“Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles #1)” by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
When eleven-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats—but the fragile peace is about to fall apart.
Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. He just wants to find his way home. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland’s uncertain future, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life. Little does he know his quest will change him and the Underland forever.
Don’t go into this expecting something similar to The Hunger Games. She wrote these books first and they are written for a much younger audience. Don’t let those turn you off though. I thought this was a great debut book. While is for a younger audience, she doesn’t take it easy on adventure. This is completely action packed and fun read. Think of the Percy Jackson series.
The characters were likeable enough. Gregor was a great older brother and very sweet towards Boots. Boots was adorable but I’m also a sucker for cute kids. I liked the ‘underlanders’ okay. Some of them seemed a bit cold but perhaps that was Collins’ intention. Hopefully that changes in the other books if they stick around.
Collins did a great job with the bugs. She was able to make you care about creepy, crawly things. That’s a HUGE deal for me. I’m not a typical girly girl but I hate, hate, hate bugs and other gross things.
The plot wasn’t terribly original. We have a boy stumbling into a new world and he’s the ‘chosen’ one to save to world. But you know what? I’m willing to read familiar plots if there are likeable characters and fun adventures. Gregor the Overlander gives me that.
The bottom line? It’s a solid, fun* book well worth reading. Glad I bought the box set!
(*Yes, I know I’m using ‘fun’ far too much but the book really is fun. It’s a good way to spend an afternoon or three.)