Sunday, 24 November 2013

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (2010)

4 stars

Even though I didn't want to, I had to keep reading the series once I'd started and although this is my least favourite of the trilogy I still enjoy it.

The first time I read this book I hated it with a passion, after reading it a second time I see that some things aren't as bad as I originally thought they were, and also that it was still wonderfully written, if a bit rushed in parts. I realised that the last books in trilogies are usually the weakest, with it mainly being about rebellion and bringing down the regime that has been oppressing the characters, but entertaining me, so the fact the the author managed to incorporate the games into this book again was really clever. I obviously hate what happened to Peeta in this book, however after reading it a second time I understand a lot more how everyone is damaged from the games, and that he recovers a lot more than I remember him doing so the first time I read it. Someone told me that the only reason I hate Gale is because the author makes you hate him in this book, which I think is completely untrue, he was always very passionate about his hate for the capitol and this book just gives him the proper circumstances to be vocal and active about it and helping in the rebellion. I think that if you disliked Gale before Katniss associates him with the final bombings then you definitely disliked him for his character, maybe the association with the final bombings makes people dislike him even though they previously didn't but that doesn't bother me as much as his personality before that. My favourite character in this book was Finnick, it amazes me how much of his personality is shown in this book when he isn't even in it that much and he and Annie are possibly the cutest thing in the whole series. Overall I think this is an excellent dystopian series that is not only for young adults, I think people of all ages can enjoy it.

Katniss is now living in District 13 with all the rebels under the leadership of Coin, a harsh woman who has questionable motives and wanted to save Peeta not Katniss. Katniss agrees to be their mockingjay, the symbol of rebellion for the rest of the districts, as long as the rest of the victors have immunity if they win, including Peeta. She and Gale shoot lots of promos that have her visiting wounded of many of the districts and then fighting lots of the capitol fighter hovercrafts which bomb a hospital. The capitol fight these promos with film of Peeta who manages to warn district 13 that an attack on them was coming before his blood spatters the screen and Katniss realizes they are torturing him for everything she does. She just shuts down and only Finnick can sympathize as he has the same fears for Annie. Coin then decides to send in a team to retrieve Peeta so Katniss can continue to function normally, however when she sees him he tries to kill her. It turns out the capitol hijacked him, using tracker jacker venom to confuse all his memories of Katniss so he hates and fears her. Coin then announces that they will make an attack on the capitol in a few weeks but Katniss can't go as she hasn't been to any training sessions. She and Johanna then go to every training session in three weeks and Katniss gets put through into a squad with Finnick, Boggs, Gale and a few others that are basically going to be filmed the whole time for more promos and not doing much real work. However before they go, Plutarch shows them that the capitol is rigged with pods that can contain any horror or defensive weapon that can be detonated by any nearby motion and Finnick and Katniss realize that they are just going into another arena. Once at camp on the edge of the capitol one of their squad is taken out and replaced by Peeta and Boggs tells Katniss that now she has united the districts Coin has no use for her and can use her death as a martyr to her advantage. As soon as they go down a street with supposedly few pods, Boggs steps on an unknown one and has his legs blown off, he gives control of the squad to Katniss who then tells them she's going to kill Snow and they can help her or turn back. They all continue with her except Peeta who thinks he'll go crazy and kill them all but Katniss can't leave him and brings him anyway. Once they are in the underground Snow releases some alligator like mutts who smell like blood and hiss Katniss' name as they search for her and only her, Cresida, Pollux, Gale and Peeta survive them and Katniss sees Finnick scream and then his head ripped off by one as she rises out of the underground. They then make an attempt to get into Snow's mansion however he had a guard of all the capitol children surrounding his mansion, and Katniss sees a capitol hovercraft drop some parachutes to the children which then explode, wounding them. All the rebel medics rush in, including Katniss' sister Prim, who turns to see her just as the remaining parachutes explode larger than the previous ones killing her, the other medics and the children and seriously wounding anyone in the square like Katniss and Peeta. Katniss reefuses to speak after she wakes and is wandering around the mansion when she comes across Snow's room where he tells her that if he had a hovercraft he would've used it to escape, bombing the children lost any loyalty the citizens still had to him, implying it was Coin's fault that Prim died. When Katniss goes to shoot President Snow in front of all the citizens, instead of shooting him, she shoots and kills Coin and when she goes to bite down on her suicide pill, Peeta's hand is there and he rips it off her suit as he can't see her die. She is declared mentally unstable and not accusable for her actions, she moves back to 12 with Haymitch, Peeta and a few other citizens of 12 who couldn't live anywhere else. She marries Peeta and has two children with him.

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