It’s almost time to go back to Panem. But not to the new blissfully happy times (as much as anyone is ever happy in Panem) following Katniss’s defeat of Presidents Snow and Coin. Suzanne Collins new story will pick up many years before the events told in the best-selling Hunger Games Trilogy. The first book will arrive in May next year and already promises something rather different with a totally different kind of title.
The huge curtain fell and a giant screen revealed the next book will be called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Some fans might have hoped to travel further back in the past to discover how the world of Panem was formed after some sort of cataclysmic disaster known as the Dark Days.
Instead, this book opens of the day the tributes are selected for the Tenth Hunger Games. We are travelling back 64 years before the first Hunger Game book which focussed on the 74th brutal contest.
However, just ten years after the ritual spectacle was started is still much closer to what came before and there may be tantalising revelations about how it all really began. It also gives a major opportunity to revisit the youth of one of the greatest villains in YA history.
President Snow was 76 when the main trilogy began. This means he will be 13 at the time of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Collins teased this about the upcoming plot: “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 ten 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.”
If there is a series of books it gives scope for Snow and others to be shown shaping the grotesque society which we see finally fall in the later story with Katniss Everdeen and her rebels.
WHEN IS THE NEW HUNGER GAMES BOOK RELEASED?
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be published on May 19, 2020 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Fans worried about getting their hands on a copy can relax – the first English-language print run will be a whopping 2.5 million copies.
The book is also already lined up to be translated for 28 other territories.