Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Underland Chronicles #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Due to my obsession with the Hunger Games, it is pretty much a guarantee that I am going to read everything Suzanne Collins writes. So when I discovered that prior to the Games she’d written a middle grade series that sounds a bit like Narnia, well heck yes I’m going to check that out.
Gregor the Overlander is definitely focused towards younger kids. I tried to keep that in mind as I read it, but I think there are a few aspects in here that I didn’t enjoy as much in my older age as I would have as a kid. For example, all the talking animals. Talking bats and spiders and the kind would have scared the poo out of me as a kid. Now, I read it with a bit of indifference.
Also, while Gregor’s little sister – Boots – is probably very charming and offers a lot of entertainment and maybe even a little comic relief for younger fan, I think she loses a little charm with age. Not that she isn’t completely adorable, because she is. Just more along the lines of her broken/still developing English can get a little tiresome after a while.
Gregor’s relationship with his father is uber sweet, and it one of the main story arcs in the novel as Gregor and Boots try to survive in the Underland they suddenly find themselves in after being sucked into an air vent in the laundry room of their apartment building. Once they meet the humans who live in the Underland and hear about the prophecy told by one of the original settlers, this prophecy takes center stage, but the mysterious disappearance of Gregor’s father still plays a factor throughout the novel.
There is a lot of action, some suspense, and even – gasp – sabotage! I will admit I read this novel will a bit distracted with other things, but it’s still an entertaining and quick read, and it’s a series I’m interested in continuing. It’s even a bit like How to Train Your Dragon, if you swap out dragons with big bats. And I definitely found it more entertaining than the majority of the Narnia novels. So I have hopes for the remainder of the series.