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Showing 1-10 of 202 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on 26 March 2012
By now you probably already know what the premise is, so I won't bother you with that. The idea is not very original, of course. The Tournament, Battle Royale, The Running Man, etc. come to mind when I read the premise and some of the book even reminded me of Lord Of The Flies. It's something to ponder, especially when some of the works mentioned are so much better.

Okay, I'll devide my review in two sections:

THE GOOD:
- Finally a female main character who can actually take care of herself. A lot of YA books have the main character be a useless clutz who waits to be saved by her love interest, while at the same time doing stupid things that gets her into trouble. Katniss is nothing like that. She's a skilled hunter, takes initiative and is knowledgable.
- I liked the contrast between her and those in the capitol. Her views on poverty clashing with their superficial lives, lives which many western people live today.
- The tactical choices. It's like watching Bear Grylls, except she's not eating maggots ;-) Katniss doesn't just stumble around in the arena, she makes many smart choices and it's briefly explained why she makes them.

THE BAD:
- My main problem with the book was the our heroine. While it was refreshing to read about such an independent person, Katniss is so dense at times it's painful to read because we can all see clearly what she cannot. Collins' is not very subtle in her writing and this harms the biggest angle in the story. She doesn't foreshadow, she basically shoves it in your face with an exclamation point attached to it. This gets very annoying very quickly because Katniss keeps making up flimsy excuses and keeps believing in them in order to keep the plot device going. The character isn't consistent either. She goes from smart and thoughtful to dense and emotional in a heartbeat and back. It makes it hard to emphasize you never really get a feel for who she really is.

- Second problem: the writing itself. Now, it wasn't actrocious, I actually liked a few descriptions, like for example how her face disappeared behind a layer of powder and then was drawn back on again. But on the whole Collins didn't have the skill to paint a clear picture. Sure, she gives main descriptions, but there's a lot of telling going on, not showing. The story and it's characters didn't really come alive. This is very unfortunate, because the characters are in a life and death situation and you're supposed to care for them, be terrified for them, cry with them. I felt rather indifferent towards a lot of it.

- Supporting characters. Again, basic descriptions. There are specks of detail and personality, but not enough to give the impression of a well rounded character. I also would have liked it if the author had spent more time on the other characters in the arena. I get that Katniss' POV allows only for a limited scope, but I think a lot of this could have been remedied with more elaborate descriptions. I think the book would have been stronger if we got to see her adversaries as other human beings, not just obstacles she needed to overcome. The whole thing seemed rather soulless despite Katniss going through an array of emotions.

- The situation isn't used to it's full potential. The deaths aren't glossed over, I'll give Collin's that, but Katniss is never really presented with a difficult choice emotional wise. Her morals stay intact.
- The ending. Now, I'm not all for hollywood happy endings, but this one was the product of a poor plot device and just didn't really work in my opinion.

So my conclusion? A book that could have been good or even great, but simply wasn't.
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on 19 December 2014
Ordered from seller ACE_BOOKS, fulfilled by amazon. The books are described as a Trilogy Boxset, but this arrived with just the 3 books shrinwrapped together and NO box, just loose, so clearly not as described and shown in the imagery on the product page. Just so buyers out there know before buying. I'm sure the books content is great, I love the films, but there needs to be more accountability with the descriptions. Bought as an Xmas pressie, so I was obviously a bit miffed.
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on 5 September 2010
First thing I can say about this book is that I found the pacing uneven. What I mean is that the previous 2 books had a pretty steady storytelling pace, and while the action was fast and furious you could still picture it all and understand everything, and even when there was no action the story moved along at a nice pace that kept you hooked. I found in Mockingjay that it was incredibly slow getting going, and I found myself skim reading massive paragraphs of text that didn't interest me in the slightest and were, quite frankly, un needed, then towards in the last 100 pages or so there is so much going on that your brain is like o.O what is going on!? It just seemed like one jumbled mess! Why have nothing happen then everything happen at once? I didn't like the feel of this book...it wasn't Katniss' story anymore, it was just all about the events happening around her with her chucked in the middle of it, and since it's all from her point of view we don't really get the big picture. Everything seemed 'too easy' as well... in terms of the rebellion against the capitol, they build it up and then there is no climax!

