I figured I needed to read this book before the second part of the movie came out and I'm sure everyone knows by now that there are two book before this one, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire that you do need to read in order to understand this book, world and series.
In the conclusion in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Game series, Collins shows what someone will go through in order to protect those they love:
Katniss has survived the Hunger Games (Quarter Quell) for a second time, but she lost someone very close to her in the exchange, Peeta was left behind and by all accounts he is the hands of the Capital. Katniss was rescued by the "rebels" from District 13 and she has been told that she is the key to the revolution. Katniss does not want to be the key, all she wants is to get Peeta back and attempt to forget the Hunger Games and the pain that it has brought her. Katniss soon realizes that to save Peeta she must become the Mocking Jay for real, to be the face of the revolution and to start the fire burning, no matter how many lives it costs, there is only one way to save the people in the districts...War.
I was surprised at how dark Collins decided to make this book in the end. She really puts Katniss through some very tough situations and events. Collins puts a lot on Katniss' shoulders and expects her to perform through them all, and there are times when she succeeds and times she did not. I was also surprised at some deaths within this book (yes that is plural deaths) of individuals who you think would be off limits to many authors where put to an end here and I appreciated that Collins made it feel as though no one was safe and this added to who will be gone next feel.
However, overall I felt that there were times that Katniss was not really part of the story even though it is told from her point of view; and by this I mean the premise is all about the revolution and her role in it, but there was so much time spent in Katniss' head that the revolution aspect of the story took a back seat. While I really really I appreciated that Collins showed PTSD in this book (as it is very fitting with everything that Katniss went through) I think there was a little bit too much time spent in the hospital wing when the fight was going on around her and we as readers only get a glimpse of it till that latter part of the book when Katniss chooses to be more involved. Therefore, I think that it is safe to say that this book was a lot slower than I expected it to be.
Katniss as a character in this book does at times pale in comparison to who she was in The Hunger Games, but I think that this is to be expected for everything that she has gone through and the people she has had to kill. I think people forget this when talking about/reviewing this book. There was no way that Katniss could stay the same from the first to the third book and for character to have a real feel about her.
I'm really satisfied about how Collins decided to end this series, and once again I was shocked at how dark that Collins decided to take this book. Collins also not leave anything unanswered to leave the door open for more novels (which I'm sure some people are not happy about based upon the following these books have). I'm not sure what Collins has done since writing this trilogy but after reading this one (such an improvement over the second book) that I want to find out :)