I have recently finished The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. This is a children’s fantasy that follows a young boy named Gregor as he ventures to a whole new world under the ground, The Underland. Hence the name of the series.
Why did I choose this series?
Firstly, I chose this children’s series because I really enjoyed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Learning that this author had written another series made me extremely excited. Then, when I brought up this fact to my husband, he became equally excited for me to give the series a try as he also enjoyed The Hunger Games. So, I took a chance and bought the entire set on Amazon.
Overall Character, Plot, and Themes:
The characters that were meant to be liked were easily likable, while the characters whose loyalties were questionable were done realistically. There was great strength and courage within these characters, and some growth was shown throughout the series. I found the variety of enormous talking animals an interesting addition to the books. There were enlarged bats, rats, mice, spiders, cockroaches, and a couple of others throughout. At times, though, I did question the capabilities of a twelve-year-old and the lack of reliable adult figures here.
There was definite excitement throughout the novels with much action. However, the action did include several bloody and violent scenes where the number of deaths/murders grew as the series continued. Therefore, I question the appropriate age group for the series.
When looking at themes, there were valuable themes, such as, family, loyalty, friendship, bravery, and others. However, there are also themes of war, revenge, and death. Again, making this a series where one could question who would be able to read this and not have potential nightmares afterwards?
Overall Rating for the Series and Recommendation:
I would gave the series a 3 out of 5 stars for the reasons explored above. Potentially, I would recommend The Underland Chronicles to upper-elementary and middle-school aged children, who can handle bloody scenes, multiple deaths, and large creepy crawlers.
If you’re curious for my individual book reviews, here are the links to them:
- Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1)
- Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (Underland Chronicles, #2)
- Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (Underland Chronicles, #3)
- Gregor and the Marks of Secret (Underland Chronicles, #4)
- Gregor and the Code of Claw (Underland Chronicles, #5)