A thoroughly enjoyable world-slip novel set mostly under the earth. I loved this world – although it would be a very scary place to visit, with four foot cockroaches and similar sized rats and spiders. Although all these creatures can speak (so theoretically could be reasoned with) there seems little hope of getting anywhere without some influential underworld friends. Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games) excels herself with descriptions of the damage the rats are capable of, to say nothing of the arachnid killing technique – both very scary.
As Gregor and his baby sister Boots travel through the underland seeking their father – and their destiny it seems – they are helped by the Underlanders who have lived below ground for generations. Having a “terrible two” along, and still in nappies, brings things down to earth (so to speak) with attitude, tantrums and, of course, dirty nappies causing problems. But Boots is also a secret weapon as the cockroaches (crawlers) love her, believe she is a princess and will do anything for her.
A fast paced fantasy quest with a smart and thoughtful reluctant hero and an enormous cast of intriguing characters, Gregor the Overlander sets us up for an exciting fantasy series.