The Hunger Games series is one of the best examples of the old writing adage ‘show don’t tell.’ You’re forced into the action with immediacy and feel every urgent, terrifying step of Katniss’s journey – it’s one of the things that makes it great. The Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds starts off telling the story, with much of the action told after the event. There’s no urgency and it leaves the pace a little slow in the first section of the book. The switch from 1st person (Hunger Games) to 3rd person gives the book a completely different feel too. Although it changed the experience, I get why Collins did it. First person works best when you’re rooting for the MC. Katniss is our heroine and we’re not supposed to doesn’t to root for Snow.
The story is interesting and when it does pick up, it gets good. Really good. Seeing the games play out from an outside ‘Capitol’ POV rather than a tribute POV was interesting and much of the action. tension and violence in this section felt very much on-brand and I got a little bit nostalgic at this point, reminiscing about the first time I read the trilogy.
All in all it’s a stunning hardback which is superbly written and a perfect accompaniment to the series. It’s a little slow in parts but worth a read.
Genre: Dystopian YA
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