(Cover picture courtesy of Wikipedia.)
When eleven-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment building, 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 in the 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.
Many readers are familiar with Suzanne Collins’ second series, The Hunger Games trilogy, but few are familiar with her first series, the Underland Chronicles. Gregor the Overlander is a novel that would be great for younger readers who can’t get enough of The Hunger Games.
Gregor the Overlander is a story about Gregor, an eleven-year-old boy who lives in New York. His dad has been missing for over two years and no one knows where he went. But when Gregor and his little sister fall down a grate in their apartment’s laundry room, Gregor discovers the Underland, a world of darkness in which humans, rats, cockroaches and bats coexist in an uneasy peace. While he wants to get back home as soon as possible, a prophecy made by the founder of the human city will change his life forever.
Gregor is a strong protagonist like Katniss is, complete with flaws and shortcomings. But the one thing that keeps him going throughout the novel is hope, the hope that he will find his father alive and bring him back home. I was rooting for him to succeed from start to finish because he is such a believable protagonist.
Suzanne Collin’s first book is just as dark as The Hunger Games and she spares Gregor no pain. While this book is written for younger readers, there is quite a bit of death and sadness. I would recommend it for mature tweens and young teenagers.
I give this book 4/5 stars.