Suzanne Collins' new novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, an origin story of the unrelenting tyrant from The Hunger Games Trilogy, President Snow, delivers a gripping and nuanced story featuring an engrossing villain protagonist. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This book revealed the many layers of Snow's one-note character in the original trilogy. This prequel highlights moments where Snow could've made heroic choices, but instead, he chose differently to fuel his selfish interests and ambition, without regard to the safety and well-being of the closest people around him. His decisions, his twisted thoughts and inner monologues will allow the reader to develop contempt towards him. Suzanne wrote him in a nuanced and honest way, with no room for redemption or vindication; she presented us with a character whose descent to the vicious and unrelenting fascist that he was to become, was inevitable from the very beginning for he was exactly who he was as what we all saw and read in the trilogy.
Given the mixed reviews, not everyone will like this book, probably because it's more character-driven than the trilogy, but for me, that's what makes it so engrossing. It reads more as a political commentary and philosophy fashioned as fiction, showing the horrors of the Games stripped of glitz and glamour. It's worth the read.
A solid 4.5 stars for Suzanne's comeback!
P.S. Coriolanus Snow, you blondie bitxh! I better not catch you in the streets!