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161 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la revolution
Soon to be a major film series. Something I found out after reading the first one. I can see it being a good film, although reading up on that and the books more, it seems this series is less of a hit with the male population - on the premise that this book mentions romance.

So, to clarify. I'm a man. I'm not young adult, and I'm not one for reading romance...
Published on 11 Oct 2011 by simon211175

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow burn
SPOILERS

What happens after Katniss and Peeta win the Hunger Games and return home? For me I felt the only way forward was for the two of them to begin or join a rebellion that leads to overthrowing the Capitol and the totalitarian regime that created the Hunger Games. And it seems that Suzanne Collins' thinking is along those same lines too except she only...
Published on 14 April 2012 by Sam Quixote


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161 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la revolution, 11 Oct 2011
By 
simon211175 (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catching Fire (Kindle Edition)
Soon to be a major film series. Something I found out after reading the first one. I can see it being a good film, although reading up on that and the books more, it seems this series is less of a hit with the male population - on the premise that this book mentions romance.

So, to clarify. I'm a man. I'm not young adult, and I'm not one for reading romance novels. The Twilight series are just wrong in my opinion.

Now we've established that, I can hopefully persuade you that these books are not romance novels. Nor are they just for kids.

This book picks up a few months after the close of the first (The Hunger Games). Peeta and Katniss are still playing up their romance for the Capitol crowds, and getting ready for their tour of the districts. But word is spreading of an uprising in the districts, and now President Snow is looking for blood.

I won't go in to more detail about the plot - you can read that in the product details above, and to be honest, if you've read the first book, and are already here - why haven't you bought this yet?

I've read some reviews saying this book isn't as good as the first one. I disagree, partly. The plot, and the writing are as good, if not better than the first. It lets itself down slightly by The Games being not as involved as the first book - but then I don't think they really are meant to be. They serve their purpose to get us to the start of book 3 (Mockingjay (Hunger Games)), and they do it well.

If you have read the first book, you should read this right now. You'll enjoy it, I promise. If you haven't read the first book, you need to go do that before reading this one.

I for one, am off to the third book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!! 5 stars all the way!, 29 Nov 2011
I have to side with all the five-star reviewers!

I enjoyed reading this SO much! I thought that the characters, who we have learnt to love in the previous books, developed new layers to their personality - Peeta in particular! A lot of other reviews have suggested that Katniss is unlikable and that she becomes weak and 'whiney', but I found her one of the most relatable characters BECAUSE of her flaws. Her reactions to the trauma that she suffers makes this one of the most gut-wrenching books I've read.

I think that the source of a lot of disappointment for the other more negative reviews is that this story has a non-conventional ending. I think the ending may have alienated a lot of people as it's not a stereotypically 'happy ending' but, personally, I found this a fantastic thing! With other series of books I've read, notably Harry Potter, although I loved them, I found myself asking just how much of a happy ending there could be for the main characters when so many bad things have happened in their lives. I loved the bittersweet ending of Mockingjay, where we see a world still affected by the traumatic events of the past.

I think that in comparison to a lot of (dare I use the phrase) 'Young adult' fiction that shows a dull love triangle, this book shows that no matter what happens, there is always hope and I found this to be a refreshing message. This book won't be everyone's cup of tea but I would encourage everyone to read this book - but maybe ask them to forget about the conventional ending that they were probably expecting.

There are flaws in this book, don't get me wrong, but I would challenge anyone to find a perfect book. For me, I review a book depending on whether I felt anything for the characters and whether I would read it again. By those criteria, it deserves every one of those 5 stars.

I hope that this has been helpful in some way!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutal and utterly relentless, 7 Jun 2012
By 
"Mockingjay" is the final instalment of the Hunger Games trilogy and represents a far darker and bleaker view than the earlier two novels. Although ostensibly still aimed at the Young Adult market it's almost as if Suzanne Collins has decided that the story needs to grow up at a similar rate to her prospective readers. So you can consider yourself fully warned; don't expect a light hearted conclusion to the trilogy.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all three novels although I am far removed from the target demographic. I found Collins to be a master-storyteller (no gender-based puns intended or required) and remarkably even-handed, irrespective of whether it's a main character or a member of the minor supporting cast who is being killed off. The truth is that very few survive, but that will come as no surprise to readers familiar with the gritty realism that Collins employs.

I felt that her skill at characterisation improved considerably from the first book and I felt a real sense of identification with the problems and difficulties that the main characters experience. Katniss's descent into depression and lethargy is particularly well-written and heartbreakingly accurate.

For me the epilogue felt a little unnecessary and I wondered why Collins felt the need to write it. I must try to do some research on-line to see if anyone has asked her this question. I suppose that after the machinations of the fairly convoluted plot had played out perhaps she saw it as a simpler, cleaner ending. But to me the conclusion of the book felt somewhat rushed after such careful plotting to reach this point.

