Fans of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling “Hunger Games” novels have something to look forward to: The author will revisit the world of her young-adult trilogy in a prequel set for publication next year.
Like Collins’ other books in the trilogy, the Associated Press reports that the new novel will be set in the fictional dystopian country of Panem, 64 years before the beginning of “The Hunger Games,” the first book in the series.
“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival,” Collins said in a statement. “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.”
Ellie Berger, the president of Scholastic Trade Publishing, said the press was “thrilled” to publish Collins’ forthcoming prequel.
“Suzanne Collins is a master at combining brilliant storytelling, superb world building, breathtaking suspense and social commentary,” Berger said.
“The Hunger Games” trilogy told the story of young people competing in an annual televised battle to the death in which only one teenage contestant survives. The books were massive bestsellers for publisher Scholastic, selling tens of millions of copies, and have been translated into more than 50 languages.
The books were also well received by critics. Reviewing the first book in the series for The Times, Sonja Bolle wrote, “As a send-up of TV shows like ‘Survivor,’ ‘The Hunger Games’ is endlessly entertaining…. ‘The Hunger Games’ promises to be the first of a series, and although I don’t immediately see where Collins might go with this story, I’m willing to believe she’ll surprise me.”
The novels formed the basis for a series of four movies, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks. The films earned hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, and studio Lionsgate has already indicated it’s interested in adapting the prequel novel.
“As the proud home of the ‘Hunger Games’ movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” Lionsgate Chairman Joe Drake told the Associated Press. “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
The prequel, which Scholastic is referring to with the placeholder title “Untitled Panem Novel,” is set for publication on May 19.