Set 64 years before The Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is Suzanne Collins' prequel to her dystopian YA trilogy, a book series whose film adaptations launched the Hollywood career of that awful over-actor and recipient of the most undeserved Oscar win ever, Jennifer Lawrence.
For that reason, then, you'd think that I would dislike The Hunger Games books. But I actually really enjoyed them (I even enjoyed some facets of the films). The world-building exhibited in the books was extremely inventive, and, whilst it may have been a tad derivative of Battle Royale and various Roman and Greek myths, I maintain that most good art contains inflections of other artists that preceded it.
Central to the books was the first-person narrative of Katniss Everdeen, the tribute from District 12. Throughout the trilogy she displayed courage, resilience and resourcefulness beyond her 16 years, and her actions were underscored with familial loyalty to her younger, more fragile younger sister, Prim. Collins shrewdly avoided painting her heroine as a Mary Sue, however, as Katniss was also stubborn, unforgiving, whiny and often downright unlikeable.