Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins Gregor the Overlander is a series by the same author who brought us The Hunger Games. Gregor is an 11 year old...moreGregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins Gregor the Overlander is a series by the same author who brought us The Hunger Games. Gregor is an 11 year old boy who haplessly falls into a secret underground world called, The Underland. In The Underland there are talking animals, but not your run of the mill animals. There are giant cockroaches, giant bats, giant spiders, in fact everything in the underworld is giant, except the humans. The humans are unique; they have adapted to life under the earth and have pale almost translucent skin, purple eyes, and white hair. On Gregor’s first trip down he follows his sister Boots, so named because she likes to wear everyone’s boots in winter, through a hole in the laundry room. Gregor meets the cockroaches first, who take him and Boots to the humans. There, he meets Queen Luxa, who is also 11 and Vikus, who is an older gentleman. Gregor and Boots are whisked away to a city where they are bathed and their clothes are burned. At first, Gregor believes the humans in the underland must have extra strong smelling capabilities to be so obsessed with his scent. After being told he cannot go home immediately, Gregor decides to escape. In the middle of the night he gets Boots and tries to navigate an extremely dangerous underground river. There, he learns the real reason the humans were so obsessed with his scent. His scent is picked up and he is captured by two giant rats. He and Boots would have been devoured if Luxa and a few other Underlanders didn’t come to his rescue just in time. Gregor learns that he is part of a prophecy and that he has a duty to fulfill for the underlanders. At first he doesn’t believe them, but too much happens exactly the way they say it will for him to keep doubting them. The Underland is a very dangerous place, as Gregor soon learns. Will he ever make it back home to his family? Gregor will appeal to both male and female readers who enjoy fantasy books. The Underland is well thought out and the plot thickens with each passing book in the series. Gregor the Overlander is cataloged as a Juvenile book, but is a great read for teens and adults as well. The story moves along easily and though there is some predictability to the books, they keep the reader engaged in the story. (less)
Cinder is a futuristic science fiction novel based loosely on the Cinderella story. The main character Cinder, is a cyborg in a dangerous time. The no...more Cinder is a futuristic science fiction novel based loosely on the Cinderella story. The main character Cinder, is a cyborg in a dangerous time. The novel is set in a city called New Beijing. Cyborgs are hated by the people around them and used for experimentation. Cinder is the best mechanic in the city, not many people know she’s a cyborg and she’s hoping to keep it that way. One day Prince Kai needs her help fixing his android and the sparks fly. She tells herself she’s not interested in the handsome young prince but try as she may, she can’t help but imagine life with him. He seems to like her as well. Prince Kai even goes as far as asking her to the royal ball. She refuses of course. There’s no way a prince would ever love a cyborg. If he found out she was a cyborg it would all be over and Cinder doesn't want to waste her time, or her heart. After all, Prince Kai has plenty to think about without adding a dirty cyborg mechanic to the mix.
Complicating things is a devastating plague sweeping the world and a threat from above. Centuries before this novel takes place, a human colony was established on the moon. The humans on the moon evolved into something more or less than human depending on who you ask. Lunars are able to manipulate the thoughts and actions of others. They can use this power on both Lunars and Earthens (those who are native to planet Earth). This ability makes them feared and hated even more than cyborgs. The current Queen of the Lunar people, Levana, used her powers of persuasion to usurp the throne by murdering the rest of the royal family. This included a three year old princess who she burned alive. Levana is power hungry and blood thirsty and her next target is Earth. She plans to force the prince of New Beijing, Prince Kai to marry her, making her the Empress.
In the beginning Cinder seems to be just another retelling of the Cinderella story. Once you get into the plot you find out it’s much more than romance and robots. There is no fairy godmother to rescue this Cinderella, she’ll have to take care of herself. (less)