I loved the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy, and enjoyed the whole series. After reading this first book in Suzanne Collins' earlier series, I like it even more. The story begins in New York City, but soon moves to the Underland. Gregor is a typical 11-year-old boy. He lives with his mother, grandmother and two younger sisters. His father has been missing for 2 Years, 7 Months and 13 days. Gregor stays home from summer camp so his sister can go; he is helping to look after his aging grandmother and his baby sister Boots. One day while doing laundry, Boots seems to disappear. Soon Gregor finds himself falling and falling. When he lands, he is in a strange Underland, full of giant bats, spiders, roaches, rats and a human colony that came below ground many years ago. There is an uneasy peace among the rats and the other Underland kingdoms, and Gregor seems to set off a war between the humans and rats. And many of the humans seem to believe he is fulfilling an ancient prophecy. The prophecy states:
"Underlanders, time hangs by a thread. The hunters are hunted, white water runs red. The gnawers will strike to extinguish the rest. The hope of the hopeless resides in a quest.
An Overland warrior, a son of the sun, May bring us back light, he may bring us back none. But gather your neighbors and follow his call, or rats will most surely devour us all.
Two over, two under, of royal descent. Two flyers, two crawlers, two spinners assent. One gnawer beside and one lost up ahead. And eight will be left when we count up the dead.
The last who will die must decide where he stands.
The fate of the eight is contained in his hands. So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps, as life may be death and death life again reaps."
Gregory does not believe he is the predicted warrior. But if this is his best chance to get back to Overland he will do so, especially if it means saving his system and himself.
This is the first book in a quintology and it looks like it will be an incredible series. I highly recommend this first book and believe you will become as hooked as I did.