Saturday, October 29, 2011
Book Review: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Middle grade (fantasy)
Why I read it/how I found it: The author wrote The Hunger Games trilogy. I had to check out her other series.
When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, 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.
This is a book I wished I'd picked up when I was younger (and when it came out, I was it's target audience). But I must say, better late than never. This world is really unique for a children's fantasy, because of how dark it is. Usually for kids a fantasy world is magical and sparkly, with only a streak of darkness to it. Yet despite the gloomy setting, it's not really oppressive or too scary. And I never thought I'd like a book with spiders, cockroaches, bats, and rats. But I did. And on top of that, I was really impressed with the characterization of Boots, Gregor's two-year-old sister. It's always been difficult for me to create a believable character under the age of five, and I find when they're in books they tend to be minor characters. She was believable in her age and understanding, but had her own personality at the same time. And of course, all of the other characters were amazing. I'm always impressed with how Suzanne Collins can make her characters breathe life, and the characters in Gregor the Overlander weren't any different.
Other information: There are four more books to this series. Suzanne Collins' website is here.