Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes with spoilers

5/5 stars

Unless you’ve been completely out of the loop, you’ve heard that Suzanne Collins was expanding The Hunger Games world and writing a prequel. This prequel was in *gasp* Coriolanus Snow’s POV: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

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I know this book has had mixed reviews, and it seems like most people are in either “loved it” camp or “loathed it” camp. I am firmly in “loved it”. I normally don’t do reviews with spoilers, but to express why I loved it I have to include them. Proceed if you’ve already read it or don’t mind spoilers!

I loved it so much. It was fascinating to see how Collins dealt with writing an entire book about a character that is so universally loathed. I, like many others, was concerned that she was going to try to write him as a likable character and try to get us to sympathize for him. And while there were times that I felt shreds of compassion for Snow, I thought she did a fantastic job in showing us how spoiled, condescending, and self-entitled Snow was from the very beginning.

I also loved how the mockingjays, the Katniss plant, the poison, and the roses were so intricately entwined in with the original series. It honestly felt like this was something that she had planned all along rather than an afterthought. I wish I could make everybody love it as much as I did, because I thought it was beautiful.

Collin’s world building of the political underbelly of The Capital was really interesting. There were strong supporting characters and antagonists that helped to show the devolution of Snow’s character.

Normally, I like a neat and tidy ending, but the ending about not knowing what happened to Lucy Gray didn’t bother me too much because I thought there was a poetic beauty in her disappearing like her namesake did in the old song. I wouldn’t turn down a sequel though where I could learn about what happened to her and about the demise of Tigress and Snow’s relationship.

2/5 stars

Narrated by: Santino Fontana
Length: 16 hrs and 16 mins

I’ve not listened to anything narrated by Santino Fontana before, but my expectations were set pretty high. I have been looking forward to this book since it’s announcement and preordered it months before it was released. Fontana, unfortunately, did not meet those expectations. He sometimes spoke with a monotone voice, and I had difficulty discerning the characters because they lacked their own unique voice. I got used to the narration for the most part, but I’m not sure that I’d listen to another of his narrations unless it was a book I really wanted.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes audiobook cover art

Thanks for reading, as always😊

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