The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes marks the first entry in the Hunger Games series in nearly a decade. It is a prequel to the first Hunger Games novel and tells the story of the 10th Hunger Games. Particularly, the book follows Coriolanus Snow (who would later become the evil dictator of Panem) as he mentors a young girl from District 12 for the upcoming Hunger Games -- all so that he can restore his family's glory and so that he can take them out of poverty.
Despite the tremendous publicity surrounding the book's release, it received only moderately positive reviews. The Telegraph, for example, wrote in their review for the book wrote that Collins was "fathoms out of her depth" and that said that it is "not the most promising opening." The Guardian thought the book was much better, saying it was typical Suzanne Collins fare and it was "sleek" and entertaining and exceptionally exciting - not least because of its action.