I disliked Katniss in this book, which is odd because I liked her in the previous 2. She seems like she's not making her own decisions and is little more than a puppet, she's cold towards both Peeta and Gale even though they really didn't do much to deserve it, and she's generally drugged up/hospitalised for the majority of the book -.-. To be honest...she seems pretty pitiable and pathetic, I want the Katniss I know back! Peeta was absent for half the book, and then when he was present, he wasn't himself (well none of the characters are to be honest) and I really don't think he participated an awful lot in the story. Gale was completely butchered in this book and made to seem like a cruel person and Katniss and him grow pretty distant during the book. Also I found it stupid how Katniss goes: "I can't do this without Gale by my side." or something like that, then she spends the whole time hating on him! She's also a giant hypocrite..."Gale you can't just kill everyone!" later on she kills tons of people..I mean what?! xD It made me angry how OOC everyone was >.<

Personally, I thought that too many new characters were introduced all at once with really no intro to them at all. When someone spoke I was like...wait, who are you? and when some people died I was like...-.- seriously is that it?! It was so fast paced your brain didn't have time to register their deaths. Literally a sentence is dedicated to each death/into of a character xD The worst thing was, I really didn't care what was happening anymore. I know that everyone is like: "this book made me cry/this book is sooo depressing' or whatever, but I just didn't care if it was anymore xD The ending was possible one of the worst endings I have ever read and wasn't closure I was hoping for. The thing that irked me the most was how some characters were just completely removed from existence and forgotten by Katniss in one sentence. They deserved more of a send off then a lame sentence that made them seem like some total stranger to Katniss.

So yeah, I really was disappointed with this book. Give it a go by all means cause I know loads of people enjoyed this book, but on the whole I found it pretty boring and a great jumbled mess which I am very sad about :(
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on 25 August 2012
Just to warn you, there will be a few spoilers in this review.

Mockingjay, sadly, is a poor conclusion to the trilogy that makes little sense and for the most part feels disjointed. As another reviewer mentioned, it felt like reading a fanfiction. I found myself (although I hate to admit it) skimming over parts which mostly consisted of Katniss' self pitying internal monologues. She is nothing like the character in the first novel - don't expect any emotional scenes like Katniss taking Prim's place in the Games or Rue dying in Katniss' arms because there are none in Mockingjay. Katniss becomes a truely unlikeable character; in Mockingjay Collins has stripped her of her independence and logical thinking, leaving behind a Mary Sue (or Bella Swan) type of character. Her defiance in Hunger Games was admirable, whereas in Mockingjay it is just frustrating and generally a stupid idea.

Another enfuriating part of the novel is the love triangle, which has been painful to read throughout the entire series but it spectacularly agonising in Mockingjay. Katniss becomes such an unlikeable character that I began to detest Peeta and Gale for even caring about her and for allowing her to treat them in such a way. When the love triangle is finally concluded in Mockingjay it is done so in a couple of brisk, unfeeling sentences that were obviously written without any care or effort. If you were a fan of the love triangle, you'll be disappointed with its lackluster ending after three novels.

Mockingjay had potential with Collins killing off several of its main characters including Finnick, who in my opinion was one of the only likeable characters left. I thought that there would have been more of a reaction by Katniss to his death, but the novel quickly moved on, which felt wrong considering Collins put some effort into describing Finnick's reunion with Annie, as well as their wedding. The worst death was that of Prim, however, which felt entirely unnecessary. It may have worked if Katniss had reacted to it as you would have expected, but instead the next chapter revolves around Katniss wallowing in self pity from her own injuries, with Prim's death not being mentioned for several pages afterwards. I don't understand why Prim was killed off. From Katniss' lack of reaction to it (aside from at the very end of the novel) you would have thought Prim was just some insignificant secondary character. At least in Mockingjay Collins builds Prim's character a little, but ultimately when she was killed I found myself showing little interest, something which could have been redeemed if Collins had put more effort into the scene.

