The Agency Games

Hunger Games Prequel: The Cover Art Controversy

Set to be released to the public on May 19, 2020, fans around the world can already pre-order The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Scholastic describes the book in this manner, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.”

The Songbird

Amazon’s description however is a bit more telling:

Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s read that again. President Snow is the story’s PROTAGONIST?! Well, we’ve got to give it to Collins for coming out with the unexpected. While I had hoped to read a bit more on Mags, I can’t say that I am not eagerly awaiting my copy (which I obviously am).

Now the real controversy concerning this Collins’ prequel is not its protagonist or plot line, but rather its cover art and title!

The Songbird

Some have gone so far as to refer to the bird as the exorcist bird (referencing the twist in its neck I believe). What do I think?

I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. It feels a lot busier than Collins’ other books’ cover art.

Image result for hunger games cover art trilogy

I think the simplistic look has worked really well for Collins’ in the past.

However, that being said, I love trying to analyze the symbols currently present on the new title. We clearly have the familiar bird image, but this bird looks different from the Mockingjay. Could it possibly be a Jabberjay (an ancestor of the Mockingjays)? There’s the golden circle that looks to be covered in thrones, could that be a reference to the Victors of the Games? And lastly, there is of course the snake, which must be a clear reference to President Snow, right? I guess we will all find out in May!

What about you? Have you’re-ordered your copy yet? Do you love or hate the cover art? Let me know in the comments below!