Book Review: The Underland Chronicles

Obviously, I love fashion, and it is the primary focus of the blog, but I thought it might be fun to include some different "windows" into my life besides just my outfits. I have decided to take the blog into more of the "lifestyle" genre. Therefore, I will still do regular outfit and beauty posts, but I will also include posts about other things that I like, think,  or do that may not necessarily have anything to do with fashion.

Call me a dork, but I love to read. I am an avid fiction reader, and am constantly looking for a new fiction series. Since I love reading so much, I thought it would be fun to start sharing great books that I find on the blog. Therefore, I am going to try to include a book review at least once every two weeks. This might get a little difficult as I delve deeper into my next semester of law school, but we will see how it goes. 

 Lately there has been a ton of hype over The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and for good reason. The books were amazing and the movies so far have not disappointed. But did you know that before The Hunger Games was even thought of, Suzanne Collins wrote another entire series? It's called The Underland Chronicles. I stumbled upon it by accident last summer, and read the entire series in under one week. I love the young adult fantasy genre. To me, there is a good balance between the easy-to-read factor, entertainment, and depth. I am sharing some of the cover art from the books by artist Vivienne To

Basically, the protagonist of the story is an 11-year old boy, Gregor, who lives in New York City. To me, the feel is 1980's, though the first book was published in 2003. Gregor's family is going through money problems, and he basically lives a drab existence. One day, while helping take care of his infant sister, they both accidentally fall down a hole in the laundry room of his apartment building, which turns out to be a secret portal to an underground world. 

Welcome to Regalia, a fully functioning city run by humans miles below New York City. Here, people get around by flying on giant bats, and the landscape looks like an underground cavern. While they are undoubtedly human, the people down here don't look like you and I exactly. Hundreds of years without sun exposure has changed their genetics in interesting ways. In addition to meeting the human inhabitants of this strange land, Gregor meets many interesting creatures, and embarks on a series of epic adventures, ultimately changing the overall fate of the civilization as a whole.

In the depths of the "Underland," Gregor encounters  frightening creatures that he never knew existed, as well as un-familiar versions of familiar creatures. For example, did you know that some rats can be over six feet tall? It seems like there is just as much sea and terrain to explore below the surface of the the earth as there is above it! I was on the edge of my seat reading as Gregor seemed to defy death over and over again. 

Collins' imagination never ceased to amaze me. She has shown incredible attention to detail in creating her own separate fantasy world below the ground. Sometimes, I had to remind myself that it wasn't real.  To this day, I will never look at cockroaches in the same way again after having read these books! If you decide to read, you will understand what I mean!

Every epic adventure has to have some type of military action. Believe me, Suzanne Collins' conception of war is unlike anything you've ever imagined before! Just like in The Hunger Games, her descriptiveness makes you feel like you are part of the action. You will start to develop a vested interest in the good guys! Trust me, you will get really attached the some of the characters. 

As I mentioned earlier, The Underland Chronicles are considered Young Adult, and in my opinion they are totally appropriate for children 10 and up. The only iffy material is the gore from war situations. It's nothing worse than Hunger Games. Furthermore, as is typical of Suzanne Collins, there is a very thought-provoking element of political commentary in every book. It can be a great allegorical teaching tool for middle grade students. Think Animal Farm, but way more entertaining. A few of the themes she incorporates into the stories are biological warfare, genocide, and military strategy. 

Luxa, Future Queen of Regalia

There is also a love story that develops over the entire series. I don't want to spoil anything, but it's just as addictive as the action!

I highly recommend this series! I bought mine to read on my Kindle. At about $3.99 per book, it's very economical. If you like fantasy, or have a young reader in your life who you think would love this series, I encourage you to give it a shot. If you do read it, please email or message me what you thought of it! I LOVE talking about literature!

Click on the books to shop:


No comments