The Underland Chronicles.
Gregor's summer looms before him; long, boring and lonesome. Until he follows his little sister, Boots, through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment, which transports the two to a very strange Underland.
There, they encounter not only odd humans but giant cockroaches, bats, rats and spiders!
It seems Gregor and Boots have landed in the middle of a war between this worlds inhabitants. Not only that, but it has been foretold in a prophecy that Gregor may be the key to ending this war. And the Underland may be the key to Gregor finding his long lost father.
Y'all know that I have a raving author crush on Suzanne Collins, right? And after reading About The Author in the back of this book and discovering that she worked on Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files Of Shelby Woo (two of my fave Nickelodeon shows when I was a tweenie!) I now heart her even more! Just had to say that. Now onto the review:
Gregor the Overlander is kinda like the kids version of Lord of the Rings. But instead of hobbits, elves, and dwarfs you've got bats, roaches, rats and spiders!
It's an adventure in a strange land with strange allies and even stranger foes.
I liked it because it wasn't your run of the mill adventure story. The protagonist wasn't an adult or even a teenager but an 11 year old boy saddled with his 2 year old sister.
And even though Gregor was supposed to be this "hero," there were times when he doubted himself and his abilities and very much wished for a grown up to step in and help. That felt very real to me. He wasn't this overly confident boy. He was a scared kid that had this enormous weight thrust upon his shoulders and he just wanted to try to be as brave as he could be and do what he thought was right.
I thought Suzanne Collins did a great job with making him progressively more mature and surer of himself.
And I loved Boots! At first when she was introduced into the "adventure" part of the story I thought "How are they gonna fight and run and go into dangerous areas with a baby in tow?" But it worked!
That's not something you see very often in books. In fact, not since wonderful Sunny from A Series Of Unfortunate Events, has a toddler toddled so fearlessly into the fray. At least not that I've come across.
Another rarity? Super-sized, talking pests. Well, super-sized talking pests that you didn't wanna stomp on with your Doc Martens. All the creatures personalities and quirks were done so well. Even though some weren't in the story long, you still got the feeling that you actually got to know them even a little bit.
This is the first of the five book series.
So I'm hoping that Dulcet gets a larger storyline because I liked her even though she didn't have much to do in this particular book.
I also hope that we get better acquainted with Ripred the rat. I bet he has some intriguing stories to tell.
I'm really interested in where the next four books will go.
Gregor the Overlander ended with most of the loose ends tied up but there were a few left dangling.
So here's to more adventures in book two!
The Scale of Judgment says......4.