The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Review

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I’m being honest my expectations were average. I was really excited for the book but I didn’t expect it to be amazing. I don’t think it is possible for a prequel to ever be outstanding, from what I’ve experienced so far in life. The book was good and it met all my expectations, but I wasn’t blown away. I am wondering if there will be another though, because only a monster would leave readers with a cliffhanger like that for the rest of eternity.
Spoilers Below
I have to say my favorite part of the whole book was seeing how the Hunger Games weren’t always as super high tech as they are in the original trilogy. It never dawned on me that they hadn’t always been as upscaled as they are for Katniss. It was just so interesting to read how the Snow family basically created the entire Hunger Games. I’d love to see more though. I’d love to see the entire progression from where the arenas and infrastructure begin at the beginning of this novel to where they end up by the original series. I also (hate to say this but I) want to see more of Snow’s journey. I totally want to find out how he got himself from where he is by the end of the story to president of Panem.
I didn’t really connect with any of the characters besides maybe Snow, but I still liked Lucy Gray. So… the ending really made me mad. How can Suzanne Collins not tell us what happened? I think not knowing is worse than knowing she died. I also was super mad with Snow during that entire end scene. He was way to up in his head and should have calmed down. Lucy Gray was obviously not going to kill him.
I liked Sejanus as well, and was super surprised when he died. Overall, I think the author introduced a lot of new elements into the book that should have been obvious in the original books but still surprised me. Like how Sejanus came from a different district or how there wasn’t really a fence around district 12. Those things would have all been impossible during Katniss’s time, but totally normal during Snow’s.
I also cannot believe that Katniss’s lake house thing was really the same place Snow traveled to. The one thing I would have like to see that didn’t happen in this novel is a bit more circular story telling. Like if somehow the author could tie Katniss and Snow together via the lake, that would be really cool.
I don’t know if there was a reason for this, but somehow this book seemed to have a different mood compared to the other Hunger Games books. It would make sense that it does, being so close to the dark days and such, but it almost seemed to make this book not even a hunger games book anymore. It just felt different. Did anyone else experience this?
Also, who out there thought that the birds head feathers were actually its beak. Raises Hand I did and it took me until I had completely finished the book to figure out my mistake.
Overall though, I did like the book. It was interesting how the author made Snow so relatable and interesting before he went… well crazy. I also was really surprised my all the little details she was able to include about the capitol after the first war. This was a good book, but it didn’t blow me away. I’d recommend it to anyone who read and liked the Hunger Games.

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