However to sum up this third and final novel is harsh, brutal, and utterly relentless.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm speechless., 1 Sep 2010
By 
Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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So, Mockingjay. I'm not going to lie - I am addicted, obsessed and completely loyal to this trilogy, so my review is reflective of that - but even so let me tell you, this book did not exactly bring me joy. It evokes a lot of emotions, yes but I was crying not smiling at the end of it.

Mockingjay stays true to its dystopian origins. While a lot will not agree with me, I feel that the grimness of the book is a part of its strength. In true dystopian fashion, it explores the downfall of human conscience and displays the worse of our attributes; like Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I was appalled by many of the events in the book and at points felt sick at the ability of the characters to act as cruelly as they do. At times I felt that Mockingjay borders on unbearable - exactly how grim can a book be? It seems that nothing close to happily ever after can be associated with this book, because believe me, it can be depressing.

I can't help but comment on all the political implications on this book, because the trilogy is far beyond just Katniss' story. The workings of the rebellion and the fight for freedom takes a bulk of the book and the tension spirals out of control in many of its pages.As the mockingjay, Katniss traverses the thin line that divides both sides. I love the twisted, wicked feel of the battle because that was exactly how I imagined it to be. Not only full of secrets, but full of dark aims and uncertainties.

There is a lot I can say about how the characters' fates are sealed. We know beforehand that there will be deaths; what we do not know is who will die. Or exactly how many. As it turns out, no number of speculations could possibly have prepared me for the depressing turn of events in Mockingjay. Unfair will not even begin to cover what I think, because really I felt as if the characters were oppressed. Their circumstances were too heavy to comprehend experiencing, and the book does not give them what happiness they were due. The strength of characters is evident here, as clearly as their weaknesses. At this point, we readers are already very attached to the characters, so extreme reactions are expected. When I found out exactly who dies, I literally screamed and cried and wished the words changed. It was not supposed to happen, that was my primary reaction. There was a sense of hopelessness and helplessness and surely, you have got to be kidding? I felt as if I was killed right along with the character(s).

It was even more painful to read about the fates of those who were indirectly responsible for those deaths. And while I was not happy with the decisions of some of the major characters, I can understand the rationale behind it. It was not easy to pretend to be in their shoes and emphatise, but to comprehend the depth of pain and grief is, and that understanding is what makes it seem like a true decision. Depressing, but I felt that the portrayal of the damages to the human persona is not only accurate but also vivid, I believe Mockingjay stays true to its origins.

The ending I felt is slightly too rushed for my liking and too much too short. I am not sure I approve with what happened to some of the major characters, because towards the end I felt the need to know more about how they fared. I needed details, further insights and I don't think that was exactly granted. The ending is open to interpretations and leaves a lot to the reader to ponder and imagine. It is not happy per se, but as close to happiness as a dystopian trilogy like this one can be. I'm going to go ahead and say that the ending be-fits the feel of the trilogy. Had it been a flowery happy ever after, I would have much disliked it, because then it would appear as if it was only made to please the readers. It's not the best possible ending, but I can envision it happening following the events of Mockingjay. So it is a neat ending I guess. Still, I needed more!

I'm sure Mockingjay is part evil - it gave me such a terrible case of withdrawal once I finished that I did not know what to say or do - and that was on top of all the other emotions the events in the book evoked! There was a sense of 'now what?' that hovered over me when it was over, and I was emotionally-drained. Which means it's a good book, a great trilogy and a worthy read. Which means I am still hooked to it, and will probably always be. Which means Katniss' story is unmissable. Prepare to scream, kick and cry with this final book.
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as the first one, 12 July 2009
By 
So, the 'Hunger Games'. What a blazing book that was; 'Battle Royale' meets 'Big Brother'. But the first book only really got the story started. The main attraction of the book were the Games themselves, and only tantalising glimpses of the dystopian world were given.

In Catching Fire, we delve deeper into the history and mystery of this futuristic world. We learn a a few things about how Panem came to be, but also many more questions are raised. Did you think things would become less complicated for Katniss and Peeta after the Games ended? Far from it. Everything becomes far more complicated, and events spiral beyond their control.

The genuinely terrifying President Snow, a snakelike being who smells of blood and roses, is as threatening and hateful when he's not present as when he is. He's angry at our heroes, and getting angrier by the day as the unrest in the downtrodden districts grow. Katniss and Peeta are playing figurative chess with their lives as well as their loved ones. But there seems to be no escaping the power of Snow, and the revenge he brings crashing down upon them is horrific, devastating and, I will admit, completely unexpected.

