Series: The Hunger Games #0.5
Release Date: May 19th 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in my local supermarket
Rating: 2/5 stars
Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.
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.
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.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the recently released prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy. In this story we follow Coriolanus Snow, who grows up to become the infamous President Snow in the original books. We follow Snow as he becomes a mentor in the games to the District 12 tribute, where he must use all his wits and smarts to keep his tribute alive and win the competition.
I must admit when I heard this was being released I was pretty excited. I loved The Hunger Games growing up and I had pretty high expectations for this. Unfortunately this just was not for me. Following Snow felt like a bit of a surprise choice for a prequel, there were so many fascinating characters in the original trilogy that I would loved to know more about – Snow just wasn’t one of them.
The story is pretty slow paced and while I did find some parts of the competition it often felt like I was slogging through the chapters. Snow is a very unlikeable main character and so I found it difficult to care about what was going on. I think The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes did have potential, but the pacing really did not work for me. It’s a pretty chunky book but only the last few chapters actually held my interest. The ending felt a bit on the rushed side, compared to the slow opening. As much as I wanted to love it this really made me struggle reading it.
If you loved the original books I’d definitely recommend giving this one a go, plenty of Hunger Games fans have absolutely loved it and it was interesting being back in the world. Overall however this one just wasn’t for me.