I have never been so angry about a book in my life. So this book has got a 4.97 on GoodRead at the time of writing this blogpost and most of the lower reviews talked about how it was slow and they were worried when they found out the book was going to be about President Snow. I wasn’t that worried about this but I do understand why.
I normally don’t read reviews till I’ve read the book and written my own review so that doesn’t influence my own opinion but I had a feeling this book would be getting some bad reviews and I wanted to check. I’m kind of glad I did because it allowed me to have them reviews in mind while reading. Anyway, let’s start by talking about what the book is about.
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.
As always I’ll start about things I like about the book and truthfully there are a lot of things. I saw a lot of people saying it was boring but I felt the slowness worked a lot. Unlike the first three books The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is not all about the action, most of it is working with mind games and the very idea of what the games stand for. It also looks at what a character such as Snow was created.
I loved all of part 2, seeing how Snow and Lucy Gray built up a relationship and seeing her fight in the games while Snow tried to help her from the outside was deeply interesting. It’s also interesting knowing this is the first year of the mentor scheme, seeing this shaped and molded in this book with the betting and the gifts and knowing what it’s molded into by the 74th hunger games.
I did like the character of Snow, I thought he was interesting and very easy to dislike, exactly what it should be like. Lucy Gray was also so easy to like. She didn’t feel fragile but still felt real and in need of love.
I liked the idea of part 3 but thought Collins could have done a lot better writing it. It felt really jaring, like the last 3rd of this book should have just been a whole separate book and instead was just tacked onto the end. It felt like it wasn’t allowed to breath. Normally we spend our time as book readers talking about how a series can feel drawn out but this book felt too rushed.
MAJOR SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON!!!!!
The arena blowing up felt a little strange. I know why this was needed, a lot of plot points were reliant on this, but it was never really explained who did it or why it was done. There was a throw away comment that it could have been rebels but that’s about it. It was kind of a little strange.
Now for the ending… Oh my god that ending, it was awful!!!!!! I know from how the last two chapters were going that Lucy Gray was going to die at the hands of Snow but the way it was done was so strange. The rest of the book was so poetic but the ending was just a total mess. Why didn’t Collins write it like a mercy kill? Or even make it so we could understand what the hell was happening! Did Lucy Gray work out Snow had sent the word of his friend’s treachery? Did she set the snake on him?
It was infuriating and totally ruined an otherwise pretty good book. I even intend to knock a couple of stars off just for this reason.
The final thing I want to talk about is the timeline of this book, it makes no sense but then maybe this is just me at fault? So please tell me if I’m wrong.
So in this book it is the 10th hunger games and Snow is 18. In The first Hunger Games books it’s the 74th games and that would make him 82. But after a little googling I found out he’s actually 76. If there was a couple of years different I would assume I was wrong but with the 4 years different it’s a little far off. But maybe I’m wrong and I’m missing something. Please let me know if I am.
So please let me know what you thought of this book either in the comments or on Instagram, I’m constantly active over there.
Check out my last blog post here where I talked about The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman and maybe consider subscribing to my newsletter on the right.