Mockingjay on Fire

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
Suzanne Collins

4 / 5

Suspenseful and thought-provoking till the last.


The finale of Katniss Everdeen’s adventure takes her to varying locations that not only test her physical toughness but principally, her mental toughness. She undergoes a rollercoaster of feelings that are targeted by Snow and are also the result of decisions made by the rebels. Her distress begins to engulf her as Katniss is met with circumstances that test her resolve and that question her wants and needs. We follow her through District 13, the front line of war and the Capitol as the war rages between the rebels and the Capitol. But she has only one thing on her mind. Kill Snow.

Following the explosive ending to the Quarter Quell, Katniss is rescued by District 13, who have been planning an uprising along with various people from the Districts and the Capitol. District 13 use Katniss as their Mockingjay, and her chief duty for the rebel cause is to be filmed in propos highlighting the Capitol’s destruction of the Districts and how the rebels are attempting to wrestle control from them. Meanwhile, Katniss is also consumed with anger and desperation in getting Peeta back alive, because the Capitol have him broadcasting messages to the rebels to call a halt to the war. Peeta’s condition is visibly worsening with every announcement; this motivates Katniss as she becomes hell-bent on getting Peeta back and killing President Snow for his crimes.

With President Snow’s dystopic world diminishing before him, he uses all the tricks the Capitol has to offer to break Katniss emotionally due to Katniss’s influence as the Mockingjay and the perceived leader of the rebellion. There is excitement and tension at every turn. Whether it be the frantic and electric pace that Collins uses when there is front line action, or the excruciatingly slow pace she uses when describing Katniss’s tormenting nightmares and when she is evaluating her feelings for Peeta and Gale.

The ending was somewhat surprising, even I daresay, anti-climatic. Collins had created a situation where the end was tantalisingly in sight and as the reader my heart rate increased and I was reading quicker as I eagerly anticipated the last twist in the plot, but suddenly it’s over, and I felt a sense of exhaustion. After three wonderfully written books, it ends quickly and I was expecting a finale worthy of something magnificent like her previous endings.

Despite the little underwhelming ending, Mockingjay is a fantastically written novel which keeps its readers on tenterhooks throughout. Although, the format is different from the previous two books, the same games of power and judgement of trust are evident, and these progress as Katniss descends further into the Capitol and closer to achieving her goal. Fans of the series will enjoy reading it and the un-put-down-ability of this book is so strong, your eyes will be glued to the pages.


The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

4.25 / 5

An entertaining and fresh novel.

Hunger Games 1


With the 2nd film being released shortly I thought it would be a good idea to chronicle what has happened so far in this epic adventure. I am starting with the first novel written by Suzanna Collins in 2008. The setting for this science fiction novel is in a post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America.

Katniss Everdeen is a girl who lives with her sister, Prim and their mother in a place called District 12. In this dystopian nation of Panem, there are 12 Districts each with differing functions that all come under the rule of the Capitol. The Hunger Games are an annual televised event whereby, a boy and girl from each of the 12 Districts are submitted to take part in the event where the last survivor is crowned the victor and receives a new house, wealth, food and is exempt from being in the Hunger Games again.

When her sweet and innocent sister, Prim is called out in the reaping, the system where a person’s name is pulled out of the bowl to be entered into the games, Katniss volunteers herself as tribute in order to protect Prim. Her fellow competitor from District 12 is a boy named Peeta. She and Peeta are mentored by Haymitch, who is an alcoholic but he is the person who can be the reason for them living or dying in the arena with the parachute gifts that sponsors can give them in the arena, such as; medicine, weapons, food etc.

The arena in which the Hunger Games is held is a forest much similar to the one which Katniss explores back in District 12 when she goes hunting beyond the fence with Gale. With other competitors hunting each other, especially Katniss as she is seen as one of the favourites after the Gamemakers awarded her with a high rating after her performance in the training arena. During the Games, we get to know other tributes more, in particularly Rue. Her role in the story cannot be undervalued; this can only be possible through her alliance with Katniss during the Games. Without giving too much of the thrilling events of the arena away; all I can say is that there are twists and turns plenty, which are possible through Collins’ electric pace of writing that leaves the reader breathless and craving the next chapter.

Collins has expertly conjured up this brilliant and unique idea and she has used 1st person narrative to great effect. She draws the reader in and they becomes more emotionally involved with Katniss as we experience heart wrenching moments that she has to deal with. Collins does a brilliant job of conveying the inexpressible in terms that the reader can understand and can relate to. Also, the vivid imagery of the arena was well crafted which created an environment that the reader was able to imagine due to the succinctness of these descriptions.   

The end of novel is perfectly poised for the next stage of this entertaining and thrilling story.  I will be posting the film review and the Catching Fire review shortly in the build up to the 2nd film.