On Tuesday, Entertainment Weekly shared the first excerpt from Suzanne Collins’ upcoming “Hunger Games” prequel — “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” — to be released in May. But the protagonist of the new novel is not who most people expected.
Rather than selecting one of the series’ most beloved characters, such as Haymitch Abernathy, Finnick Odair or even Mags, Collins chose to focus her new book on none other than Coriolanus Snow, better known as the evil President Snow in the original series.
This news drew quite a polarized reaction from fans, to say the least. While some were pleased to be getting a prequel at all and didn’t care who the story was about, others were furious, questioning why Collins would want to highlight the most despicable character in the series.
It seems I’m one of the few readers who is pleased with and excited about a President Snow origin story. Set 64 years before the first “Hunger Games” book, the prequel will focus on the 10th Hunger Games, for which Snow will serve as a mentor to one of the tributes.
I won’t get into any other details about the prequel, so as not to spoil it for those who want to go into it knowing as little as possible. But if you do want more details about the plot or want to read the excerpt, both are readily available online.
I understand why some fans are angry. Snow — as we know him now, at least — isn’t exactly an inspiring character. As the cruel and manipulative leader of Panem, Snow regularly oppressed his people and served as more of a dictator than a president.
For some reason, though, I’ve always been fascinated by origin stories of “bad guy” characters. Case in point: Of all the “Star Wars” movies, my favorites have always been the prequels, and Anakin Skywalker has always been my favorite character. (Yes, “Star Wars” fans, I know I’m in the minority here.)
Regardless of your feelings about the book, it is sure to shed new light on why Snow is the way he is, while adding more depth to the original series. Considering Collins’ writing prowess, I’m confident it will be a fascinating read.
What do you think about this prequel news? Send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.