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Gregor the Overlander: Underland Chronicles, Book 1 | [Suzanne Collins]

Gregor the Overlander: Underland Chronicles, Book 1

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, and cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it, until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance.
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Publisher's Summary

Rich in suspense and brimming with adventure, the New York Times-bestselling Underland Chronicles unfold the fate of the Underland and the great warrior, Gregor. Suzanne Collins is also the author of the bestselling Hunger Games trilogy.

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, and cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it, until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.

©2003 Suzanne Collins; (P)2005 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Collins introduces her young heroes Gregor and his little sister Boots into a wonderland....A fantastically engaging place." (Publishers Weekly)
"Collins creates a fascinating, vivid, highly original world and a superb story." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (783 )
5 star
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4.0 (525 )
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4.1 (514 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Clarissa SAN DIEGO, California, United States 08-28-12
    Clarissa SAN DIEGO, California, United States 08-28-12
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    7
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    Story
    "stick with it...you'll enjoy it after a bit"

    It was difficult to start because it sounded like it would be only appeal to junior high kids. But it turned out to be one of those teen books that adults can enjoy too. After the author introduces the characters and starts the main part of the story, it becomes very entertaining. Also, the books get better as you go on in the series because there is more drama. There is humor in this book; it isn't nearly as dark as the Hunger Games.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SoCal Walker Irvine, CA 07-26-12
    SoCal Walker Irvine, CA 07-26-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    47
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    "Great for road trip with the kids."

    Great books. Lots of fun, well written, original, unpredictable. We got it for the long drive to drop off my older son at scout camp. We all enjoyed it-- both my sons (ages 6 and 12) really got into the story, and so did mom and dad. We paused the playback from time to time to make guesses about what was going to happen and how it would end, but no one successfully predicted the ending. All in all, a big success and I'm glad there are 4 more in the series. Solves the problem of what books to get for the family vacation this summer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bookish327 Midwest, United States 07-26-12
    bookish327 Midwest, United States 07-26-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    "Excellent series (and not just for kids)!"

    I just finished all five of the Gregor the Overlander books, and I highly recommend them. (In case you're wondering, I'm a woman in my late-30s, so you know what viewpoint this review is written from.) I came to them having finished the Hunger Games series and loving the complex, compelling characters, so I wanted to see what else Suzanne Collins had written. (In attempt at brevity from this point forward, I'm going to refer to the Gregor the Overlander series as GTO, and the Hunger Games series at THG.) The two series are quite different because the main character in GTO is only 11 while Katniss is 16 in THG, and the Overland & Underland worlds in GTO are also quite different from Panem in THG, of course. However, Collins has a talent for writing characters that we root for (even when we they're being stubborn and misguided, as we all tend to be at some point), and she creates entire worlds that these characters inhabit (or visit) so well that we can picture it vividly in our minds. You're there with them, experiencing all of it.

    The style of writing is slightly different, too, since the Gregor books are suggested for those as young as 4th grade, and the Hunger Games begin at 7th grade as a suggested reading level. So, the adult reading experience of GTO can be comparable to reading the Harry Potter books as far as writing style (for the intended reading audience) and maturity of the main characters. I absolutely loved the characters and universe of Harry Potter, so I didn't have a lot of difficulty going along with the GTO books, too. (I may have had to adjust a little to the simplified reading level with the HP books the first time that I read the early ones, but that was so long ago for me that it's hard to remember.) However, you should think twice before buying the GTO books (or using your precious Audible credits) if you can't adapt to reading from an 11-year-old's point-of-view.

    Other reviews summarize the plot quite well, so I won't go into that here. I think that, like most first-time authors, Collins gets better and smoother as she goes along, but these books are definitely worth it, in the long run. In summary, this series excels at depicting characters whom you root for (and some whom you won't, right along with Gregor) and in a world that is refreshing because it is extremely different, yet somewhat recognizable to our own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RYAN NORTH LOGAN, UT, United States 07-11-12
    RYAN NORTH LOGAN, UT, United States 07-11-12 Member Since 2011
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    1
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    "OK for a listen with kids"
    Would you try another book from Suzanne Collins and/or Paul Boehmer?

