Sunday Book Club – The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes, Suzanne Collins

Every Sunday we are taking a look at the world of books. I read a lot and always want to share my opinions on what I read, so I thought it would be fun to write reviews. Today we are going to look at the prequel of Hunger Games.

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes (2020)

Suzanne Collins


It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 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.

– from Amazon

Positive Points

Initially I wasn’t sure whether to read this book, I only read the Hunger Games trilogy for the first time last year and whilst it was a book that I thought was an interesting read, I wasn’t sure that I enjoyed it as it was quite a dark topic and felt quite preachy about war. Anyway, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and decided to read the prequel.

Initially, I thought the first two sections really kept on theme and was written as well as the originals. Whilst I will not be giving any spoilers, I felt that the first two sections gave a different look to this world and engaged from the start. I did find it preachy about war again at points but I did what I did with Hunger Games and tried to just appreciate it for the story at hand.

It has elements that make it as dark as the originals and at some times it can be darker but for anyone who enjoyed the first ones I would say give this a read to get an understanding of this world. Also, it is set to be made into a film being released next year, it would be interesting to see how they portray some of these scenes on the screen.

Negative Points

I have a huge issue with the third section of the book, it is disappointing and feels like a whole different story altogether. The first two sections does well to engage you and then you head into the third section and it feels like a completely different story that it really angered me. It felt rushed and ignored in some ways all the key points to original narrative. I found the ending was poor and that I was questining myself for a few says after had I actually finished the book because I felt ripped off.

*SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH* I felt that it didn’t explain why Snow was evil, it felt like a really lame excuse for why he did turned into the character that he was and I felt it should of been better developed. I didn’t like all the references to the original books again it felt sloppy. The last section felt like a completely different book and the characters development that was all built up felt to diminish, I felt like it needed to be maybe two books or have a legitimate reason why this character was evil. Also the fact he was sent to District 12 for a holiday was really poor excuse for why he was punished, I honestly feel there would of been better ways to make this narrative work.

Overall Review

Going into this book I was initially finding it a good read and prequel but as it went on I found it sloppy and I felt cheated out of a third of the book. Like I said at the beginning, I was late to the Hunger Games and wasn’t the biggest fan of them but I still wanted to read the prequel to appreciate the whole world as a whole. The first two sections felt like it belonged in this world, I feel that the third section belongs in a different story and it is disappointing how the Snow story concludes. It will be interesting to see what the future in the film holds.

Rating : **’ 2.5 Stars

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