The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Review
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Before the start of the 10th annual Hunger Games, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is told he will be a mentor to one of the tributes. Not just any tribute either, he’s been assigned the female tribute from District Twelve...
Only ten years after the end of the war, most people in the Capitol are still against the idea of the Hunger Games. In an attempt to get more engagement from both those in the Capitol and the Districts, the Head Gamemaker decided to assign mentors to each of the tributes for the first time.
Before the start of the 10th annual Hunger Games, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is told he will be a mentor to one of the tributes as his final assignment before he’s allowed to graduate from the Academy. Not just any tribute either, he’s been assigned the female tribute from District Twelve, a humiliating assignment…
Coriolanus Snow is a character we love to hate. Since this is the prequel to the hunger games trilogy and we already know his roles in the future, I went into this with an almost closed off mind. I initially read that this book would shed light on the creation of this event called the Hunger Games. This was my only true reason to dive back into this world excitedly.
I will say this prequel was definitely unneeded the original trilogy was perfect on its own. But I don’t regret reading this. Even years later, this was a joy to read. To learn of how the games became what they were by the time Katniss Everdeen becomes a tribute. Why they’re still happening and how it started. I also enjoyed learning about the songs Katniss sings, their origins, and who wrote them. It definitely explains why Snow was so against Katniss from the start.
This was a joy to read. To learn of how the games became what they were by the time Katniss Everdeen becomes a tribute. Why they’re still happening and how it started.
I do think Suzanne Collins pulls character traits for Snow from his movie rendition. Especially since the trilogy was only in Katniss’s point of view, we don’t know his inner thoughts, actions, or reactions as we do in the movies. I don’t think this was necessarily a bad thing, but I can see it definitely affected his overall character in this prequel. Had this come out before the movies were made, I could imagine a widely different book.
Overall, I sincerely enjoyed this book. I still hate Snow, but at this point who doesn’t? This makes me want to reread The Hunger Games trilogy. I definitely think new readers should hold off reading this prequel until after they’ve read the original trilogy. It may be the prequel, but I don’t think it should be read first. Continue reading for more of my thoughts on The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Warning! Spoilers :)
As I was reading I found myself truly intrigued by Snow’s actions and his motivational phrase “Snow lands on top.” Reading his relationship with his tribute, Lucy Gray was hard for me. I wanted, no more liked hoped that there could be a world they ended together. But based on what I knew of the future, I knew that wasn’t going to happen as such. Snow was definitely just self-interested. He barely gave the idea of a life with Lucy Gray a thought. I knew, in the end, he’d go with the Capitol life.
From the start, he was never truly against the games. He just made sure Lucy Gray had everything she needed to win. One thing I couldn’t wrap my head around was how I had never heard of Lucy Gray before in the original trilogy. Haymitch was labeled as Twelve’s only victor. Throughout the book, I came up with several theories as to why no one knew Lucy Gray was a victor. Knowing what was done at the end to basically remove this year’s games was interesting to read. Including how no one remembers Snow’s role in it.