6 Series Like ‘The Hunger Games’ That Will Transport You To A New World
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes marks the release of the first novel set in The Hunger Games universe in a decade. It is the first glimpse at its past for fans of the world of Panem, set a mere 10 years after the country was founded on the ashes of the United States. It’s also a great reason to revisit the original Hunger Games trilogy of books. With summer around the corner and hours of leisure time to fill, fans will also be looking to read series like The Hunger Games, filled with characters who unwittingly find themselves in the center of revolutionary change.
The most obvious "series like The Hunger Games" is The Divergent series, which was made into a series of movies that started in the theater before moving to STARZ. There’s also The Maze Runner, which also got a trilogy of big-budget films.
But with The Hunger Games now a decade old, most of the series have read both of them. This list digs a little deeper into novels that haven’t hit the big screen. Instead, most of these novel series on the list have been made for TV, or are in the process of being adapted for streaming.
1. ‘His Dark Materials’ Trilogy
For those looking for a story centered on a young girl whose actions will turn the entire world on its axis, His Dark Materials is one of the gold standards. The trilogy is set in two worlds: Ours and Lyras. Lyra’s world is surprisingly like ours, save one difference: people’s souls live outside of their bodies, giving religion a much larger hold on society.
His Dark Materials is also available as a TV adaptation, with Season 1 available to stream on HBO, Season 2 planned for this fall, and a final Season 3 greenlit for next year.
2. ‘The Broken Earth’ Trilogy
Another trilogy with a strong woman at its center, Jemisin’s Broken Earth series is one of the best of the 2010s. As the world reels from an apocalyptic volcanic eruption that rips the continent apart, the story unfolds in three timelines. Each focuses on powerful "Orogene" women, who can control earthquakes and temperature: Essun, Damaya, and Syenite.
Their stories, and Essun becoming the reluctant flashpoint that can save the world, is gripping. A TV series is currently in pre-production at Turner, where it could go either to TNT or HBO Max.
3. ‘The Wheel of Time’ Saga
Another series on its way to the small screen via Amazon, The Wheel of Time saga is 14 books long. It chronicles the revolution at the end of the world, and the lives of men and women swept up in the chaos, as the third age draws to a close.
Though the story initially focuses on Rand, Mat, and Perrin, it’s best stories are saved for the women who claw their way to power in a patriarchal society to change the world: Nyneve, Egwene, and Elaine.
4. ‘Throne of Glass’ Series
Sarah Maas’ Throne of Glass series is what happens when you take a Katniss like figure and throw her into a high fantasy setting, with a touch of fairy’s blood in her veins. The story’s protagonist is Celaena Sardothien, a teenage assassin who will eventually overthrow a corrupt kingdom and a tyrannical ruler. Like Katniss, she’s got multiple suitors too, but they pale in comparison to the world that needs her to help change it.
There’s also a TV series currently in pre-production at Hulu. The show will be entitled Queen of Shadows, after the series’ fourth novel.
5. ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell’
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is the only book on the list that technically isn’t a "series" yet. (The sequel, Piranesi, arrives in September of 2020.) The first book is set in Regency England, but a different one from our world. Here magic is studied the same way science is. Norrell and Jonathan band together to change the world, winding up in a revolution neither of them meant to be involved in.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was already adapted for TV by the BBC and is available to stream on Netflix.
6. ‘The Last Survivors’ series
The only series of books on this list not in development for the screen, The Last Survivors series predates The Hunger Games, with the first novel, Life As We Knew It, published in 2006. And yet, this series couldn’t be more timely. It features 16-year-old Miranda, living a perfectly normal life in Pennsylvania when an asteroid hits the moon.
As one can imagine, the moon getting shoved up towards the Earth is a cataclysmic event, triggering every kind of natural disaster and death on an unimaginable scale. Miranda and her family must survive the changes as human society is upended in ways no one ever imagined.
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