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Mockingjay Book Review

At long last the wait is over, for today the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, has been released.  Having had the good fortune (and impatience) to get my hands on a copy right before it was released, I was able to furiously read and therefore can now give you all a first glimpse as to what this book holds!

After being slightly disappointed with the second book in the series, Catching Fire, I began reading with a slight hesitance.  Would this book hold up?  Be even better?  Would more people die in horrific and unspeakable ways?  The answer to all of these questions is yes.  Susan Collins manages to take this book and throw you right into the action, dragging you along on Katniss’s wild ride through becoming the symbol of a revolution, and all the troubles that occur.

This books starts out with Katniss being in the same mental state she was when the second book ended, completely and utterly lost and confused.  While this could have grow old after a while, Collin’s manages to take her heroine and allow her room to stop wallowing in self pity and start being the girl of action we all know Katniss to be.  There is a brief pause in the action to introduce some familiar faces, a newly sober Haymitch and the ever adorable Finnick to name a few, as well as some new members from the mysterious District 13.  From there Collin’s plows through, brilliantly twisting all of her subtle political and emotional plots together to create a masterful work.

The differences between the Capitol and District 13 are striking in some ways, and similar in others.  Through out the book, you are left wondering just who is on the right side?  Is an eye for and eye a fair way to proceed?  The excesses of the Capitol seem even greater in light of the stark and stringent way the members of District 13 are living, but Katniss, and in turn the reader are often left wondering does that make the goal to annihilate the Capitol fair?  Or is it just history repeating?  There are serious questions that Katniss grapples with page after page, trying to figure out her role in this whole mess, a role that she has never truly wanted to take on, and for which she possibly was not the first choice.

No matter what the underlying political tones in this book, what really makes it is the great action sequences Collin’s has become a master of creating.  Every time they explore a new district, and all throughout the quest to get to the heart of the Capitol, riveting action keeps you right there with them the entire time.  Expect to see a resurgence of Tracker Jackers, especially in unusual and insidiously evil ways.  Some traps Collin’s uses are familiar from the game, but most are new kinds of terror that kept even me up at night.

There are some wonderful tidbits in this book, mostly given by Plutarch, that give one a clue as to the world before the creation of the Capitol and the 13 districts.  Finding the historical clues and giving them context, as well as finding out a bit more about each district, allows one a bit of a reprieve from all the gloom and doom this book brings.  The only part of the book I truly could have done without was the epilogue Collin’s added in at the end, though I can understand why she included it.  Overall, this book is a satisfying ending to a trilogy that has gripped me from the first time I read it.  Now I only have to wait with baited breath to see if the movie that is in the works will equal the power of the books!