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!
Time for a 5 ⭐ review!
I’ve been busy finishing up my thesis, and now I have to start studying for my comprehensive exam. But I managed to read The Infinity Courts during my work breaks!
The Infinity Courts follows Nami, an eighteen-year-old who is murdered on her way to her graduation party. But when she ends up in the afterlife, she finds that it’s run by an AI named Ophelia, who has crowned herself queen of Infinity. She manages to escape and find a group of rebels who are working to take down the AI known as Residents or Rezzies.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I’ve been meaning to delve more into sci-fi, and this was definitely a good segway from my usual fantasy. The POV is first person present tense, and this worked really well for the story. I liked Nami’s perspective, and I really enjoyed reading from her point-of-view. She felt very well-rounded; I knew her thoughts, emotions, fears, and hopes and dreams.
I found the world and worldbuilding to be fascinating. The different courts were interesting, as were the Residents and the Princes of the courts. The book focuses a lot on heavy-handed themes like humanity/what it means to be human, emotions, the greater good, and the meaning of life. I thought Bowman handled these themes with care, and I liked reading about the characters’ attempting to reconcile with the world that they’re thrown into.
As for the plot, it’s definitely your classic group of rebels trying to take down the enemy plotline, which I enjoyed! There were some interesting side quests and stories, and despite being nearly 500 pages, I never felt like the story got bogged down. And, to my shock, there was a plot twist that floored me, and that doesn’t happen often to me anymore.
I’m looking forward to the sequel! (Even if this book made me never want to use Alexa again).