"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.