The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Published 2020
“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.” – Goodreads
I wanted to love this one, but it was just okay. It was nice to go back to The Hunger Games, one of the books that got me back into reading when I was in college and struggling to make time for it. It’s also really interesting for this to be set before the games that we know, seeing how they’ve adapted through time.
A lot of people were apprehensive about Snow as a narrator because he is so despicable in the stories we know. I’ll say I enjoyed him as the narrator. Because I know how he becomes, I was looking forward to the evil that causes his demeanor. Because I know where he’s headed I didn’t root for him or love him. It’s interesting to watch someone’s ruthless quest for power.
While having the POV of a mentor, rather than tribute, was interesting, it wasn’t the same as experiencing the games from within the game. I missed that.
I listened to some of this one (it’s on Hoopla, y’all) and I didn’t like when the narrator changed his voice for female characters. That’s a petty complaint, but it was super cringey.
This felt too long. It lagged in places, and because it’s THE HUNGER GAMES that should not be the case. Hence, 3 stars. Just aight for me.
But the ending is real intense. Real good. Just a little too late to give me the intensity.