My son and I continue to delve into the Underland with Gregor and his crew. In the third installment of the series — Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods — a plague has been let loose on the Underland (that city beneath the city) and so, yet another adventure begins as 11-year-old Gregor must find a cure to save not only his friends, but his mother as well. In doing so, he must venture into a strange and forbidding forest growing underground, with giant plants not quite as timid as they first appear and some other creatures we have heard about but have not yet seen in the books before.
Writer Suzanne Collins continues a dark allegory of storytelling here, this time around how nations sometimes develop weapons that rub up against our own morality and ethics. How far is too far? I won’t give the story away, except to say that Gregor sees his Underland companions in a different light by the end of this novel. We are also introduced to a few new intriguing characters — two humans who have been living outside of the safe city of Regalia in exile, and we lose a few friends along the way, too.
I have to admit: I am ready to take a break from Gregor for a bit, but my son has us now starting the fourth book (which we have been warned by a neighbor friend may be the darkest book of the five-book series). We’ll see where Gregor takes us, and whether we can climb back out of the Underworld, which is becoming increasingly tense and claustrophobic.
Peace (in the world beneath),
I read all five of these in a little over a week. It was intense as the series progressed, but I liked having a strong sense of the overarching story. I have several 8th graders who have moved from The Hunger Games to the Underland with mixed reviews. Several are tearing through the series. One will finish the first (he didn’t want to abandon it), but doesn’t care for it.