Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Published: May 15th, 2005
Other: First book in the Underland Chronicles. There are five books in this series.
Buy the book: Bookdepository
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.
After finishing Collins' phenomenal series The Hunger Games, I was hungry for more. I hadn't heard anything about her debut or the following books in the series, but it sounded good so I decided to give it a try. And I'm ever so glad I did, because Gregor proves to be just as exciting as The Hunger Games.
In this first book of the series, we meet Gregor, an 11-year old guy with a two-year-old sister called Boots. When Boots goes through a grate in their laundry room, Gregor follows her and soon they find themselves in the Underland, a world without a sun where enormous animals live besides the humans. The animals have distinct personalities, from the giant cockroaches to the loyal bats who carry 'their' humans.
While this is a middlegrade series, it reads very quickly and it's just as exciting as Collins' young adult series. The writing is to the point and makes it easy to imagine everything that's happening, even the talking insects, rats and bats. I loved how fast paced it was, how much adventure there was and how likeable the characters are. Gregor is a great main character and you cannot possibly read the story without liking Boots. She's small and still a toddler, but she's a feisty one at that!
If you're looking for a fast paced, adventerous and exciting middle grade fantasy, this is the book for you!
Four and a half stars for Gregor and Boots - until next time!