The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, not much of a Ballad

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, not much of a ballad

A week or two ago I read “The Ballad of Songbirds and  Snakes,” on my kindle fire. It is time I will never get back. This prequel is about how Coriolanus Snow became the dictator in the main Hunger Games series. Snow is 18 in this novel and it’s the 10th Hunger Games so this takes place several years before Katniss’s story. The prequel had a decent idea for a plot but my fears came true that it was executed poorly with some of the clichés that I guessed was coming.



I did like that we see Snow’s friend, Sejanis taking a stance against The Hunger Games. I also liked that we found out who specifically created the games in the first place. Making Snow a mentor was smart.



Most of the characters were not very likeable or very forgettable. As much as I like Sejanus taking a stand against the games to begin with, he’s not enough to hold the story for me. It also seemed as though Suzanne Collins didn’t know which direction she wanted to take with Snow. She wasn’t sure if he should have a sob story or not have one. We know he lost his parents in the war and he grows up with his grandmother. Snow’s family is also in poverty despite living in The Capital. Of course there was a romance between Snow and Lucy and as I feared it became like an Anakin and Padme romance.




I think if this book was written shortly after “The Mockingjay,” then I could see the appeal of there being more prequel novels about characters from the main trilogy. Since it’s been years since a Hunger Games book was written, it seems pointless to write a prequel or a sequel. If an author is going to write a prequel or sequel to a book or many books, the idea better be good and the execution better be just as outstanding and without clichés. What would have benefitted this book would have been seeing Snow in politics and ruthlessly rising to the petition of dictator. Maybe it’s best for Suzanne Collins to just move on from “The Hunger Games” and write something new.