The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Review

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

When I heard there was a new Hunger Games book coming out, I was so excited. The Hunger Games books were so so good when I first read them, and I watched the movies as they came out in cinemas. Then I heard it was about Snow. And yeah, I was a bit less excited. Do I really want a book where I’m meant to feel sorry for the villain?

It was simultaneously better and worse than I could’ve expected.

The Good

  1. Lucy Gray. I loved Lucy Gray, even if she was giving us Katniss energy so heavy-handedly. I found her family and her backstory so interesting, and I want to know more! I want to know everything about the Covey, and about her experiences in the war, and her experiences in the arena. Which brings us to…
  2. The Hunger Games. Wow I love the Games. I could easily read 75 short books about every single one. This one, the tenth, was especially interesting because of how different it was to the books we know and love. They used the same arena every time, not everyone was in the ballot, they didn’t send gifts or bet on contestants. Katniss has celebrity-ish status in the Capitol, but these contestants are less than nothing for most people. It was so interesting seeing all the different ways they tried to make the Games more popular to the public.

The Bad

  1. Snow’s character. This is my main thing. I felt like Collins herself didn’t have a good idea of who she wanted this character to be. We had moments of him being a terrible villain, and moments of him being good and someone you want to root for. There was no clear understanding of why he turned out the way he did, apart from that it was what was expected of him. So what was even the point? Couldn’t we have world building done from a different characters perspective? Even Lucy Gray herself?
  2. The timeline. This goes into the same point as the above. It would’ve been interesting to see him actually becoming president. It would’ve been interesting to see a turning point in his life that cemented his views. I understand why it was focused on the games, but it terms of Snow himself, it didn’t seem that relevant to his character arc?

In summary? Three stars. I’m glad I read it, sure, but I don’t think I’ll ever re-read it. So, read it if you’re also a big fan, but otherwise it’s not worth the energy!

3 thoughts on “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Review

Add yours

  1. I completely agree with this! I read it because I felt like I needed to read it, I’m glad I got to know the story but definitely wouldn’t see myself reading it again. The only engaging part was the games really and Snow was a very boring character to read through.

    Liked by 1 person

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