Happy birthday, Suzanne Collins! On August 10, this popular children’s and young adult author turns fifty-seven years old. While she is most well-known for The Hunger Games trilogy, that is far from her first foray into fiction. She also wrote The Underland Chronicles series, which was well-received by critics and perfectly appropriate for the average fourth or fifth grader. She also wrote a handful of other books and was a television writer.
While on the surface, The Hunger Games and The Underland Chronicles have little in common, they actually have a lot of common threads. Both series feature futuristic dystopias that at first seem like a different world altogether. Both have rivalries between factions—in The Hunger Games, the division is geographical, and in The Underland Chronicles, it’s by species. Also, war and genocide are huge elements in both series.
If you’re a fan of Suzanne Collins’s work, you’re likely excited for her as-yet unnamed Hunger Games prequel, which should be landing in bookstores in 2020. While we wait for her next book to drop, let’s look at a few other similar titles to hold you over.
The 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute
In this fantastical trilogy, Ella, her mother Tessa, and her grandpa Archie are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magical island in a connected realm, in order to find a cure for cancer-ridden Ella. Jarr-Wya is at war for dominion. It’s the Bangols against the Olearons against the Millia, and a wicked Star anchored in the sea tortures them all. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie must save her and unravel the mystery of her cure.
Echoes of War* by Cheryl Campbell
In this futuristic dystopia set in Maine, a genocidal faction of aliens has come to rule Earth, wiping out anyone who resists. The world is divided—human citizens vs. Wardens vs. Echoes vs. military. When Dani discovers she is not the human she has always thought she was, but actually an Echo, she seeks to unite the Commonwealth against the Wardens and their tyrannical leader.
Echoes of War is the first in The Echoes Trilogy.
The Equal Night Trilogy by Stacey L. Tucker
This fantastical story takes place here on our Earth. In the first installment, Ocean’s Fire, we follow Skylar Southmartin as she grapples with grief, is torn between two men, and tries to finish her degree—and is called by the Great Mothers to carry the knowledge of The Book of Sophia. In the second installment, Alchemy’s Air, Skylar must restore memory to the Akashic Library. Meanwhile, First Lady Milicent Grayer has been called to help the cause.
Pursuits Unknown by Ellen Clary
While Collins’s books take place on a world so different than our own, that at first, we don’t recognize it as the future, Pursuits Unknown takes place on a world so similar to ours that it’s easy to mistake it as a future Earth. In this sci-fi thriller, Amy and her dog Lars are part of a Locate and Investigate team. They go on a mission to get close to a man from a small cult that may or may not be plotting genocide.
Pursuits Unknown is the first in the Amy and Lars series.
Resistant by Rachael Sparks
This story takes place in a futuristic, almost post-apocalyptic dystopia. When drug-resistant bacteria infected and wiped out millions, Rory and her father survived. Her mother did not—but her mother was working on a cure, and injected Rory with every variation to help protect her. Thus, her blood might hold the key—and everyone is after her for it. The government wants to save only those who can pay, and the Resistance wants to save everyone.
The Thorn Queen by Elise Holland
Much like in The Underland Chronicles, the world is divided into those who live above and those who live below. Meylyne is a Between-Worlder who goes to the Above-World to find a magical cure for the ailing prince in order to avoid facing imprisonment in the Shadow-Cellars. He is the last of the line, and his death will mean war amongst those who vie for the crown.
*not out yet, but available for preorder now