A decade after the Hunger Games series had apparently ended, readers were clearly ready for more.
Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes sold more 500,000 copies last week, even as many of the country’s bookstores were closed or offering limited service because of the coronavirus pandemic. The total includes print, e-books and audiobooks, according to Collins’ publisher, Scholastic.
NPD BookScan, which tracks around 85 percent of the print market, reported on 27 May that Songbirds and Snakes topped last week’s list with 270,000 copies sold. Collins’ book, a prequel to her previous Hunger Games novels, came 10 years after the author seemingly wrapped up the Dystopian series with Mockingjay. The Associated Press in a review praised the new novel, released 19 May, as “mesmerizing” and called Collins “a master of building a fascinating world around complex characters.”
The opening for Songbirds and Snakes was slightly higher than the numbers reported for Mockingjay in 2010, when Scholastic announced first week sales of more than 450,000. Collins’ novels, which also include The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and are the basis for a billion dollar movie franchise.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set 64 years before the series protagonist Katniss Everdeen participated in the 74th Hunger Games and traces the story of her nemesis, President Coriolanus Snow.
With inputs from The Associated Press