I read this book a while ago and I think it was a good prequel! I’m going to be honest here and say that I don’t ever remember reading a prequel – because that’s just not what I’m into. I thought I had little care for the vents which precede a beloved book. Boy, was I wrong. My sister and I are huge fans of the Hunger Games series and when we saw that it was centered on President Snow when he was a student at the Academy we were…less than excited. However I was as fascinated as ever by “The Games” and very curious about its early stages; it was only the 10th Edition of the Hunger Games and the aftermath of war between the districts and the Capitol was still very much visible; starting with the once prestigious Snow family’s newfound poverty.
Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes ( The Hunger Games #0)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Synopsis: It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, 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)
3 stars: Apollo – God of archery, music and dance, the Sun and light, poetry, and more. I really like Apollo and what he represents. That means that I really enjoyed the book and my experience reading it. That means the book is worthy of Apollo.
Pheme: The goddess of fame, gossip and renown – This goddess will be invoked when a book has received a lot of attention and is praised by critics and the book community. She will be featured whether the book lived up to my expectations or not
It was nice to see how Coriolanus navigated the fact that he had to hide his poverty and maintain his image and prestige. I liked how Suzanne Collins did not try to redeem him but instead showed how truly ruthless and power-hungry he already was at that age.
All the politics, the lies and the intrigue were fascinating and I really enjoyed the first two parts of the books, especially when the Games started. The new Games in this were not as elaborate as they become later on but they were still deliciously wicked. I also liked how we got an explanation of the whole thought process that went into creating The Games. The whole mentor-tribute dynamic was very well-thought and I think Lucy Gray Baird, – Snow’s tribute and lover, was the star of the book. I don’t know why, but I felt lukewarm about the romance. I understand how necessary it was, but knowing Snow, I knew something was wrong.
In the third and last part of the book, because Coriolanus Snow slowly became future “President Snow” and I both hated and loved that. And that’s what is genius about this book. We don’t like Snow. Even from a young age he is selfish and thinks about his own interests, even with Lucy Gray. But that’s a good thing; that’s what makes him a great villain. I loved to hate him.
I liked all the references to Katniss and the way Lucy Gray Baird made us think of her: her fierceness, her love of mockingjays -even the song “Hanging Tree! And the fact that she came from district 12. There are mentions of a “previous victor from District 12” in the trilogy and all evidence seems to show that she is the one mentioned. No wonder Snow hated Katniss so much. The ending of the book frustrated me but I think it was still good as it is a prequel about an infinitely complex and diverse character.
Bottomline: The book was as wonderful as it was confusing.
Now, can we get a Prequel about Haymitch, please and thank you?