In fact, that's the whole thing about 'Catching Fire', although the first 'Hunger Games' was an excellent book, it was a little predictable. This isn't. Every chapter seems to end on a plot twist, and your breath will catch in your throat as you fear for what could happen next.

On the downside, 'Catching Fire' is the second part of a trilogy, traditionally the weakest book in three because it neither has the advantage of starting the story nor finish it. Stories are followed up from where they left off, and some are started but not finished, obviously ready for the final installment, but 'Catching Fire' doesn't feel like it's own book. Plus, you could practically split this book in half, each half in very different places, with different stakes and different characters, and both almost completely inconsequential of each other, so it can feel a bit...tacked on at times. Plus 'Catching Fire' does sometimes retread familiar ground, making it feel a bit lazy here and there.

But honestly, these are just nitpicks. If you liked the first book, as I did, then you'll be just as delighted (and terrified) by this one. And, without spoiling anything, the last few chapters could be some of the finest, scariest, most heart-stopping moments I've ever read, and left me gagging for the final book.

If 'Hunger Games' left you hungry for more, then 'Catching Fire' will set you ablaze. Essential reading, for young adults and adults too. Not for the faint-hearted!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow burn, 14 April 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
SPOILERS

What happens after Katniss and Peeta win the Hunger Games and return home? For me I felt the only way forward was for the two of them to begin or join a rebellion that leads to overthrowing the Capitol and the totalitarian regime that created the Hunger Games. And it seems that Suzanne Collins' thinking is along those same lines too except she only gets to the rebellion until the final few pages of the book.

In the meanwhile she has Katniss and Peeta do a victory tour of all 12 Districts (this takes up the first 100 pages), then Katniss spends a lot of a time thinking about the love triangle she's in with Peeta and Gale (yawn), which goes on for another 100 pages with a glimpse into the next book's destination, District 13, where the rebels are based, before plunging back into tedious non-action until the Capitol announces all previous Hunger Games winners are to be pitted against each other in another Games. So Collins spends nearly 300 pages treading water, going over the events of the first book, what little that goes on in this book, until Katniss and Peeta wind up in the arena again.

It took me two sittings to read the first book, I was so enthralled by it, and nearly two weeks to complete "Catching Fire". The Games twist in this book is that it's not just kids in the games but adult and old people but because Katniss has a team to support her, the Games this time around are less interesting and are mostly the characters reacting to the environment.

The path to rebellion is finally picked up at the end but it took an entire book (the longest in the trilogy) to get there and, looking back on it, I don't think it needed to be even half as long as this was. It could've easily been a much shorter book and then split between "The Hunger Games" and "Mockingjay", but then trilogies are all the rage aren't they?

"Catching Fire" is a disappointing second novel with some nice moments that are few and far between though with a satisfying finale that sets up the third and final novel nicely. I hope "Mockingjay" is awesome because "Catching Fire" sure wasn't.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Limping to the finish line, 21 April 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
SPOILERS

At the end of the second book, Katniss and co. have relocated to the rebel city of District 13, the city that the Capitol maintained was destroyed. From here, the characters plot their attack against the hated Capitol and President Snow, joining in the rebellion that's now taking place in all of the Districts, for a showdown between President Snow and Katniss Everdeen....

I thought this book had potential and hoped that it would be an improvement on the second book, a lacklustre sequel to the brilliant first book. While the story of "Catching Fire" felt like it was dragging its heels, "Mockingjay" doesn't even bother to disguise its weariness. Suzanne Collins basically gives up in the third book, she (and when I began reading it, me as well) just wants it to end. She's out of ideas.

First off, why is the rebel city basically another version of the Capitol? They're a group of people who escaped the Big Brother/tyrannical rule of the Capitol only to replicate it almost entirely in their new, separate city. I don't understand why Collins made this choice, doesn't she want us to like the rebels at all? It'd be like in Star Wars if there were two Darth Vaders fighting each other - which one do you root for?

But that detail slips by as you realise how slow the pacing of the book is. Katniss spends pages and pages recovering from her injuries before heading off to view a battle scene and becoming injured again. So she has to recover all over AGAIN. With the focus on Katniss who is unable to leave the safety of the rebel stronghold, this allows Collins to avoid writing a potentially riveting scene of Gale and Finnick leading a covert op to the Capitol and bust out Peeta. In fact, a lot of action and exciting scenes are avoided entirely by Collins who either can't be bothered or doesn't feel she's up to writing them. So instead we get to read about Katniss recovering from her injuries, playing with her cat, blah blah zzzzzzz....