My recommendation is for people to stop reading at Hunger Games, or at Catching Fire if you have already read that. Mockingjay is a dull read. As soon as you think an action scene is going to get started, Mary Sue-Katniss gets herself injured in some way and usually passes out. The ending to Mockingjay leaves a bad taste in your mouth and fails to stir any sort of emotion in you other than regret that you didn't just stop reading the series at Hunger Games.
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on 31 March 2012
Very swift, entertaining Young Adult read, but nothing new or profound here - in spite of the hype. Had I seen that Stephanie Meyer was quoted on the cover as saying it's "amazing" I probably would have steered clear.

I can only agree with what other low-star rating reviewers have said about this book - no real moral dilemmas are actually faced - which is unbelievable considering the subject matter. Katniss herself is pretty annoying - her inner monologue is constantly belying her spoken words, actions, and time she spends describing things to us. Moreover as another reviewer pointed out, there really isn't any foreshadowing in this book - nevertheless, the twists are easy enough to predict. In the same vein, world and character details that have an impact on the story are throw in with little or no introduction - which makes them feel like a contrived afterthought. If you are used to books with a little more thoughtful world and character-building The Hunger Games can feel pretty ham-fisted.

That said, every page must be turned - these books are definitely a compulsive read. I read them while raging out loud at almost every page, much to the dismay of my husband who had to listen to my ranting. This book will definitely make Suzanne Collins a lot of money.
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I had decided not to leave a review for 'Mockingjay' - I figured that such was the quality of the first two books, if you had read them, there was no way you were going to miss out on number three, no matter what sort of reviews it had. Since this page seems to have become a bit of a discussion board for the book, I thought I'd add my two-pen'orth.

After reading the first The Hunger Games novel, I felt that perhaps Collins' publisher had pushed her into turning what should have been one book into three. I didn't feel there was anywhere else for the series to go. Despite having essentially the same structure as book 1, book 2 allayed my fears. A strong underlying story seemed to be developing, and it ended with an intriguing cliffhanger. Volume 3 however, has confirmed my suspicions. After such a vital beginning, surely Collins could not have originally envisaged such a garbled and unsatisfactory conclusion?

The problem stems from 'Mockingjay' being set in a much wider arena. Collins conveyed the claustrophobia of the arena brilliantly, keeping the tension high at all times. Peculiarly, with Katniss in the outside world, the tension now feels artificial. There are long periods of inactivity, lots of navel-gazing and teenage angst (some might say whining) from Katniss. Then suddenly she is called to another zone, where something dramatic happens. Perhaps because she is not fighting for her life, these sequences lack the drama of the previous two novels. We've always known that Katniss will somehow survive, but this time, we know she has to make it to the end of the novel for the big showdown. I couldn't help wishing Collins would get on with it.

With the first two novels centring around the games, the reader wasn't asked to suspend their belief too much. Collins gave us a set of rules, and wrote a terrific story within them. The opening out the setting into the wider world, means it needs to stand up to closer scrutiny. The political and geographical system just don't survive any sort of examination. There is no way an all powerful government would set things up that way. Once you start thinking about Panem too much, the whole premise becomes absurd.

It's the same case with the city's defences - it made for great reading, Katniss stalking her prey through the streets of The Capitol, but an it was entirely unrealistic way for a city to defend itself. As for novel's conclusion, well I don't want to give too much away, but although powerful, it is extremely disjointed. It feels like Collins bottled writing the ending the novel needed.

The separation of Peeta and Katniss in Mockingjay is a curious decision. The relationship between the two main characters elevated the original novels from good to great. With Gale thrown into the mixture we had a powerful and ambiguous love triangle. We all had our opinions on who Kantiss should be with, and Collins manipulated them expertly. Mockingjay sadly lacks this interaction, pretty much all the way through. Without Peeta, Katniss is diminished; an accurate assessment by the author, but one that spoils her book a little.

