Ｓｅｒｉｅｓ： Book 3, Final
Ｒａｔｉｎｇ： ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
After escaping the Hunger Games arena, Katniss finds herself in District 13. She’s still coming to terms with District 12 being destroyed. Meanwhile, Coin and the rebels are doing their best to shape Katniss into the image of the Mockingjay that they need her to be, but she’s not ready to play the part. Not until she knows those she loves are safe. As tensions rise and the rebels take the fight to the Capitol, she finds that she’s just playing in another version of the Games—one she’s not sure how to win.
Definitely Katniss, but that’s obvious. She’s especially great in this book because she starts to grow in self-awareness and is starting to really understand how powerful her actions can be. She also has a really strong moral compass and she’s able to consider other factors in situations that most others would ignore.
Finnick also makes the list because … ugh, so many reasons that I can’t and don’t want to say because of spoilers. But one I can say is that when Katniss has no one else to turn to, she finds that she can trust Finnick. He’s the only one who really gets her situation too for most of the book.
I’m also adding Prim in because pretty much the same reasons as Finnick. She really grew up in this book. Or probably more accurately: we see that she’s grown up. She understands the severity of situations and starts to think about what things really mean. She’s actually very observant and helps Katniss figure out her own power along the way.
► It’s interesting to see how far Katniss has come along from the beginning of the series. Before she had to rely on others to navigate the politics of things and to see how she fit into the grand scheme of things. Now she’s able to easily see things for what they are.
They have a whole team of people to make me over, dress me, write my speeches, orchestrate my appearances–as if that doesn’t sound horribly familiar–and all I have to do is play my part.
► Again, she’s come a long way, but sometimes she underestimates how important she really is. I mean, President Snow was out to destroy her and what she symbolized from the very beginning because he knew how powerful her actions could be to those in the districts.
“Katniss, I don’t think you undestand how important you are to the cause. Important people usually get what they want.”
► Gale kind of bothered me in this book because he seemed more brash. Everything was black or white for him and there was no in between. Katniss could still recognize when things weren’t so simple and she was more forgiving. I think it made the book more complex and interesting to explore these “rules” of war.
“It’s more complicated than that. I know them. They’re not evil or cruel. They’re not even smart. Hurting them, it’s like hurting children. They don’t see… I mean, they don’t know…” I get knotted up in my words.
► Katniss as the Mockingjay was powerful. It was great to see the contrast between this artificial symbol people wanted her to be–their attempts to mold her for their own purposes–and how inspiring she could really be with her genuine sense of injustice.
One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on the wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!”
► The ending of the book was really great. Not that it ended with a happily-ever-after type thing, but just in the way it kinda settled in the middle. It wasn’t perfect, but it was hopeful.
“But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.”
Okay, let me start off by saying that this series is amazing and it’s easily one of my favorites now. With that being said, let’s jump right into the actual review.
This book (well the whole series really) touches on a lot of serious topics/ideas/themes. In this book, it especially gets into what it means to be at war. Gale has some very strong feelings that “all’s fair”, especially when considering the things President Snow has done. But Katniss sees things differently. She can’t detach as easily as everyone else. She still sees people as people, not just casualties. In the book, she keeps things in perspective for those around her (or tries her best at least).
She also grows quite a bit from a girl who just plays along and does her best to survive into a woman who has power behind her image and who uses it to help others. While Coin and the rebels keep trying to make her into the version of the “Mockingjay” that fits their purpose, she goes on to find her own truths to work from.
The plot progressed pretty well and I enjoyed the direction that it went in, as long as all the ideas that it explored along the way.
I can’t give spoilers, but I will say that what happens to Peeta in the Capitol also brought in another element. Not only of the complications that went with it but of how war can make people do terrible things. Both he and Katniss suffered and were damaged by the things they went through, but with love and patience, they were able to slowly climb back out from the darkness.
Finally, the ending was perfect. It didn’t try to tie everything up in a nice neat package, and it didn’t just leave you feeling like nothing had changed. It was just in the middle. It was … hopeful. Plus, the big moment with Katniss showed that she was able to understand about true sacrifice. I think if Gale could have understood he would’ve approved of her actions, but he just didn’t have the capacity to challenge the rebel mentality. Despite talking down the tyranny of the Capitol, he ended up being just as much of a blind follower as Peacekeepers were to the Capitol. He was too much of a good soldier in the end.
So with these final thoughts, I want to say that this is a great series to pick up if you haven’t already. It has more value to it than just a YA book to read for fun. It really makes you think about the world we live in, the fallacies we take part in and kind of cautions against falling for the same mistakes that are made in the series (especially those that allow the Capitol/Games to exist). So yes, absolutely read this book if you can. I highly recommend it. If you’re like me and you didn’t find the movies to be too interesting let me say that the books do a much better job of exploring the key themes. Thanks for reading!