as bad as the old regime. Still reeling from Prim's death, however, she agrees that the people responsible for killing her sister should suffer.
The execution of President Snow is staged and Katniss is to be the one to kill him since this was part of her terms for being the mockingjay. Instead, however, she shoots her arrow into Coin.
Snow dies from his mystery illness and Katniss goes into isolation in District 12 to have a completely uncharacteristic mental breakdown. Peeta is with her, since he too is messed up from torture by the Capitol. Twenty years later Katniss and Peeta are married with two little children and still living in the rebuilt District 12.