This one picks up shortly after the end of the second book, Catching Fire, which ended on quite a cliff-hanger. Everything has broken loose and been turned upside down. It’s no longer a matter of surviving the Capitol’s Hunger Games. It’s a matter of surviving open warfare, and now everyone is at risk, not just the tributes in the arena.
Yet with so much at stake, our hero Katniss mostly just fumbles around. Yes, she’s been a pawn before, and I suppose she knows she is still just a pawn, but she only breaks out from that on the rare occasion. You’d think that by now she would be coming into her own. So, for much of the book, I was kind of annoyed with her. Towards the end, she does finally break out on her own – or at least, of her own volition – but ultimately she falls short of her goals, with others stepping in to do the heavy lifting.
I was kind of disappointed by the ending. It’s not so much what happened as how it was revealed to us. Again, Katniss has been sidelined as a pawn, and so much of what has happened is simply told to us as a fact. There’s very little dialog, and very little narrative of discovering what has happened and seeing Katniss’ reaction. Instead, we get a “this is where I am now” info-dump that is lacking in passion. She does finally make some good, independent choices, but it wasn’t enough to save the ending for me.
The love triangle was resolved more or less the way I thought it would end, and that was at least satisfying. So, it was a pretty good book, but I think it was a weak ending to the trilogy.