New Hunger Games Prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

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Dylan Ramos, Journalist

Roughly 12 years ago, Suzanne Collins began a very successful and best-selling young adult novel series with her release of the first installment for The Hunger Games(2008) series, the novel sharing it’s same name. The novel followed a set of characters alongside Katniss Everdeen in the dystopian nation of Panem, a fictional and alternative take of a totalitarian North America in which the antagonist President Snow has kept rule for 25 years. There have been three book installments into the series so far with each having their own movie adaptations, the last installment Mockingjay having come out back in 2010. Now however, there is a brand new sequel coming from the original author Suzanne Collins herself now.

The first 3 installments to the series so far have been very popular, collage of the 3 covers and film poster via Dylan Ramos

The new sequel, which will actually be a prequel taking place far before the original series and even focusing on completely different characters in new roles, will be published by Scholastic and is supposed to be set to release on May 19 this year.

The story will be taking place specifically a rough 75 years before the events of the first book The Hunger Games(2008), and will follow the fictional events that are known in the fictional world as the fist rebellion, during which all 13 districts separated from the Capitol of Panem, led by the 13th themselves to fight against the totalitarian government but eventually facing defeat and having to be put down with a the “Treaty of Treason”, an agreement between the government and the remaining 12 districts  that first created the hunger games battle-royale.

Not much is known about the specific unfolding of events during this time in the story, however a good amount of lore was uncovered for it during the time of the first three books. Since President Snow was already an elderly man at the time of the original trilogy it makes since we would see a younger version of his character here.

The original cast of the Hunger Games film series included Donald Sutherland as President Snow

That was exactly what we are getting as well, with Snow being confirmed as one of the new book’s leading characters. The reveal of this led to controversy online as people found a story humanizing tyrannical leaders to be tiring and unnecessary.

What do people around ERHS think of the series? Mathew Lin, a sophomore, said “I haven’t seen all the movies but the first one I think was pretty good.” The movie adaptations of the series were very well received compared to other young adult titles such as the Insurgent or The Giver series. He also said  “I heard the books are pretty good too, but it’s pretty violent.” The very graphic battle-royale action is thought to take inspiration from past dystopian works, such as the Japanese fiction Battle Royale.

Wisdom Obeziu, a senior at ERHS said “I haven’t really watched the movies, aren’t the books really good?” All three books were awarded with best-seller recognition, the first two installments from The New York Times also. “If they’re making a prequel, it should be another movie, not a book.” Because the films received more cultural attention for their more popular medium, it makes sense there would be more profit in another movie instead of a book.