The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

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Eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow needs to succeed in his role as mentor in the tenth annual Hunger Games if he wants to prove himself and save his once-mighty family name from ruin. But when he meets Lucy Gray, the tribute that he has been assigned to him from District 12, there is an undeniable connection and he begins to feel for her. Snow must win her trust and outcharm the other mentors in order to help his tribute become a victor.

Snow Comes out on Top

Coriolanus Snow is not someone I ever thought I would root for. In the original three books, he’s pure evil. Apart from a brief scene when he and Katniss meet in his rose garden in Mockingjay, we don’t get much of a sense of what makes Snow tick.  So I went into this book with the understanding that I’d be reading from the perspective of a character that I kind of loved to hate.

I absolutely loved it. Watching young Snow start out in dire-straits made for some compelling reading as he was forced to use his charm and wits. What was probably the most compelling was following his creative solutions to problems. Some of the solutions were undeniably vile, but they also seemed justified. I even found myself thinking of good old Sejanus as totally annoying–proof that I’d slipped into the mind of Snow completely. Snow is definitely a great villain and it was fun to live inside of his head for a while.

Master Plotter

What really fascinated me was the masterful way that Collins ties in even the tiniest details of the original trilogy and makes them meld with this new book. Without giving too much away, there were some very interesting links back to the origins of the hanging tree song as well as a ton of cool District 12 lore. I liked reading about how certain elements of the Hunger Games are invented too.

In the second part of the book, the plot does slow down somewhat, after the tenth annual Hunger Games are over. The romantic plot was still pretty captivating, but not quite as fascinating as what happens elsewhere. Maybe that’s just because I was the most interested in reading about the Games, because it felt like living in the original trilogy. The rest of the book still has plenty of twists and turns and make no mistake, it kept me reading.

All in all, it’s a great book and I found myself wanting another Snow book.

Did you love of hate Coriolanus Snow after reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

 

If You Loved The Ballad of Songbirds and Snow, read this next…

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