Rating: 3 stars
This final installment had the same issue as Catching Fire; it felt like two separate books stitched together, only with less reason. There was an obnoxiously clear divide between the first and second main story sections. It almost makes me think splitting the movies had some degree of merit, but it did make for a somewhat jarring reading experience. I really liked the first half, but the second and shortest part was kind of lackluster, especially considering the final movie was one of my favorites in the film franchise.
I really hated the pacing in this one. Collins is really fond of the whole time skip and fill in later method, which I personally hate and think is really lazy, but that only truly bothered me in the climax, where things ought to have heightened tension, but instead she opted to kill the tension suddenly and without any warning. Besides that, I didn’t feel very emotional over any character deaths until the very very end, which surprised me because I’d really expected to.
I don’t want this review to sound like I hated the book, because I didn’t, so I will say that the premise on the whole was great. I loved the prep team and everything with Peeta (even though it made me sad). I despise Gale, but in a good way, because he was such a consistent and morally grey person. The scenes where Katniss is allowed to just be herself, whether that’s because she’s afraid or because she’s fighting back, were really great. As a finale, I think this did what it intended to do without veering wildly off course the way a lot of the dystopian trilogies that modeled themselves off THG did. I enjoyed the time I spent in this world, and I’m mostly happy with where the characters ended up.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this series on the whole. I liked it, but it never reached into love territory. Honestly, besides the truly awful first chapter, I think the first book was undoubtedly my favorite and the best, most consistent narrative of the three. What I do know, though, is that this series is definitely 4 stars overall. I didn’t love it but I’m glad I finally read it.
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