If you have already read the first two books in the The Hunger Games trilogy, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you will still want to read Mockingjay to get answers to all of your questions. But don’t expect to love the book. Mockingjay is no The Hunger Games.
In short, I get the impression that the author, Suzanne Collins, decided to pull a little bait and switch on us. She set us up with a rewarding, happy ending to The Hunger Games. Collins set us up further with the massive cliffhanger at the end of Catching Fire. We then expect Mockingjay to reward us with a redemptive ending on an even bigger scale. But it doesn’t. Rather Collins lays some heavy handed anti-war message on us… or something. So in the end all of the heroes in the book lose.
If it is not a bait and switch then maybe Collins just ran out of ideas. The final section of the book is where everything falls apart for Mockingjay. The entire section is garbled and confusing and seems rushed. Was Collins on deadline? Was she just feeling angry and depressed when she wrote it? Who knows. But rather than delivering on a tremendous set up it fizzles in a big way. It is too bad too. As I was reading I held out hope until the bitter end that this book would really deliver for me. But then the book was over. Readers are left with a bunch of dead protagonists and a perma-victim of a hero who apparently remains severely damaged and tormented for the remainder of her days.
Oh well. I guess it makes me appreciate the skills of someone like J.K. Rowling all the more. Taking a series all the way to the finish line without petering out is apparently very difficult to pull off.