Suzanne Collins' debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in The Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
Gr 5-8-Life and death decisions, action, adventure, and suspense follow Gregor, an 11-year-old Overlander from New York City who is caught up in the ebb and flow of the Underland, a vast country that lies beneath New York. Although this is the third novel in Suzanne Collins's series (Scholastic, 2005), there's just enough exposition to help new listeners along. The story starts off a bit slowly but is soon racing along at a breakneck pace. All Underland Warmbloods are at risk of a great, blood-borne plague and must unite with the Gnawers and Crawlers (rats and cockroaches) to discover the cure. Gregor finds, to his great dismay, that he and Boots, his two-year-old sister, are at the center of another Underland prophecy, and that they must go on yet another quest to save the Underland, against his mom's express wishes. A few new characters are introduced, along with an intriguing bit of history about why the humans and rats hate each other. Narrator Paul Boehmer enhances the story by giving each character a distinct voice. His interpretation of Boots is especially engaging. This is a good purchase for both school and public libraries, especially where fantasy and the first two books in the series are popular.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
June 15, 2005
For the third time, Gregor and his stolid little sister Boots desend to the Underland in fulfillment of a prophecy, in a story that delivers the breakneck adventure and strong characters readers have come to expect. The Curse of the Warmbloods, it turns out, is a terrible plague that threatens every mammal in the Underland. On their perilous journey to a cure, the questing party (which readers will be delighted to find includes the wonderfully caustic rat Ripred), encounters both Luxa, erstwhile, Queen of Regalia, along with her bat Aurora, and Hamnet, Luxa's long-lost uncle, who has fled humankind to escape its warring ways. Collins keeps the plot moving at warp speed and includes just enough background to bring readers up to speed on the multitude of characters and the political rivalries that unite and divide them. This offering takes on an even darker tone than the earlier ones, delving into meaty questions of territorial expansion and its justification. Although no further prophecy is unveiled at the end to explicitly promise another sequel, readers will surely be hoping for one.
June 6, 2005
Just a few months after his previous adventure in Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, (rev. 9/04), Gregor, almost twelve, finds himself deciphering another enigmatic prophecy from the Underland, "a dark war-torn world miles beneath New York City." In this gripping fantasy novel, Gregor and his two-year-old sister Boots embark on their third epic quest in the strange subterranean land, this time to help find a cure for the deadly plague that threatens to wipe out all "warm-bloods"; i.e., mammals. Gregor cares deeply for a number of the Underiand's pale, violet-eyed humans and giant rats and bats, and his mission takes on even more personal urgency when his mother (who, ill-advisedly, has insisted on joining her children in the Underland) is bitten by a plague- infected flea. This immensely readable installment won't dis