Raw. Cold and raw. That’s how I felt after finishing this installment of the trilogy. I devoured it, listening at every moment I could on Scribd.

So much change. So much distress. So much pain in this book. Yet it is so powerful, I would gladly read / listen to it again – though maybe after I’ve recovered and read something a little lighter and happier.

Capitol vs Rebels, basically capitalism vs communism. It seemed as if that was the underlying basis, but because the characters – both old and new – were so compelling and interesting the book was so much more than that. So much deeper. The emphasis of cameras and appearance on characters highlighted the fakeness of Panem, that not everything can be trusted, which is a great reflection of the media in this day and age. Katniss, the mockingjay, utilised by the Rebels for their ends – a pawn to another set of games.

Characters never get out of the hunger games train, pasts are delved into and the characters excellently fleshed out, showing the cracks of people and why they act the way they do. Finnick’s past was particularly interesting, showing how influential President Snow is and how he rose to power so many years ago.

The previous books showed the greatness of fixing physical ailments, the Capitol’s gifted surgeons smoothing scars and appearances. What I found so great about this book was that Collins was not afraid to show that psychological ailments were not so easy to cure. Peta, Katniss, and surprisingly Finnick all go through some form of mental torture and yet don’t quite fully recover. Collins’ portrayal of the power and devastation of psychological torture is more realistic, intriguing even, something that is not often written about.

Relationships are explored, as well as death and suicide. This installment definitely digs deep into subjects the previous books only scraped upon. A fantastic ending, so bittersweet, yet perfect. I teared up. The end gives you some closure, and it comes round full circle, but with all the suffering and tragedies and changes that take place in this book you can never get full closure. There is some hope, a little light at the end of the hunger games train tunnel – but ultimately hope cannot compensate for all the sacrifices and suffering in this trilogy, leaving you raw at the end. Definitely worth a read.

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