My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(I was given this book for free on a read-to-review basis.)
This book (the third in the hunger games trilogy) takes off where Catching fire ended.
What follows is a story which is very different to the previous two. There is no pretence of games now, and it’s no longer 24 teenagers fighting to the death. The rebels are slowly taking over the districts, with an aim of taking the capitol and Snow in the end, and there will be many deaths before this is over.
Peeta has had his memories altered by scientists at the capitol, and finds it hard now to distinguish between things that really happened, and his false memories. What is most heart breaking about this though is the fact that they have destroyed his love and trust in Katniss, taking away what little support she has come to rely on, and have turned him against her. Peeta is also struggling mentally to come to terms with what has happened to him.
Gale has joined the rebels, and now begins to show some pretty nasty characteristics that we haven’t seen from him before. He is intent on winning this war, no matter what the cost to human life, and at times even comes across as sadistic. At times he makes reference to himself and Katniss becoming an item, but makes no attempt to even tell her the truth at times, never mind actually trying to romance her.
The turn this series has taken in this book, shows what the hunger games have done to the nation they were supposed to entertain. Both tributes/victors, and their family and friends alike are suffering mentally and emotionally, and are at times unrecognisable from the people they started out as,
While the first two books in the series were ultimately about love and survival – with Katniss stepping in for her sister, and both Katniss and Peeta protecting each other in the arena, this book is about hate and war, and the death toll rises sickeningly from the very first chapter to the very last. The romance storyline is practically forgotten,
Overall this book is much darker and grittier than the first two, with gruesome deaths and shocking plot twists
To be honest I actually feel quite traumatised having read this, and can only hope that nobody ever has to go through what Katniss has been through.
In empathy to poor Katniss – 8 out of 10.
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