Title: Gregor the Overlander (and series)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Underland Chronicles
Release Dates: 2003-2007
Titles in Series:
Gregor The Overlander
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
Gregor And The Curse Of The Warmbloods
Gregor And The Marks Of Secret
Gregor and the Code of Claw
Goodreads Summary for Gregor the Overlander:
When eleven-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats—but the fragile peace is about to fall apart.
Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. He just wants to find his way home. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland's uncertain future, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life. Little does he know his quest will change him and the Underland forever.
Rich in suspense and brimming with adventure, Suzanne Collins's debut marked a thrilling new talent, and introduced a character no young reader will ever forget.
I read the Gregor the Overlander series back in 6th grade, and back then it was one of my all-time favorites. I still own all of them, and it's only appropriate that I write the first "Old Favorite" Review based on this series. Gregor the Overlander was Suzanne Collins debut novel, and we all know her as the amazing writer of The Hunger Games. I was a fan of hers long before the HG came out because of the Gregor series (and that's why I read the HG in the first place before all the buzz!).
These books focus around Gregor, who is eleven years old at the beginning of the series. Through falling down a vent in his apartment's laundry room, he discovers a land underneath New York City- where humans with pale skin who have never seen the sun live, along with gigantic, talking versions of rats, beetles, bats and other creatures, some friendly, some vicious.
He discovers he is the warrior predicted in an ancient prophecy, and in each book fulfills another prophecy written about him, perhaps not in the way he originally thought it would be fulfilled. He find
The plot style reminds me a lot of JK Rowling, where each book is full of truly shocking twists that generally conclude each book, but still leaving some connections between the sequels. It's a lot like Harry Potter also with a seemingly ordinary boy who discovers he's not-so-ordinary, and he has to become a hero he didn't know he could be.
There's a fair amount of everything- action, tension, tragedy (be prepared for awful, tearful deaths!), and a bit of romance, though not a ton since it is primarily for middle schoolers.
I remember loving this series so much, and I wonder if I went back and read them if I'd love them all the same. I remember my favorite books was the 3rd- Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods. It had the most mind bending twist for me. I read the prophecy section over and over, even long after I finished the book, even turning it into a song in my head (because yes, I was that strange kid). This was one of the first urban fantasies I'd ever read, and it definitely made me love reading!
I'd recommend this book to fans of series such as Harry Potter, and especially younger readers, since I enjoyed it when I was younger, but I think I would still enjoy it very much if I read it again now. And even better that it was written by Suzanne Collins, who we all know is a fantasticly brilliant writer!