Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
In its first week of publication, this third book in Collins's "Hunger" trilogy rocketed to the top of the best-seller lists, proving that teen-reading adults are interested in something other than vampires and boy wizards. For the uninitiated, The Hunger Games (2008), which began the series, posited a world where the United States is no more and a cruel capitol rules over 12 districts that must each offer an annual tribute of two children for a televised fight-to-the-death. In this final volume, a rebel movement goes to war against the capitol. The costs are high, causing the reader to question the moral rightness of any war, even one against a ruler as evil as President Snow, whose breath smells of "blood and roses." For the past week, Mockingjay has been the topic of backroom discussion in my libraries as friends and coworkers debate its shocking conclusion.-Angelina Benedetti, "35 Going on 13," BookSmack! 9/16/10 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Review
In the final installment of Suzanne Collins's blockbuster trilogy, Katniss is forced to return to the Hunger Games arena again. But this time, the fate of the world is riding on the outcome. Narrator Carolyn McCormick voices Katniss's despair over those she feels are responsible for killing innocent people and her own tangled 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. She also makes the secondary characters-some malevolent, others benevolent, and many confused-very real with distinct voices. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* The highly anticipated conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy does not disappoint. If anything, it may give readers more than they bargained for: in action, in love, and in grief. When the book opens, Katniss has survived her ordeal at the Quarter Quell, and she and her family are safe in District 13. Gale is there as well, but Peeta is being held at the Capitol as President Snow's very special prisoner. Events move quickly, but realization unfolds slowly as Katniss learns that she has been a pawn in more ways than she ever supposed and that her role as the face of the revolution is one with unanticipated consequences, including a climbing death toll for which she holds herself personally responsible. Collins does several things brilliantly, not the least of which is to provide heart-stopping chapter endings that turn events on their heads and then twist them once more. But more ambitious is the way she brings readers to questions and conclusions about war throughout the story. There's nothing didactic here, and the rush of the narrative sometimes obscures what message there is. Yet readers will instinctively understand what Katniss knows in her soul, that war mixes all the slogans and justifications, the deceptions and plans, the causes and ideals into an unsavory stew whose taste brings madness. That there is still a human spirit yearning for good is the book's primrose of hope.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Katniss has been spirited away from the carnage of the recent Quarter Quell (see Catching Fire, rev. 9/09) to District 13, thought to have been destroyed years ago, but very much alive and kicking. As all of the districts move into open rebellion against the Capitol, Katniss reluctantly but resolutely accepts her role as the figurehead of the movement. As she heals, both physically and emotionally, from her previous ordeal, she works through not only the ethical minefield of warfare but also her complicated relationships with Peeta and Gale. One last desperate mission takes Katniss and company to the Capitol, where she hopes to deal a mortal blow to President Snow and his oppressive regime. Collins has always been able to generate an extraordinary amount of suspense and surprise from a single narrative arc, and that's certainly true once again. But the events of this story play out on a much more epic scale (rapid changes in time and place and a larger cast of characters), almost demanding more than the single point of view (Katniss's) Collins employs. Some may be disappointed that this concluding volume features less action and more introspection than the earlier books; others may wish for a different resolution, particularly where romance is concerned. All things considered, however, Collins has brought the most compelling science-fiction saga of the past several years to a satisfying and provocative conclusion. jonathan hunt (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.