And if you think Collins was out of ideas in "Catching Fire" when she instigated another Hunger Games to liven things up, wait until you realise that she pulls out that trick again with this book. Yes, you read that right, there is ANOTHER Hunger Games in this book! Except it takes place in an urban setting, in the streets of the Capitol, but it's still very, very contrived.

The final battle is very sketchy. Once Katniss and Gale make it to the President's Mansion, an explosion renders Katniss unconscious and the reader finds out about the victory in a sort of brief outline, with a lot of exposition from Plutarch. Once again, Collins fails to write what was potentially the most memorable scene of the series, and I don't know why she didn't. It just feels lazy and, to go back to the Star Wars analogy, what if instead of focusing on blowing up the Death Star the film was about Princess Leia sitting in her cell by herself doing nothing?

This being the final book in the trilogy, characters will die and Collins gleefully kills off characters she's built up, once the attack on the Capitol finally gets going. But don't expect anything memorable, the characters (and one really major one) are dismissed in a line or two and then the story moves on. Even Gale isn't spared from this treatment, though he survives, he disappears and is given a line at the end and that's it - so much for Katniss and Gale's special friendship!

What really bothered me though is the lack of triumph at the end. The evil Capitol is overthrown, peace and equality and freedom now reigns, but there's no feeling of success once you put the book down. You don't care that the rebels won because they were mostly unpleasant and unlikeable throughout. Katniss is miserable throughout as well so you don't feel good about her because she doesn't feel good. There are no more Hunger Games and yet rather than feel glad, you just wish they'd bring it back because the characters are so boring without it.

This third book stands in stark contrast to the first book which was hugely entertaining and thrilling to read while this third one is a chore to get through for very little enjoyment and a very poor ending, which is very disappointing, as I really wanted all of the books to be as brilliant as the first. However, Suzanne Collins' inventiveness didn't hold up as the series went on and instead of going out with a bang the series sputtered out like a damp firework. So much for the mockingjay, I'd suggest anyone contemplating reading the trilogy to just stick with the first book and move on.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the ending I was hoping for..., 9 July 2012
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I gave the first two books 5* as I genuinely felt they were both truly amazing. Sadly I can't say the same for the final book of this trilogy. Towards the end of the book it felt VERY rushed and there were plenty of open-ended 'scenes' which I felt could have been handled better. It's such a shame because it could have been something great but sadly it feels quite incomplete.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A change in feel for Part 3, 30 Dec 2011
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The final book in the Hunger Games trilogy is quite different in feel from the first two books, which in many ways were the same book rewritten with slight variations (this is not a criticism: I loved them). In many ways this is the book that injects some realism into the series. You cannot go through the experiences that Katniss, Peeta and their families endured without serious and permanent consequences to the psyche. This time round the focus also shifts slightly: it's less Katniss's story (although she's still pivotal) and more about the Civil War that is raging and how she is being used on both sides.

If you thrived on the adrenalin rush that the first two books delivered, you are likely to be somewhat disappointed by this one. There are moments of intensity but they are episodic rather than continuous. I didn't tear through this book as rapidly as I did the others. Also, if you were hoping for resolution of the Peeta/Gale/Katniss triangle, you are likely to be disappointed (there is a resolution of sorts, but it's not delivered in the way that I think many fans would have hoped for).

On the other hand if you were drawn into the mind games between Katniss and President Snow and the machinations of how the Capitol could really be unravelled, you will find what you are looking for. This is easily the most "adult" of the series in tone and feel. People don't act in simplistic ways. The good guys are almost as unpleasant as the bad ones. The ending isn't neat and pretty. Did I expect a different resolution to the series? Yes. Would I have preferred a different resolution to the series? Possibly, but I think this one works and works well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes read it, but not as exciting as the two previous installments., 21 July 2014
I read this book when my daughter (age 11) recommended it. The next day we bought the next two books in the series. I think I read all three books in the series in a week.

The three books in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins are book 1 The Hunger Games, book 2 Catching Fire and book 3 Mockingjay.

This book completes the story of Katniss Everdeen. Given this is a character we now love, I am assuming most people have read the first two books, then normally this is quite satisfying.

Quick aside: You do have to have read the first two books in the trilogy to enjoy this one.

So we see the story through to completion, and I will not give away the details except to say:

1)This is the least satisfying of the three books, and when I reflect on this its because it does not have any Hunger Games. This is a rather perverse observation since the demolition / dismantling of the Hunger Games is something Katniss wants to achieve.

However without this, the story has a very weak forward momentum, and relies heavily on your existing affection for Katniss to carry you through.

2) The love triangle Peeta, Katniss, Gale starts to feel very contrived, and for most of the book you have no clue how this might be finally resolved. Since both boys are likeable the final denouement does result in heartbreak for someone.

So yes read it, but not as exciting as the two previous installments.
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