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)
Better than the printed version, but the Narrator does a really bad impersonation for boots, it got quite annoying....
I would recommend it to young friends...
Not impersonate Boots!!!
I liked the book enough to continue the series. It's not brain surgery, just a interesting story about choices one makes in difficult situations. Good for young adults and adults willing to enjoy a good story.
The saying a that all storied are recycled rings true here. I'm sure if I knew my mythology better, there would be the story of a a child who has to journey to a strange world to rescue their parent.
That said, it is certainly not a copy and the book is imaginative, gripping, action packed, and even funny. I listened with my 9 yo son, and he immediately asked for the next one. It took him a bit to get into it, but once he did, he finished it in 2 days.
As an adult, my only complaints are the didactic tone and the obvious leading-to-a-sequel ending.
It took me a while to get into the book, but eventually I came to love the characters and really fell in love with Gregor. He is such an endearing child who rose to the occasion to save the Underland! I have now downloaded the rest of the series and cannot wait to listen to them as well.
The book is pretty slow. Takes till like chapter 11 for anything to really happen. But I hear the next book is much better. So if it is, the first one isn't too bad.
This is not The Hunger Games revisited. This is an earlier work (so less refined) and with a different audience, scope, and perspective. So if you're going to be disappointed that it isn't another take on THG, don't bother getting started. This isn't that kind of story.
If you're not one of those people you just might find yourself enjoying the Gregor stories.
That is not to say that they're exceptional stories in any way. They're definitely not on the same level as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson or, well, The Hunger Games). From a literary standpoint the characters are largely stock and not highly dimensioned. There are also some logic gaps that might bother you. For instance, there is a stark lack of range weapons like bows, arrows, and catapults--and I don't recall an explanation to excuse their absence--and, in spite of being underground and in the dark, they seem to have a limitless sky overhead and never seem to experience a 'ceiling' as an obstacle.
But those things will only bother you if you want them to because, all in all, Gregor is acceptable good fun. He faces some real challenges and has some interesting outcomes. There's even a bit of deeper thinking slipped in.
I've enjoyed them and my eight-year-old likes them so far as well.
Initially, at least, I had a problem with the performance. At first Paul Boehmer's reading is awful, with very little separation between his 'voices' and frequent, unnatural pauses in awkward moments--exactly as if he had to stop to find the beginning of the new line of print. Worse, at least in the beginning, his voice for 'Boots' was, for me, painfully grating. Taken all together I didn't get far before I turned it off in frustration. I even tried again later and gave up again.
Eventually, if only because we didn't have anything new and I did like Suzanne Collin's other works, I decided we could power into it a little deeper. After about 15-20 minutes Paul's reading began to normalize (except when Boots spoke). After that he had fewer and fewer awkward pauses and the subtle differences in his voices became easier to distinguish until, by midpoint Paul had it managed and was pulling off a decent job. He's not as good or polished as my favorite narrators--yet--but he has room to improve and I think he will.
I was very unimpressed with this book and many of the interactions of the characters. I was really surprised because this is the author of The Hunger Games books, and those books are fantastic. I decided this book must have been written with younger readers in mind. Still, that being said, its very loose with its details and has lots of loose ends. I did not enjoy listening to it, but I think kids 10 or younger might.
I have to say that, as a fantasy, this book is okay. I could never get into it as well as I could get into other books but it is imaginative. It's not magical like "Elves of the Reaches" but the supernatural elements are there. It may be abit in the children's range rather than young adult however the performance may not keep a child's attention. I won't be listening to the rest of the series.
If you can get over this one you will be rewarded.
the tale starts to be really interesting, I really want Suzane to write a book 6 ...far in the future, maybe ten years, just to see how Gregor grows up.
the narration is wonderful Paul Boehmer does a great job!!
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