Week 31, Part 2–Gregor the Overlander

I must now write a series of three very quick blogs in order to catch up. I’ve read a lot of books in the last week. Gregor the Overlander I checked out with two others books from the library and quickly devoured it (in less than a day).  After all, checking three books out from the library is a great way to pressure yourself into reading more and surfing social media less.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=widgetsamazon-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0439678137&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrI’ve heard great things about Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins.  In fact, due to the author who wrote it, I expected great things from it. But though the story was unique, I was not enthralled.  Gregor lives in New York City in a run-down apartment with his mother, little sisters, and grandmother.  His father mysteriously disappeared two years ago, and is presumed dead by everyone, including Gregor.  One day, he is doing laundry down the hall when his baby sister, Boots, discovers an air vent that leads to an entire underground world. In this world, roaches, bats, rats, and other creatures of the darkness are massive–large enough to ride, and dangerous enough to kill.  He is told by the Underlanders that he may be the prophesied “Warrior” who will rid Underland of the rat scourge and bring them light once more, and that he may be able to find and rescue his father as well.

It’s a cute plot, to be sure. There are twists that I didn’t see coming and dangerous adventures galore.  But something that I can’t put my finger on seemed to be missing. Maybe it’s the fact that I adore Suzanne Collins’ other series The Hunger Games, which was written for teens.  I grudgingly admit that I had expectations for a book of the same caliber. But Gregor the Overlander was most definitely written for juveniles, and I accept that, for a book written for that age group, it was very good.

Boys would enjoy this book, I think. After all, the hero is a young boy much like any other late-elementary/early middle school boy. He wouldn’t stand out from a crowd.  Kids like reading about heroes that are similar to them.  It’s also about rats, bats, spiders, and cockroaches. I realize that there are some girls who would love this, but I am not one of them.  But since it’s an epic fantasy that doesn’t involve fairies or unicorns, I figure that some boys are going to like this a lot.

I’d recommend it to kids or parents with 8-11 year olds.  It might be a fun family reading book.  But for adults who are just looking for a book for themselves, I’d skip it.

More to come soon.

ex libris


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