Book Review: The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins

Summary (Book One):
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.

Just like Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series, I read this series because I loved The Hunger Games (also by Suzanne Collins) so much.  The Underland Chronicles are definitely for younger teens/children.  They are nice little adventure books but are not deep or thought-provoking for adults.  They are fast but enjoyable reads.  I'm glad that I borrowed these from the library because I would definitely not ever reread them. 

Suzanne Collins says on her website that The Underland Chronicles are a parallel to Alice in Wonderland, except instead of falling down a rabbit hole, Gregor falls down a sewer grate in New York and discovers a world underneath the city.  The story is very unique, well-written, and entertaining.  I really enjoyed the series, even though I wasn't sure at the beginning how I'd feel, reading about six-feet tall rats, huge roaches, bats, and more.  Basically, every creature that would live in a sewer, lives in the Underworld and is human-sized or bigger! 

Just One Gripe:
The way this series ends inspired the phrase "a Suzanne Collins ending."

The Best Thing About This Series:
The funny and endearing cast of characters.

Appropriate for a younger audience:
Yes, in fact I recommend this to a younger audience only.

As this is more of a children's series, I am scoring it against other children's series. A five star children's book is not equivalent to a five star adult book, in my opinion.

Characters:  5/5
Plot:  5/5
Setting/Imagery:  5/5
Originality:  5/5
Ending:  3/5
Total Score:  23/25

The Underland Chronicles were 3.5 star books for me personally, but I am rating them against other children's lit and they deserve 5 stars for that genre.

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