When I saw the new trailer for the The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie, I thought, Well, I guess I’d better read the book!
Like a lot of people, when the book was announced a couple of years ago, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. President Snow is the villain of The Hunger Games, after all.
Here’s the thing about this book: compared to Katniss’ close point-of-view in The Hunger Games, this prequel feels very distant.
The book is from Corolanius’ point of view, sure, but it’s a distant third. We’re not bathed in his fear, horror, and opinions like we are Katniss’. When the Hunger Games happen, we’re nothing but a spectator alongside Corolanius, watching from the outside. Because of this, despite it being a literal life or death situation, it didn’t feel like it actually was a life or death situation, and I found myself skimming the depictions of the Games. There’s also a myriad of side characters, and most of them felt rather flat and blurred together.
All of that being said, I thought the ending was well done.
Overall, this book was just okay. I think Collins’ publishers were probably like, “Hey, you need to write a prequel,” and she just had to roll with it. However, I do think it will translate better on screen when we can be more involved in the Games, so I still plan on watching the movie!