Last month, fans of Phillip Pullman’s incredible coming-of-age fantasy series His Dark Materials were overjoyed to hear that Lyra Belacqua is coming back in a whole new series: The Book of Dust, which is set for release October 19th, 2017. The upcoming trilogy starts ten years before the events of The Golden Compass, with the later novels to be set ten years after The Amber Spyglass. This news immediately set people wondering about what we’ll find out about Lyra’s story, both before and after the events that made her famous in so many worlds. Pullman created a beautifully detailed universe in Lyra’s Oxford, and in the many worlds that she and Will discover, so we always knew that there were still so many more stories to tell…and now we get to hear them!
This fantastic news also got us thinking. Which other book series from the past few decades would we love to see revived with a companion novel (or novels)? There are plenty of series that have been completed for some time, but which involve complex and beautiful worlds that we would love to revisit. In anticipation of The Book of Dust, we look at some literary universes that we would love these creators to come back to sometime soon.
Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
This seems like a given, but we just can’t get enough of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling has been hard at work expanding the live-action universe she first introduced us to in 1997 with the new film series kicked off by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but we would love it if she would return to the printed page for a little while as well. Fans have been hoping to hear more about the Marauders (James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew) since Harry was first given their map, but that’s far from the only part of the Potter world that we would love to see explored. Lily and Petunia’s relationship and home life would be fascinating to read, or going back in history, the story of the founding of Hogwarts would be an entrancing read. Really, Rowling could just pick a character at random and we’d be all over their story!
The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
Another hugely popular young adult series-turned-movie franchise, the final novel in The Hunger Games trilogy was published in 2010, and we’ve been missing the world of Pan-Em for seven whole years! While Katniss and her rebellion has been explored in detail, there are still several options available for companion series that Collins could explore. Within the same time frame as The Hunger Games books, we would love to read the stories of some of the characters outside of the arena - whether that is the tale of those Katniss loves (like Gale), hates (like President Snow), or barely knows (like the people in District 13, or a spectator in the Capitol). This is also another world that we would like to explore the history of. How did Pan-Em become the world we now know? Who was the first president? Who won the first Hunger Games, and how did they survive?
The Dark Tower (Stephen King)
There has been a lot of interest in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series recently, with the news that Roland of Gilead will be appearing on the big screen later this year, but we’ve been wanting more from this world since the series officially ended in 2004. King obliged in part in 2012 with the publication of Wind Through the Keyhole, a novel that takes place between books four and five of the series, but there’s still so much more to explore. The fall of Gilead and the story of Roland’s father during the years that he was in the Calla and becoming the dark-clad gunslinger that we now know is a story that deserves much more exploration. Beyond Roland’s history, of course, are his further cycles to the Tower – this is truly a series that could be continued forever. Luckily, King himself agrees, and has said that “It’s not really done yet. Those seven books are really sections of one long über-novel.” It looks like we may not be done with Roland for some time yet.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
Another book that has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to a live-action adaptation is the classic dystopian tale told in The Handmaids Tale. This beautifully terrifying story of lives lost to fear and oppression is ripe for a companion series, looking at the lives of the women around Offred, the Commander’s Wife and even the men that are complicit in the system that owns her. The Commander’s Wife would be a fascinating look at this regime from another side. Rather than a woman taken from her child, she is a woman unable to have one. She is forced to watch her husband with someone else, turning her face away in the same way that Offred herself does. Her story, and her backstory, is something that we would love to see explored as the series comes to television.
Which series would you like to see developed with companion series? Comment and let us know!