This review originally appeared on http://bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com/Mockingjay is a great end to an amazing series. But I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong - it was a gripping page-turner, just as the previous two Hunger Games books were, but unfortunately I wasn't left with the feeling of being completely blown away, as I expected. I think what made it worse was that, for the first three-quarters of the book, that's exactly how I was feeling, but as I got nearer to the end my enthusiasm waned big time. While I think it's great Collins once again threw in totally unexpected twists that I, for one, definitely didn't see coming, I hated how grim it was. I know the characters have been through A LOT, but still, I was hoping after all that there would be more of a triumphant feeling in the end. Frankly, the anti-human message was rammed a little too hard down my throat. It was so incredibly, unexpectedly bleak.It was horrible to see all the fight go out of Katniss. She started out as such a strong character, and while it's realistic that, after all she's been through, she's seriously damaged, I missed the fiery Mockingjay. Although the final pages and the epilogue hinted at her putting herself back together and leading a reasonably full life, the last paragraph about her inner turmoil kind of undermines that with its focus on the negatives. I guess I would have just liked a few extra pages, just one or two full scenes - full conversations, at least - of her and Peeta together, happy.Which brings me to Peeta. Oh, Peeta. What happened to him was just heartbreaking. After spending two books firmly on the fence between him and Gale - and wanting to see more of the latter - I sped through Mockingjay, yearning for Peeta, impatient to see him - the REAL him - reappear. But once again, while he obviously gets better in the end, I would have liked a little bit more time with him. One or two scenes - instead of just a brief mention and vague references - would have been so much more satisfying. Just to see the real Peeta one last time.As for Gale, after finally getting to spend more time with him, I was so disappointed. He was surprisingly hard, brutal and uncaring. I couldn't believe how he basically deserted Katniss in the hospital, and later in District 12. Of course, he's been through a lot himself, but still - Peeta has arguably been through even more and he fought his way back to Katniss. For Katniss. She made the right choice.I probably sound like I hated this book, but I didn't. I liked it. Loved it even, for the most part. It was just the ending, really, that left me unsatisfied. Which is not a good feeling to be left with after such a brilliant series.