18 January 2014

Book Review: Catching Fire and The Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy)

I wrapped up reading the last book in The Hunger Games Trilogy last night. I tore through these there books at an insane pace. To me that shows brilliant writing that makes a book easy to read, and great story telling so you cant put a book down and just have to know what happens next.

If you have only just come in to my posts, look here for my review of the first book, the Hunger Games. Major spoiler alert, if you haven't read any of the books make sure you stop reading here.

Book Two: Catching Fire

At the end of the Hunger Games Katniss finds out that she isn't safe despite winning the games. Her almost double suicide with Peeta in the games is seen as an act of rebellion and that some of the districts are rebelling. To keep the people she cares about safe, she spends the Victory Tour trying, and failing, to convince President Snow that it was an act of love, Peeta even proposes but the both of them are thrown back into the games as part of the Quarter Quell twist along with other previous victors.

She is intent on getting Peeta out alive this time but little does she know that there is a rebel plot operating behind the scenes. After knocking out the arenas force field she wakes up in the hospital of District 13, a district that till then she thought no longer existed. Her home, district 12 has been burned to the ground and while her mum and sister escaped and became refugees in 13, not everyone else did. Peeta was not saved and is in the clutches of the capitol.

Katniss slightly develops here, not as much as i thought she would. She improves but her cluelessness still grates a bit. Mainly because i expected her to develop into a stronger person in the take action, no bull shit department. Instead the focus is on how she is mentally coping with the terrors of the first game and trying to keep her family and Peeta safe. Its a different kind of strength, and honestly, while its not the way id have liked her to develop, its a way which is very real and relateable. Chances are if you put a 16 year old girl in a situation that forces her to kill or be killed, the reality is, she is going to be seriously traumatised and it'll be a miracle if she can function normally again

The book is definitely the bridge between the two stories.  Its necessary to show the cruelty of the Capitol, the beginning of the uprising, tie up the last book and lay the groundwork for the next.

Book Three: The Mockingjay


The rebellion is in full swing and Katniss needs to do her bit. She films propos of her doing various things to inspire and motivate the rebels and irritate the Capitol. As is her habit, she does get into a few fights by running away from her minders and injures herself in the process.

The book continues the theme of her trauma and ability to deal with what has happened and she spends a lot of time, running, hiding and in hospital. Especially difficult for her the knowledge that Peeta is being tortured. He is rescued but has been brainwashed into thinking she is the enemy to the point where he tries to kill her.

In the final battles in the Capitol, Katniss runs away with a team to assassinate President Snow. In a very ugly scene, children, including her own sister, are blown up in front of her eyes (I hated Prim dying). A puppet to the end, she is taken away dressed handed and arrow to kill Snow after his trial in public. Instead she kills President Coin from District 13, the leader of the rebellion. It finally clicks to Katniss that it was not in Snows interest to kill the children and it would only benefit the rebellion. Also, only Coin could authorise her sister to be a medic in the war zone.

Katniss is tried in absentee and released to go back to district 12. Her mother doesn't return and the loss of her sister has her mute and unable to do anything. Eventually she starts a book for all those who died and slowly learns to live and function again. The Epilogue highlights how she really is a survivor. She has rebuilt her life back to "normalcy" with Peeta and even has two children who, she is thankful, like all other children don't have to worry about the Hunger Games or the cruelty of the Capitol anymore.


I'm not sure what Suzanne's aim was with the story, but i can only assume that she wanted to show the very real effects of war on peoples lives, mental state and how the deaths, destruction, and torture lingers on. Its actually quite a mature book "for kids".

The other aim she might have it to show what survival really is. Katniss doesn't develop into a tough heroine, she is still everyone's puppet and in The Mockingjay is almost useless aside from being a motivational/inspirational person. But it really shows her trying to hold on to her humanity despite all the destruction around her and what she herself went through.

The whole trilogy makes an impact and made me feel much more than other books have which is the whole aim of writing, to make the reader relate. Still, i wish some things could have been different. I'm someone who likes happy endings - i think life is too full of sad endings that i don't really go out of my way to find more - and yes, in essence the trilogy does have a happy ending, but its also very bitter sweet and I'm not quite satisfied with it. Then again, i wasn't quite satisfied with the ending to the Great Gatsby but that's the sign of a really good book, it evokes some feeling in you, gets you to think and is memorable. The Hunger Games trilogy is all those things.


  1. What a great summary! Makes me want to read the books again but I might as well just wait for the next film.

  2. It'll definatelly be interesting to re-read the books after seeing the movies. I think we have a bit of a wait before the third is out though.

  3. Hello. Let me wish you a very bright,blessed, spiritfilled, prosperous and Christ centered New year. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger. I am also glad to stop by your blog " Globetrotter Postcards" and the post on it of books reviews. I am so glad to know how prolific reader you are by seeing your three books review. Also I am glad to know your interest in travelling around the world. I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 34yrs in the great city of Mumbai, India a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reachout to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young people like you as well as adults from the developed countries to come to Mumbai on a short / long term missions trip to work with us in the slums of Mumbai among poorest of poor to share the good news of Jesus Christ to give them new hope, futures and purpose. We would love to have you come on a short / long term missions trip with your friends to work with us. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from yoiu very soon. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede.

  4. I quite agree with all of the above - why couldn't they have fully succeeded?