There’s always a sense of melancholy when you finish reading a particularly good series. You spend time with characters, become attached to them and want to continue a relationship with them. There was something more to the end of The Hunger Game series. Not only did Mockingjay evoke the expected separation anxiety, its tone was bittersweet. In fact, the song Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve began running through my mind and hasn’t stopped.
My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains–except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.
Again, the third and final installment of The Hunger Games trilogy differs from the first two books. Instead of entering a man-made arena to fight to the death, Katniss must survive in the real world; but, she’s still under the watchful eyes of Panem’s populace.
Everything has changed. The uprising has taken over Katniss’ life. She’s an unwilling pawn in a fight that breaks all the rules. Her mental state is called into question as are her abilities as a leader and fighter. Of one thing she is certain; she must kill President Snow.
The mental struggle Katniss endures weighs on the reader. The girl on fire slowly fades before our eyes to be replaced by a hardened soldier. The secondary characters we’ve grown to appreciate, if not love, bolster Katniss and at the same time paralyze her.
Mockingjay is a fantastic read but one that takes time to digest before it’s appreciated. The preceding books all lead to this, a finale that cannot be disputed. Suzanne Collins’ mastery of words gives us a trilogy that won’t soon be forgotten.