    I listened to the Hunger Games and enjoyed them. We were looking for something to listen to with our kids on a road trip and picked this one out. It was OK, but not great.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Suzanne Collins again?

    I've already did the Hunger Games, so no. We didn't find this book compelling enough to continue the series.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, the narration was well done.


    Could you see Gregor the Overlander being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    It was OK and it held our kids attention. However, in the end we didn't find it to be especially memorable or worthy of continuing on in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Glazier Rochester, NY 06-14-12
    K. Glazier Rochester, NY 06-14-12 Member Since 2012

    Amazed!

    ratings
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    2
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    "To my surprise..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I am a fiction, kid/adult adventure book fan. I read The Hunger Games and loved it. Suzanne Colllins is amazing at turning words into reality through her vivid descriptions. I truly appreciate her style of writing and find the level of quality refreshing. I would HIGHLY recommend this book (the entire series!) to anyone who enjoys leaving on an adventure with some neat creatures and humans. I loved the adventure and the meaning/lessons throughout. What a great book!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author's vivid descriptions... her word usage.


    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    At first, I wasn't sure about his voice and its fit. However, as soon as I got more absorbed into the book, I realized he was a perfect pick. He did very well with all the characters. He gave me the ability to live in the shoes of the characters versus just "reading" about them. He gave them emotions and made them feel real -- made them feel like individuals even though his voice was used for all.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I got addicted to the storyline pretty quickly. So, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Simply... this series is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bronwyn Paradise point, Australia 06-04-12
    Bronwyn Paradise point, Australia 06-04-12 Member Since 2012
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    "I couldn't wait to read the next book."

    I really loved the thinking, the interaction and the maturing of the characters and their relationships. I kept trying to create time in my day so that I could be taken back to the underland.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Kurtistown, Hi, United States 05-29-12
    Sam Kurtistown, Hi, United States 05-29-12 Member Since 2012

    sam

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    "Very interesting, not what i expected."

    I enjoyed reading something with different. So often I read stories that all follow the same storyline and character development. I bought this book because of the reviews. I felt i would have enjoyed this book a little more if i was 13. However, i enjoyed reading this book because it was about characters other then elves, dwarfs, and humans. The concepts of living underground and interactions with underworld cultures kept me interested. Over all, i enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kylie Shoalhaven Heads, NSW, Australia 05-28-12
    Kylie Shoalhaven Heads, NSW, Australia 05-28-12 Member Since 2012
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    9
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    "Brilliant"
    If you could sum up Gregor the Overlander in three words, what would they be?

    I loved it


    What other book might you compare Gregor the Overlander to and why?

    It was straight up schoolboys adventure, a bit of intrigue a bit of suspense... my boys just loved it


    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He was a brilliant narrator - I will be looking for more of his work. H ebrought the characters to life


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Afton, VA, United States 05-03-12
    Sharon Afton, VA, United States 05-03-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good for young adults"
    Any additional comments?

    I read this based on the knowledge that the author had written "The Hunger Games". It was a cute book but a little too adolescent for me. I'm 57 and would love for my grandkids to read this but that's about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Tipton Camarillo, CA, United States 05-02-12
    Tina Tipton Camarillo, CA, United States 05-02-12 Member Since 2012

    RPG, history and movie fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great fun!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to a friend as it is a well done story of a boy and his little sister in another world. I enjoyed both the story and its reading.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interaction between Gregor and his little sister, Boots.


    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mr. Boehmer read the book very well. He brought life to everyone and everything in the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book, as it is written for children.


    Any additional comments?

    I will be purchasing the other titles in this series. I really enjoyed both the story and how the reader performed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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