All that said, there is still some great writing in here. There are some excellent and tense set pieces, particularly towards the novel's climax. The author poses questions about how readily the oppressed become the persecutors, in a subtle mirroring of contemporary world politics. Similarly, there is some great analysis of our media soaked lives, and the power of television. Panem is a thinly veiled metaphor for our own world, and anything that prompt questions about its absurdities, can only be a good thing

So sadly, I was not impressed by 'Mockingjay' and feel it to be a sorry conclusion to what should have been an excellent series. In any case, I urge you not to listen to me. Instead, buy the book, read it yourself and make up your own mind!
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on 10 April 2012
I really enjoyed the first two books and was eager to get the third, I really should have stopped after the first two no ending would have been better!

Is this some kind of new trend with authors that they just give up towards the end of a story? In recent years most series of books have had a great beginning, a enticing middle and an absolutly abysmal ending!

I'm seriously interested to find out if anyone else is having the same issue and why they think this might be?

To sum up if you have enjoyed the story so far, your going to be disappointed!!
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on 18 April 2012
I was totally gripped by the first two Hunger Games books- read them both within days, literally couldn't put them down, so it was with excitement that I started the third book, desperate to know what would happen to Katniss and her world. However, I didn't think this one was as gripping as the other two at all.

(*SPOILER*)

I thought the "epic battle" was disappointing, the final showdown being a total anticlimax where katniss just blacked out. The most interesting parts of the whole war were when Peeta came back into it.

Worst of all were the deaths of both Finnick (barely a line summed up the end of such a key character- and after his happy ending it was not pleasant to read) and Prim- both totally unnecessary and as a result ruined the ending of such a promising trilogy. The whole point of Katniss volunteering was to save Prim- and her inconsequential death made the whole story pointless and her volunteering not worth it.

Furthermore, after the battle, Katniss and Peeta's endings were also disappointing and rushed. Her being left alone by anyone close to her was also annoying- why did her mother have to leave?? It would have been nicer to have key people rebuilding district 12- Haymitch, Gale, (Prim) and her mother for starters.

I understand that there had to be deaths- it was a dark trilogy and so this needed to happen, but by killing off or exiling anyone that we as a reader have grown to love just became too much and ruined the book for me. I hope the film changes the ending- which is something I have never hoped for in a book before.
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on 6 December 2015
Bought this for teenager and started to read it myself - found it quite depressing so far! Teenagers have a hard enough time dealing with their emotions so not sure if I'd recommend it. I know this might not be a popular review as the films are so popular but I just couldn't make myself read past the first few pages. I felt the same about the second book in the Maze Runner collection - are authors trying to bum out our kids?!?!?
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on 25 April 2012
Don't read this book if you are attached to the characters and don't want to see some major ones die. Just imagine something up for yourself.

CONTAINS SPOILERS

I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books but this is a seriously flawed conclusion to a promising series.

I patiently waited whilst Katniss always seemed injured and kept out of action so I find it unacceptable that near the end when she actually does something interesting, she passes out.

There were some seriously unnecessary deaths. Finnick, a rare character that had a shot at some form of happiness is dismissed in a short sentance and forgotten. Prim, the reason Katniss was ever in the Hunger Games is also killed off in a way that seems very improbable (surely someone would have prevented Coin from murdering hundreds of innocent children AND their own valuable medics?)

Another strange moment is when Katniss agrees for the Hunger Games to continue with the Capitol s children. Surely having experienced it herself, she wouldn't have been able to send more kids in the same situation. They are just as bad as the Capitol. Especially when she says it was "for Prim" who, being a healer, would NOT have wanted this!

We also don't find out if the lives of the District people really improve, aside from them not having to participate in the Hunger Games. For all we know, thousands could have died for nothing. If this is the case we should have the right to know a bit more about how the end of the Capitol's reign has affected them.

Finally, I understand that Katniss would be so shattered at the end and appreciate that she at least ends up with Peeta (and even then she only ever reaches a moment of half hearted happiness) ... but what of Gale and their amazing friendship? How could he, her mother, the other victors and her friends abandon her after what she has been through ?

After building up her personnality in book 2 when I began to get attached to Katniss, Collins creates an impossibly stupid ending that left me crying.
I am not saying it was all bad.

There were some entertaining parts which kept me reading and I did enjoy some bits(so I will refrain from a 1 star rating)but it was rather unbelievable (in a bad way) in places. I don't feel satified at all as you should after finishing a series and regret reading the last book.
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