Book Review: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

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Synopsis: 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 out maneuver 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.

Review: I have been a fan of The Hunger Games since reading the books as a teen, the writing is immersive and the whole concept is horrifyingly fascinating. This clever book follows the main antagonist of the original trilogy Coriolanus Snow. From his difficult home life to his brush with the Arena and the districts, we see how early on he displays a detachment from people, viewing them as a means to an end. He starts out conceited but we see his instinctual need to survive and climb the society ladder leading him to irreversible choices; laying the bricks for his road to evil dictatorship. It’s a clever narrative with some truly shocking moments and I found myself rooting for the bad guy for most of the book. Ultimately, Snow is the villain of the story so don’t expect a redemption, maybe just a better understanding of what drives him and why.

One of the most interesting aspects for me was hearing about the impacts of the war between the capitol and the districts. We see the other side of the story in this book and learn the effect of the war in the capitol and the powerful fear that it evoked in the people, leading to the hunger games. Overall, would say this book exceeded my expectations and I encourage any fans of the original books to give it a go!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series or Standalone: Book 0

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Libary Audiobook
Goodreads Rating: 3.85

Buy it on Amazon*

Disclaimer: The Amazon link is affiliate, if you purchase through the link I may receive a small commission.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

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