*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM BOOK ONE - THE HUNGER GAMES AND TWO - CATCHING FIRE*
When we left Katniss Everdeen at the end of Catching Fire, she had just made it out of her second Hunger Games in two years only to learn that Peeta had been captured and a rebellion had begun against the Capitol.
Mockingjay picks up with Katniss in a state of mental confusion. She has been so heavily sedated to deal with her breakdown that she struggles to tell the difference between nightmare and reality. The leaders in District 13 are struggling to get her on board as the symbolic image of the rebels' fight and she can barely construct a coherent thought in her head. As she starts to get a grip on reality, the gravity of her absence finally seems to dawn on her and she realises the power she could have in helping the rebels with their cause. But she has her focus on more specific things - finding Peeta and killing President Snow.
Reluctant to be yet another pawn in somebody else's game, Katniss struggles to take orders as her efforts to help those fighting in other districts are recorded and beamed out to the citizens of Panem, showing them and President Snow that she and the rebels are all still fighting. But are the rebels being totally honest with her or just using her for their own gain? Has too much damage been done already for Katniss to ever come back from it? And what are the peacekeepers in the Capitol doing to Peeta?
Where many authors would have picked up this third installment in the trilogy with action and fighting, Suzanne Collins bravely acknowledges the person behind all the action - Katniss Everdeen - and allows her time out of battle to try and deal with what has happened to her. She is filled in on all that she missed while in the arena the second time round and often has relapses into a state of severe agitation and confusion. She is a fighter - there is no question - but in allowing this vulnerability and weakness to shine through, Collins allows the reader time to really embrace Katniss and will her onwards. Then of course, there is the ever confusing love triangle between her and her best friend Gale and fellow victor Peeta. Her worry for Peeta while he is being tortured by the Capitol starts to seem more than just friendly concern and Gale doesn't know how to take it.
Collins kills indiscriminately, much more like Harry Potter author JK Rowling than Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. But she does not kill off her characters lightly. By revealing early on that she is not afraid to kill people off, she keeps the reader guessing. There is no comfort in knowing it will all be alright in the end. You know no such thing. Emotions run high in this final book in the saga and Collins keeps you guessing till the very end as to whether or not it will all have been worth it. Have tissues at the ready for an emotional rollercoaster of a read.
Mockingjay is a gripping and action-packed end to the Hunger Games trilogy fraught with emotion at every stage.
For your chance to win the entire trilogy you have until Wednesday 29th February to enter the competition over at Novelicious.