A decade after wrapping up her wildly popular YA series, author Suzanne Collins is returning to Panem with a prequel to The Hunger Games. With a scheduled release date of May 19 2020, the currently untitled novel will go back to the ‘Dark Days’ of Panem and the first failed rebellion that happened 64 years before the events of the series.
In a statement via Associated Press, Collins said:
‘With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.’
The Hunger Games trilogy has sold over 100 million copies and the four movies starring Jennifer Lawrence grossed over $2.970 billion worldwide. So, understandably, the folks at Scholastic are thrilled to have this new book on their release schedule.
Dystopian fiction was THE thing in YA for a solid couple of years mostly because of the success of The Hunger Games, although few other series replicated the particular magic of Collins’s work, which was a fearlessly bleak satire of reality TV and the military industrial complex. There’s a fascinating specificity to Collins’s world that makes it so gripping to read, especially as the market got crowded out with so many knock-offs. But I’m curious to see if the audiences that loved the books and movies are hungry for this, especially in 2019 when, to put it bluntly, things are a lot sh*tter in the world than they were when series started. That’s not to say audiences have galloped exclusively towards escapism in pop culture. Remember, the biggest YA book in years is The Hate U Give, and for good reason. Perhaps there is, no pun intended, a real hunger for this sort of urgent speculative fiction. And to release it in an election year? I see you.
Are you excited for a new book in The Hunger Games series? Let us know in the comments.
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