From the Publisher
“Fans will be happy to hear that Mockingjay is every bit as complex and imaginative as Hunger Games and Catching Fire." --Entertainment Weekly
“At its best the trilogy channels the political passion of 1984, the memorable violence of A Clockwork Orange, the imaginative ambience of The Chronicles of Narnia and the detailed inventiveness of Harry Potter." --The New York Times Book Review
“Unfolding in Collins' engaging, intelligent prose and assembled into chapters that end with didn't-see-that-coming cliffhangers, this finale is every bit the pressure cooker of its forebears. [Mockingjay] is nearly as shocking, and certainly every bit as original and thought provoking, as The Hunger Games. Wow." --Los Angeles Times
“Suspenseful... Collins' fans, grown-ups included, will race to the end." --USA Today
* “This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
Mockingjay is not as impeccably plotted as The Hunger Games, but nonetheless retains its fierce, chilly fascination. At its best the trilogy channels the political passion of 1984, the memorable violence of A Clockwork Orange, the imaginative ambience of The Chronicles of Narnia and the detailed inventiveness of Harry Potter. The specifics of the dystopian universe, and the fabulous pacing of the complicated plot, give the books their strange, dark charisma.
The New York Times
Nothing is black or white in this gripping, complex tale, including the angry, self-doubting heroine…This dystopic-fantasy series, which began in 2008, has had such tremendous crossover appeal that teens and parents may discover themselves vying forand talking aboutthe family copy of Mockingjay. And there's much to talk about because this powerful novel pierces cheery complacency like a Katniss-launched arrow.
The Washington Post
Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Kattnis, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.
This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level. At the end of Catching Fire, Katniss had been dramatically rescued from the Quarter Quell games; her fellow tribute, Peeta, has presumably been taken prisoner by the Capitol. Now the rebels in District 13 want Katniss (who again narrates) to be the face of the revolution, a propaganda role she's reluctant to play. One of Collins's many achievements is skillfully showing how effective such a poster girl can be, with a scene in which Katniss visits the wounded, cameras rolling to capture (and retransmit) her genuine outrage at the way in which war victimizes even the noncombatants. Beyond the sharp social commentary and the nifty world building, there's a plot that doesn't quit: nearly every chapter ends in a reversal-of-fortune cliffhanger. Readers get to know characters better, including Katniss's sister and mother, and Plutarch Heavensbee, former Head Gamemaker, now rebel filmmaker, directing the circus he hopes will bring down the government, a coup possible precisely because the Capitol's residents are too pampered to mount a defense. "In return for full bellies and entertainment," he tells Katniss, explaining the Latin phrase panem et circenses, "people had given up their political responsibilities and therefore their power." Finally, there is the romantic intrigue involving Katniss, Peeta and Gale, which comes to a resolution that, while it will break some hearts, feels right. In short, there's something here for nearly every reader, all of it completely engrossing. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
Another page-turner, the final book in the "Hunger Games" trilogy packs even more suspense and horror than the first two. This time the stakes are higher, as Katniss and the rebels in District 13 fight for their freedom from the evil Capitol forces that seek to annihilate them. Again Katniss finds herself in the position of reluctant leader, and due to a constant internal monologue, the reader knows what Katniss thinks and feels about the terrifying, bleak world in which she finds herself. Her single-minded goal is to rescue her dear friend, Peeta, who is imprisoned in the Capitol. Meanwhile, she continues to explore her feelings for Gale, a childhood friend who may become more to her. She struggles to navigate a world in which one adult after another seeks to use her for their own purposes, yet she finds ways to accomplish her own plans. More than the other volumes, this story is dark and horrifying, with some particularly gruesome scenes as the rebels infiltrate the Capitol and encounter several waves of grotesque weaponry. Powerful descriptions of the Capitol's excesses are a brilliant commentary on the decadence of society and the diminished value placed on human lifein Panem and in contemporary society as well. By the end, it is clear that everyone loses in war, even the winners. Bleakness competes with the seeds of hope, and ambiguity prevents a definitive reading of what measure of hope remains. In a high school classroom, this book could spark discussions about patriotism, materialism, vanity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, the influence of television and the media, human dignity, war and many other significant issues. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—The final installment of Suzanne Collins's trilogy sets Katniss in one more Hunger Game, but this time it is for world control. While it is a clever twist on the original plot, it means that there is less focus on the individual characters and more on political intrigue and large scale destruction. That said, Carolyn McCormick continues to breathe life into a less vibrant Katniss by showing her despair both at those she feels responsible for killing and and at her own motives and choices. This is an older, wiser, sadder, and very reluctant heroine, torn between revenge and compassion. McCormick captures these conflicts by changing the pitch and pacing of Katniss's voice. Katniss is both a pawn of the rebels and the victim of President Snow, who uses Peeta to try to control Katniss. Peeta's struggles are well evidenced in his voice, which goes from rage to puzzlement to an unsure return to sweetness. McCormick also makes the secondary characters—some malevolent, others benevolent, and many confused—very real with distinct voices and agendas/concerns. She acts like an outside chronicler in giving listeners just "the facts" but also respects the individuality and unique challenges of each of the main characters. A successful completion of a monumental series.—Edith Ching, University of Maryland, College Park