Disclaimer: This review is spoiler free
Book: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Author: Suzanne Collins
Page Number: 517 Pages
Age: For readers 12 and up
Rating: 4.5/ 5 stars
“Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.”
Synopsis: Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price. 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. However, 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 favour 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.
Before reading Abosbas, I was absolutely TERRIFIED of starting it. The mix reviews of Goodreads and the lackluster response to this prequel was overall upsetting to me because this is THE Hunger Games series! THG is my precious little baby! My second favorite series of all time, the one I reread every year! I fell in love with the original series and the characters within it (Katniss and Peeta could run me over and I would thank them hehe). So here I was ready to get my bow and arrow, all Katniss style, trying to see if I would need to fight Suzanne Collins for ruining the precious Hunger Games series with this prequel. Turns out I didn’t need to! I had a few problems here and there but overall I thought it was a nice edition to the Hunger Games series.
“And he wanted to keep her. Safe and close at hand. Admired and admiring. Devoted. And entirely, unequivocally his.”
Without further ado, here is what I love about Abosbas:
The Worldbuilding: We got to experience the Hunger Games back when it was a shabby, run down version of the games we are used to. I loved viewing the process where the mentors and Coriolanus brainstormed ways to make the Hunger Games more interesting and we slowly saw those games transform into the games we’re more familiar with. Minor Spoilers: I’m still confused on how we went from keeping the tributes in the zoo to keeping them in five star hotels during Katniss and Peeta’s games loll.
Writing Style: I love Suzanne Collin’s writing style! It’s so free flowing and so easy to read!
Coriolanus Snow’s POV: I admit I was a bit skeptical about Suzanne Collin’s decision to choose Snow as the main character when she could’ve chosen Johanna’s, Finnick’s or Haymitch’s story to write. But I did not need to worry because Suzanna Collins is amazing and even made evil Snow’s pov amazing. I loved seeing Snow as a young teen who is conflicted with both his dark side and his good one. His battle for good vs. evil rages throughout the book. Coriolanus wants to care about others but he also wants his reputation intact. Suzanne Collins did an awesome job with the development of Coriolanus’s character. SPOILERS: The transition from when he was an innocent teen to when he became evil is spot on! The amount of guilt felt over his first kill, Bobbin, wasn’t transferred when he killed for the second time. By his third kill, Coriolanus got used to killing and had no problem dealing with the nonexistent guilt afterwards.
Sejanus: SPOILERS (skip this entire paragraph): Suzanne must really enjoy me crying huh…. WHAT was that?! His last words really sent me into a crying fit…. “Ma”. This was the turning point to Coriolanus’s character, when he purposely involves himself in the death of his friend. He is responsible for his murder and somewhere the lines get blurred and by getting used to killing others, Snow has transformed into the villain we all know and hate. Thank goodness…. Coriolanus was getting a little too likeable in this book… I had to keep reminding myself that he’s pure EVILLLL.
The Ending: SPOILERS Skip the entire paragraph: I knew this was coming. From the beginning I knew that Snow would eventually turn on Lucy. But wow… I was not expecting the bucket of tears. Suzanne Collins…. You did it again. You’ve made me cry over fictional characters yet again (I actually don’t cry for books often.. Only for my top 6 favorite books series). I grew so attached to Lucy that I wasn’t ready to accept the fact that she was gone. When I started this book I imagined that at the end, Dr. Gaul would give Snow an ultimatum: either kill Lucy Gray and inherit a lot of power by becoming president of Panem or keep her alive and become a nobody. In a way that’s what happened, Snow chose power over love and human decency. I’m still shocked at the ending and want answers NOW. Is Lucy Gray alive?! Ughhhh I need to knowwwwwwww! If someone filmed me right after I finished this book, they would get footage of me staring at a wall for hours crying about this ending…
Lucy and Coriolanus: I liked them together! Sure, they were nowhere near the power couple (Katniss and Peeta-my otp) and their pairing did seem a little forced at times, but I thought they were cute! SPOILER: You should have seen how big I was grinning after Lucy won the Hunger Games and Coriolanus was so happy that he could see her again!
“What are lies but attempts to conceal some sort of weakness?”
What I didn’t like:
The Third Point of View: It should have been from first point of view! There was no need for the 3rd pov with the way it was used in this book. It could have been done better if the pov was used correctly. Instead of the constant povs from Snow during the Hunger Games, why didn’t we get at least one pov from Lucy Gray? I wanted to hear her experience during the games rather than read about what Coriolanus is having for lunch in the dining hall. If it was from 1st pov, then Suzanne Collins couldn’t have written from Lucy Gray’s perspective. But this book is in 3rd pov so there is no excuse there.
Lucy “Belonging” to Snow: Anyone else get a little creeped out when Snow constantly says that Lucy belongs to him? *Raises hand*. I know it’s because she’s district and he’s Capitol, but I didn’t like how he referred to her like that when she was supposedly the love of his life.
The Pacing: This is the main thing Abosbas struggled with. There were many points where I couldn’t put down the book and then there were times where I couldn’t force myself to read another sentence. There was no in between. I also felt like the most important and action packed scenes were written for only a little bit while the uninteresting aspects of this book had pages upon pages of writing on it. Suzanne should have focused more on the Hunger Games action parts of the book.
The Hunger Games: Don’t get me wrong, I loved this Hunger Games but at the same time I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed once I compared it to the 75th Hunger Games in the original trilogy. It just seemed a bit too easy after SPOILER: all the tributes were killed before the games. There were only 14 tributes actually in the arena?! Uhhhh easy much? And most of the time the tributes just hid in caves or such instead of having action packed scenes.
Yet I still loved these games, it was still fun to read about. SPOILER: Did anyone else think that when Snow went into the arena to retrieve Sejanus, he would be stuck in the arena somehow and forced to compete in the games? And then the winner would come down to either him or Lucy and he would turn evil and kill her just to win the games and stay alive? Just me? Ok haha!
“The show’s not over until the mockingjay sings”
Overall, this book was awesome! It might not be for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it! It was not a (Kat)astrophe (haha get it? Katniss? Katastrophe? Ok ok I’ll keep my jokes to myself). It also made me so happy to be in the Hunger Games world once again. The Hunger Games and one other series (The Unwanteds) are my two most treasured series and I’m so glad I got to experience another book in this world again!
Princess Of Fandoms
10/17/2021 11:06:45 am
I really like this!! The part about how they went from a zoo to hotel confused me too! Also the photo is so cute!!!
11/13/2021 11:12:52 am
Thank you so much!!! Fr?? Like I really want to know how they transitioned from zoo to hotel so badly lol
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