The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
by Suzanne Collins
Reviewed by: Rachel Maggard
If you haven’t heard yet, let me be the first to tell you. Suzanne Collins wrote a prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy and this is it. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set at the beginning of the 10th Hunger Games and President Snow is not yet President, but is, simply, Coriolanus Snow an 18 year old student. The top students are picked as mentors to the tributes and Snow is bound and determined to make his mark on the games. He, of course, is hoping for a tribute from a good district but is quickly disappointed to be assigned the female tribute from District 12.
He believes that failure is a certainty but then soon realizes his tribute, Lucy Gray, should not be underestimated. As the story progresses, you will get glimpses of how the 74th Hunger Games evolved to be what it was in The Hunger Games as many facets of game play were developed by Snow. Collins introduces some truly despicable characters and plenty of characters that you wonder if you should root for them.
I have heard mixed reviews. Some readers were disappointed in the lack of game play and some say the book moved too slowly. As for me, I really enjoyed going back to the world that the author developed. I love a bad guy origin story. Snow has so many chances to make the right decision and, time and again, proves himself the despicable person that we all are familiar with in the original trilogy.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is one to be added to your summer reading list. I would love it if Collins makes this the first of a prequel trilogy. May the Odds Be Ever in Our Favor.