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 takes readers into new territories and an even more brutal and confusing world: one where it’s unclear what sides the characters are on, one where presumed loyalties are repeatedly stood on their head ... More maudlin than the first two books in the series, Mockingjay is also the most violent and bloody and, based on the actions and statements of its characters, its most overtly antiwar — though not so much that it distracts from a series conclusion that is nearly as shocking, and certainly every bit as original and thought provoking, as The Hunger Games.
Mockingjay moves away from the arena as the rebellion gains more steam, but the novel has no shortage of violence and death. In fact, I am impressed by how fearlessly Collins addresses heavy themes like war and torture for a YA audience. The rebels fight and the Capitol falls, but to call the ending unambiguously happy would be a disservice ... Collins’s primary success in Mockingjay is characterization, particularly Katniss, the narrator and hero ... Readers are exposed to the innermost thoughts of an exceptional, psychologically damaged young woman whose home has been destroyed, whose friends have been murdered, and who must navigate through confusion and self-loathing as she finds herself a piece of a much bigger puzzle that is the rebellion ... Mockingjay is not without minor flaws, though nearly all of them come from Katniss’s limited perspective, so I accept them as stylistic choices ... an emotionally wrenching conclusion to the "Hunger Games" trilogy.
This is a fearless finale that brings the big question of the Hunger Games Trilogy—the ethics of using force, be it political, physical or psychological—to the forefront as Katniss and her allies attempt to overthrow President Snow and create a new Panem ... Collins, like Katniss, is a realist above all: The effects of war on civilians and conspirators alike are unflinchingly documented, and the grim tone established in the opening pages dominates. But the book is not without its moments of grace, and the powerful conclusion should leave readers with a better taste in their mouths than the much-maligned endings of other popular series. Haunting and meditative, Mockingjay is a wrenching finale to a trilogy that will be read and discussed for years to come.
Mockingjay is a towering achievement, a brilliant conclusion to a popular narrative that attacks its own popularity, a dark and sad and funny and above all angry work of political theater ... What strikes you most of all, when you read Mockingjay, is Collins’ absolute clarity of purpose. We are used to endings that stumble, desperate for catharsis, overstuffed with final-act hyperbole. Collins refuses catharsis, sidesteps hyperbole ... Mockingjay is a book that does not believe in heroes — a book, actually, that is about how most popular notions of 'heroism' are constructed by powerful people and marketed to less powerful people.
Remarkably, Collins turns the final volume, Mockingjay, into a grim, cynical reflection on the human cost of war. A series that started out as a dystopic tale of derring-do with undercurrents of social revolution has ended by addressing how the system will always chew up individuals, and the mechanisms of power are inevitably abused ... But the book’s final third makes it the best in the series. All governments are corrupt, Collins seems to argue, and the only thing people can do is try their best to care for each other. The final slog toward doom for Katniss and her friends gets as grim as any book aimed at teens ever written, a death march that leaves Katniss and the readers choking on ashes. Collins closes the book on two improbable moments of grace, but stunning as they are, they’ll be too little for many readers. The real hero of Mockingjay just might be Collins, for creating an ending that invites readers to hold on to hope, but question everything.
Readers will find Mockingjay just as impossible to put down as Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Without the battleground of the games and that non-stop action, Collins has managed to still keep teen and adult readers enthralled and guessing until the very end ... This is a magnificent journey undertaken by unforgettable characters that will remain with the reader long after the last page has been turned. The last in this modern dystopian trilogy, Mockingjay is every bit as satisfying as the two prior titles in the series.
At her normal plotting speed, Collins operates well over the speed limit, and she’s using rocket fuel for most of Mockingjay ... Mockingjay is without question the most brutal of the trilogy. Nobody emerges unscathed – very bad things happen to everyone from fan favorites down to characters so minor a reader has to pause and think, 'Now, who was that again?' before recoiling in horror at their fate. Collins doesn’t take war lightly – her characters debate the morality involved in tactics used to try to overthrow the rotting, immoral government, and they pay a high cost for those tactics ... It is also an entirely gripping read. In Katniss, Collins has crafted a heroine so fierce and tenacious that this reader will follow her anywhere.
...Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, leaves the reader with a paradoxical feeling of being both mildly satisfied and completely unsatisfied ... This book may thoroughly disappoint any reader that wishes for a happy ending for the main characters. But, it is clear throughout the entire book that Collins will never provide a reader with a satisfied feeling; rather, she chose to leave readers in a state of disarray ... Though Mockingjay may leave the reader feeling incomplete, it is a well-written if a slightly rushed book ... Even if Collins effectively displayed the ravaging effects of war, it still hurt to see the main characters experience it.
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 entire series, and Mockingjay in particular, also offers an investigation of the future frontier of the screen: There are cameras everywhere recording at the outer limits of experience.
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 ... One of Collins's many achievements is skillfully showing how effective such a poster girl can be ... 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 ... In short, there's something here for nearly every reader, all of it completely engrossing.
Throughout the trilogy, Collins has asked readers to consider heavy questions. What level of violence is justified to achieve needed change? How much integrity can one compromise for a just end? To what extent does responsibility to others demand sacrifice of self? How much control does anyone have over the construction of self? Katniss is the ideal vehicle for this dialogue, her present-tense narration constantly putting her own motivations and even identity under scrutiny ... In the final analysis, this is exactly the book its fans have been hoping for. It will grab them and not let go, and if it leaves them with questions, well, then, it’s probably exactly the book Collins was hoping for, too.