The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) (The Hunger Games) Paperback – 8 July 2021
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- Publisher : Scholastic; 1st edition (8 July 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0702309516
- ISBN-13 : 978-0702309519
- Reading age : 12 - 18 years
- Item Weight : 110 g
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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When I checked the text, I realised the boy could not figure out things because the 'pronoun back-reference' is often not clear. Check chapter four of the book. One has to track back to know 'she' refers to the grandmother or the girl whom Coriolanus is going to receive at the railway station. (Sorry, I am not clear about the names as I have not read any of the books.)
I had to help out my son with the noun mentioned on the previous page (three paragraphs behind), even when the noun 'grandmother' had already occurred in between, which referred to the pronoun 'she'. Then, my son could make sense of the prose on the pages.
My son said, 'But the paragraph has changed, right? Why hasn't she repeated the name?' Poor boy!
Well, not Suzanne Collins' error. But, yeah, one should shoot the editor with a paper bullet made out of a style guide's page, as a punishment for confusing children.
"Snow lands on top."
(Oh Gosh where to start with this...)
The book is beautifully articulated with brilliant foreshadowing and references to the future.
The original symbols and motifs that have been part of the trilogy , had a major roles and thus one gets to know of their deeper history, how the mockingjay ,being a symbol of rebellion manages to get on Coriolanus Snow's nerves.
Since it took place around the tenth hunger games, the reader manages to gain an all-round perspective about the rebellion and the establishment of the games.
Usually I find prequels that are realised after the series end to be lethargic , however this one stood apart and defied the odds. Suzanne Collins did a fantastic job on this one.
the show is not over until the mockingjay sings.
Also, Snow’s position as a confused but steady teenager is very relatable. His doomed love with Lucy Gray adds spice to the whole drama. We get to know how a open-minded, well behaved teenager becomes the notorious personality we see in the trilogy.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was not at all like what I thought it would be, and I loved it. It's like the Hunger Games books in many ways - answering many questions and yet leaving many unanswered. It is the thrill of recognizing certain aspects of the trilogy in this novel that made it so interesting; that, and the endless action. Each chapter contains so many surprises, and the plot twists and turns in such a way that I can never predict what's going to happen next. This is a must-read for all returning Hunger Games readers and dystopian fiction lovers. Can't wait for the movie!
By Neeta s. on 29 May 2020
But since I bought hardcover version, it had some problems. Its book jacket was bend and the main logo of the book was kinda botched.
Other than than, definitely buy it. H.G fans will LOVE IT !!!!
By Stanley Mathers on 13 December 2020
Top reviews from other countries
Good story perhaps aimed at a slightly older readership and well worth a look.
The world-building of this novel is captivating. It is set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games and only 10 years after the war. Due to this, we see Capitol in a very different light. The city is still war-torn and rife with poverty. The Hunger Games exists, but is a primal shade of what it would later become. Everyone bares scars of what happened in the conflict and would rather forget what happened. I personally found it interesting to see Panem in such a state, especially as Snow and his class gradually began to shape The Hunger Games into something closer to what fans will recognise.
Yet, I did sometimes think that the novel was too heavy-handed with its call-backs. While some of the minor changes, such as the introduction of sponsors and betting to the Hunger Games, were nice little nods, other things were less subtle. This was particularly obvious in the final section of the story, in which Coriolanus witnesses the origin of The Hanging Tree song and gains an irrational hatred of Mockingjays. Yeah, that is certainly on the nose.
In terms of pacing, I do think that this book has the potential to divide fans. Due to its focus on Coriolanus, it is no where near as fast-paced as the other books. After all, Coryo is a stage removed from proceedings. He is not in the arena fighting - he is watching from the safety of the mentors' box. What this did give the time for was more of a character study. We followed Coriolanus in his daily life within the Capitol as he attended school and mentored Lucy Gray. This allowed readers to see Panem from the other side - a world that is far different from the empoverished life of Katniss Everdeen.
Yet, at times, the novel could be incredibly slow. While I was utterly captivated by the first two-thirds of the novel, the section after the climax of the 10th Hunger Games did start to lose me a little. Coriolanus's time in District 12 was surprisingly uneventful for the most part. While things did pick up again over the last 40 pages, for the most it seemed to be a bit of a come down after the excitement of the Games.
In terms of character, the novel was also perhaps a little varied. As a character study of Coriolanus Snow, it was spectacular. Coryo is a fantastically complex character. His empoverished upbringing and desire to protect his family could have made him incredibly sympathetic, but this was offset by his ambition and underlying nationalism. Even at his most vulnerable, there was always a sense that Coryo would do anything to come out on top, which prevented him from ever being truly likeable. As a villain origin story, I would say that this was incredibly effective. You could certainly understand Coriolanus, but you could never like him.
Yet, while there was a large supporting cast, most of these faded into the background. This was, in part, because Coryo was so self-serving that he never really paid much attention to him. The two that really shone were Lucy Gray and Sejanus. Lucy Gray made for a compelling love-interest who was refreshingly different from Katniss. While her motivations were occasionally a little hard to grasp, she was very lovable and served as a representation of how different Coriolanus's life could be.
Sejanus was also a fantastic character as he represented new money - a character unable to fit in with the Districts or the Capitol. Although his naivety grew more and more frustrating as the novel progressed, the situation he was in was terribly sad and held a mirror up to Coryo. Here was a person who had a similar education to Coriolanus, but his upbringing allowed him to see the world in a very different light.
All in all, I actually really enjoyed reading this novel. While I can see why some fans were disappointed, I found it to be a wonderful character study that added a lot of depth to the series's villain. It's definitely one that I wold recommend.
What this book is not: Fully immersive into the different districts, a full accounting of President Snow's rise to power.
Whilst I love The Hunger Games, and a fan of YA/NA dystopia, I was a bit disappointed in BoSaS. Told completely from Coriolanus Snow's point of view, it centres around the period shortly after the great war - when both he and the Hunger Games were in the process of change and development.
There was a noticeable attempt to conjoin this prequel to its subsequent time-delayed sequels, with often repeat callbacks to songs, names and references which are so blunt it feels like they have just been jammed in to 'lay the foundations' for The Hunger Games trilogy. It felt clumsy, grating, and quite superficial - with very little character development or depth - in fact, the most action happens in the last 20 or so pages, and feels entirely rushed at the end - and abruptly breaks off - making me wonder if Collins is planning another prequel-sequel - which would leave Coriolanus's teenage years behind and examine his development of the 30s-60's. It provides no content or understanding of the next three books in the series, which was a major disappointment. I had read expecting there to be some reference perhaps towards the end. This is a standalone book.
This is still an excellent book for understanding the structure of The Hunger Games in it's early development, but ironically, it lacks the charm and depth of any of the other three books in the series.
I think this is the first review....
Well its amazing, buy it. Its like it is glued to your hands once you buy it!
Well done Mrs Collins.
However, I could not have been more wrong. This story is riveting- I read the whole thing in 4 hours and just could not put it down.
So many Easter Eggs for HG fans, origins and explanations.
I’m truly hoping there will be more to this one story, I found it more engaging than the original trilogy.