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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 (871 )
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4.2 (591 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephanie Running Springs, CA, United States 02-04-13
    Stephanie Running Springs, CA, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Completely Hooked!"
    If you could sum up Gregor the Overlander in three words, what would they be?

    Keep on listening!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gregor and his mature perspective for an eleven year old.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    Easy to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    We found this series at the library and listened to the five book series at least three times over the past two years. Could easily listen to it again and decided we needed to own it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 02-03-13
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 02-03-13 Member Since 2014

    Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is not Hunger Games"
    Would you listen to Gregor the Overlander again? Why?

    I first looked for this book because of Suzanne Collins. I thought I would listen to something similar to the Hunger games, since most reviews point toward that direction. However, it is a completely different story, with a quest which includes people from different species and beliefs even, and I would listen to it again, but this is NOT similar to The Hunger Games.

    I love teen literature, and I feel most passionately about it, so I can say I liked this book very much. The story is envolving, engaging, but I didn't feel like when I read the Hunger Games. That sort of emotion you won't find with Gregor.

    You will find, though, sense of family, belonging, care, tenderness, struggle and lots of adventures lived by Gregor, an 11-year- old boy who misses his father, who has disappeared for more that two years, and also, by mistake "falls" into the underland with his two-year-old sister, gets to know amazing creatures and have unimaginable experiences.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Boots, The little embassador, who loved with no distiction and such sweetness, that is it impossible not to love her.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    Surprizingly, he struck me most when performing Boots. If you can perform like a child so well, you can do anything.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    An amazing adventure through the underland.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book with an open heart and mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. MacLaren Seattle, WA 12-26-12
    K. MacLaren Seattle, WA 12-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story for adults and kids"
    What did you love best about Gregor the Overlander?

    This is a compelling story and Gregor is a very likable main character. I read the books one after another and then got the audio book in hopes that my kids would listen on long car rides. They both like it, which is pretty amazing at 4 and 8. Because Gregor's little sister Boots is two, her periodic remarks are easy for kids to relate to, and add humor.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gregor the Overlander?

    This whole story is very memorable. The setting makes it interesting and the issues are timeless.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    The narration was good. I often find it difficult initially to get used to the narration, because it's not what I am expecting, but it is actually perfect in that it does not get in the way of the story, it just delivers it. He does just enough changing of his voice for each character that it helps with the tracking.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book the whole family can enjoy. My husband is enjoying it as much as I did. I highly recommend it for family trips.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devon Venice, FL, United States 11-05-12
    Devon Venice, FL, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A wonderful read for all ages!"
    If you could sum up Gregor the Overlander in three words, what would they be?

    Creative, engaging, and great storyline!


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

    Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel because of the journeys through different places, encounters with new and unusual things, and risking your life for someone else's cause


    Have you listened to any of Paul Boehmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Wonderful!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Have you ever wondered what lived under your city? Gregor finds out through a journey to the underland.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coryn Sandy Bay, Australia 09-03-12
    Coryn Sandy Bay, Australia 09-03-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An unique adventure for older children and adults."

    As an adult I really enjoyed this adventure. It moved quickly and I didn't want to stop listening.
    The characters are very charming. Images of Gregor, the "hard done by" but brave young boy, and Boots in her backpack with her diaper needing changing were really endearing.

    Paul Boehmer was excellent as narrator. I loved his portrayal of the patriarch Vikus, the cunning laconic Ripred and the unforgettable cockroaches. I wanted to run around quoting "Be She the Princess, Be She".

    A cautionary note though, it is possible that a child may have a bad experience listening to a story of giant bats, spiders and cockroaches. Giant evil spiders may not be everyones remedy to good dreams.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clarissa SAN DIEGO, California, United States 08-28-12
    Clarissa SAN DIEGO, California, United States 08-28-12 Member Since 2013
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    "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 2013
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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
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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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    "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 06-14-12
    K. Glazier 06-14-12

    Amazed!

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    3
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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
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