Ugh. I struggled to finish reading this book & there were multiple times I almost gave up... but I did finish so I’ll write a quick spoiler free review.
Pros: 1. A little more world building of Panem, but not as much as I would’ve liked. 2. It was interesting to see how the Hunger Games were from their inception vs what we saw in the HG trilogy... which is a lot more cruel & less entertaining/competitive. 3. There’s one song that ties into the HG trilogy & I liked that a lot. When the event that inspired the song happened, I knew that’s where the song came from in the original trilogy & I feel like it connected all of the books
Cons: 1. Coriolanus Snow. It’s told from his perspective & you can’t relate to him, you don’t like him, you don’t want him to succeed... you’re waiting for some big life changing event in his back story to be the catalyst for his awfulness but he’s just a terrible person. Not well developed. You’re reading the story of a narcissistic sociopath who used to be rich & now he has to pretend like he still has money & isn’t living off of cabbage soup because his legacy & reputation are the most important things in his life. Ugh. 2. The language & names. “You can’t take my sass “ sings the girl who just got chosen to fight for her life in an arena of starved children... that’s the best she could come up with?! Also stop singing the Panem anthem, it’s lame. The crazy names in the HG trilogy were different enough to be interesting, but the names in this book are just like wtf... Lysistrata, Iphigenia, Hilarius, Dean Highbottom, Barb Azure & Maude Ivory (who combined at one point to become Barb Ivory because even the author can’t keep their names straight). 3. Coriolanus’ creepy/ psycho boyfriend status. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but he’s a controlling, disturbing, & creepy guy.
I wouldn’t read it again, & I hope there aren’t any sequels to it. It took me so long to finish reading because I could put it down for days & just not care what happened, which is so opposite of the HG trilogy it blows my mind. Was it interesting? Ehhh occasionally. Was it necessary to add to the series? Not at all. Ugh.