A Deep Dive on Everything You Need to Know About the New ‘Hunger Games’ Book

The new ‘Hunger Games’ book is set to be released this year, and will tell a story set years before the events of the original trilogy.


May 5 2020, Updated 3:50 p.m. ET

The Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins were among the biggest literary phenomenons of the past 15 years. The books told the story of Katniss, a fiercely independent girl who gets swept up in a brutal killing competition. Now, a prequel novel is set to hit stands, and fans are eagerly anticipating the new book’s release. The novel, titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is set years before the events of the original trilogy.

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What is the new ‘Hunger Games’ book about?

The new novel is set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, and tells the story of Coriolanus Snow, the figure known as President Snow in the original novels. In the novel, Snow is tasked with mentoring the female tribute from District 12 in the 10th Hunger Games. Snow is 18 during the events of the novel, and not yet the established leader of the Capitol. 

Source: getty

Donald Sutherland, who portrayed President Snow in the movie adaption of the "Hunger Games" trilogy

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According to the excerpts from the novel that have been released thus far, it seems that many of the traditions around the Games have not yet been firmly established. What’s more, while they’ve been in place for a decade, they aren’t yet exceedingly popular with the citizens of the Capitol in the way that they are in Katniss’s time. This is a different era in the history of this world. 

When will the new ‘Hunger Games’ book be released?

The prequel novel is set to hit bookstands on May 19. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has not yet been reviewed by any major outlets, so it’s unclear what kind of reception the novel will receive. Even so, plenty of fans of The Hunger Games series are eagerly anticipating the new novel’s release. 

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Will there be a movie adaptation of the new ‘Hunger Games’ book?

Even though the book has yet to be released, there are already plans to adapt it into a film. The film will come from the team behind the final three installments in the original film series, including Francis Lawrence directing the project. Michael Arendt is set to write the screenplay. The announcement of the adaptation suggests that all involved believe Suzanne’s new novel will be the same kind of sensation as the first three.  

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Source: Getty Images
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“Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is creatively thrilling and takes this world to complex new dimensions that open up amazing cinematic possibilities. We’re thrilled to reunite this filmmaking team with this very unique franchise, and we can’t wait to begin production,” Joe continued. 

It’s unclear what reception to the new novel will be like, but those who’ve read it seem to think it’ll be worth the wait. The rest of us will find out whether that’s true on May 19. 

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