The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Review

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

By Suzanne Collins

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.

Summary from Goodreads.

I first read The Hunger Games trilogy back in 2011 while I was in high school. So when I finally managed to get a copy of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes from the library I was eager to see what events took place that lead to Coriolanus Snow becoming the controlling president of Panem. The eagerness that I was experiencing soon evaporated into boredom, then eventually disappointment and resentment.

Without spoiling too much, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has three seperate parts, the first takes place before the 10th Hunger Games, the second take place during the 10th Hunger Games, and the final part takes place in the few months following the 10th Hunger Games. The parts that I found the most interesting were the ones that did not have a direct focus on Coriolanus Snow. I found him to be very irritating very quickly. I do not know if this was Collins plan, as I assumed that we were going to see a complex story of a young boy and transition him into the monster that he ends up being in the Hunger Games trilogy. Instead he was only just a small push away from being a monster from the get-go.

This was not satisfying. It almost feel like Collins did not know how to write a villain origin, so wrote a hero’s story, but then changed a few inner monologue thoughts to make Snow seem like a tragic villain. I could very easily outline how I would prefer the third act to play-out, which makes you sympathise with Snow and his actions and makes you see how he becomes the person he ends up being. But I am not here to fix this, if that is even possible.

Overall I am disappointed in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but I do suspect that if it had been out when I had first read the trilogy, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.


Have you read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Check it out on Goodreads here.

Purchase it on Amazon here.


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