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.
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I've already did the Hunger Games, so no. We didn't find this book compelling enough to continue the series.
Yes, the narration was well done.
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.
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!
The author's vivid descriptions... her word usage.
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.
I got addicted to the storyline pretty quickly. So, yes.
Simply... this series is great!
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.
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.
I loved it
It was straight up schoolboys adventure, a bit of intrigue a bit of suspense... my boys just loved it
He was a brilliant narrator - I will be looking for more of his work. H ebrought the characters to life
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.
At first, I just thought this is a nice children's story but in the end I started to care about the characters more and I think I will listen to the second book. I am just not sure for which age this book would be something. Especially in the end I didn't think this would be a good story for children maybe young teenagers....
"Transfixing: We stood still to concentrate better."
Yes my 9 year old daughter & I are about to re-listen confident that Gregor the Overlander will be sufficiently powerful to hold the attention of 3 teens on a 4 hour car journey!
There are many memorable moments of tension & Gregor growing stronger in his self belief after each event. Escaping from the spiders was tense.
Paul Boehmer's 'Boots' is noteworthy as he makes the child innocent strength convincing.
Gregor the Overlander, the Underlander's Champion.
As an adult listening to a child's book, I liked the development of the main character as a reluctant hero taking on the responsibility of others out of doing best for his sister: quite normal but in abnormal surroundings.
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