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Book Review | Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles #1) | by Suzanne Collins


 Gregor the Overlander - Cover 3GREGOR THE OVERLANDER
 (UNDERLAND CHRONICLES #1)
by Suzanne Collins    ★★★★

This irresistible first novel tells the story of a quiet boy who embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny — and find his father — in a strange world beneath New York City.

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor’s arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland’s uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it — until he realizes it’s the only way to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever. (Goodreads).


My Review

Plenty of twists and surprises (and creepy critters)

I’d heard about this series many times and it had been bobbing away in my to-read list for a while. I finally decided to take the plunge and read the first book, Gregor the Overlander. That was a few months ago and I’ve finally found the time to post a review.

This story is a journey of an unwitting, and mainly unwilling hero, Gregor. He’s a quiet boy who finds himself in the middle of a huge challenge in a dark and troubled world.

Gregor somehow manages to tumble down a mysterious hole (the laundry grate) and finds himself in a strange and mysterious place known as Underland, which happens to be below his home city. And, to make matters a little more tricky, his 2 year-old sister, Boots, is with him. Underland is a place that’s full of giant rats, hefty spiders, sizable cockroaches and humans known as Underlanders. It’s not your ideal place to spend time, but it’s one where Gregor finds a link to the mysterious and unsolved disappearance of his father a couple of years before.

Upon arrival, he is met by Underlings who insist that Gregor is the promised one. The one who is destined to save them from a life of misery should the fragile peace be broken. Gregor isn’t so keen on his newfound importance and is torn throughout the tale. He wants nothing more than to find his father, but he’s also in denial of his new warrior status, as foretold in the Underland prophecy. Ultimately he just wants to go home, so he soon realises that perhaps all three things (dad, home, help) can be achieved and he reluctantly agrees to help his hosts. There’s plenty of twists and surprises for him along how way, which provided plenty of tension and excitement to keep my interest until the end.

If there was one thing that I wasn’t keen on, it was Boots, Gregor’s two year old sibling. I wasn’t sure what value the character added to the story, or even why she was included. I felt that she just vaguely lingered in the background and popped up every so often when there was a lull in the story. It may have been a little more interesting if the author had explored the impact that traveling with such a youngster would have on Gregor in more detail. I’ve read other reviews where Boots was a favorite character, so I guess it’s really just a personal observation, rather than a fault or flaw in the plot. But that aside, I did enjoy the book. I’ll be sure to read the subsequent books in the series, so I can follow Gregor’s journey to the end.

In a nutshell … Gregor the Overlander was an entertaining read, which has hooked me for the rest of the series. It’s a great debut novel from an author who has gone on to become hugely successful.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


I thought it may be fun to see some of the different
book covers that are around for this one.

 Gregor the Overlander - Cover 2   Gregor the Overlander - Cover 3  Gregor the Overlander - Cover 1

Gregor the Overlander - Cover 4  Gregor the Overlander - Cover 5   Gregor the Overlander - Cover 6


Want to know more?
Click below to check out more information about
The Underland Chronicles series.

Gregor



Noah Zarc Book Blast – Win $25

Today I’m showing my support for up and coming Middle Grade author D. Robert Pease, by participating in a Book Blast and Giveaway for his popular Noah Zarc series. There’s plenty of info and links for his books below for you, as well as the chance to win a $25 Amazon/Paypal prize. Best of luck everyone.

 About the Noah Zarc Books

Book 1

Noah Zarc Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert PeaseNoah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble (Book #1)

Author: D. Robert Pease
Publication Date: July 22, 2013
Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition) Number of pages: 214
Recommended age: 9+

 

Summary: Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth… for the second time.

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (AudioBook) | Audible

 


 Book 2

Noah Zarc - Cataclysm by D. Robert PeaseNoah Zarc: Cataclysm (Book #2)

Author: D. Robert Pease
Publication Date: July 22, 2013
Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition)
Number of pages: 234
Recommended age: 9+

 

Summary: Noah becomes embroiled in a mission that could cause the greatest cataclysm in the history of the solar system. Will his name, Noah Zarc, be forever linked to the most devastating crime in humanity’s existence, all because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (AudioBook) | Audible

 


 Book 3

Noah Zarc - Declaration by D. Robert PeaseNoah Zarc: Declaration (Book #3)

Author: D. Robert Pease
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Number of pages: 226
Recommended age: 9+

 

Summary: As battles rage across the solar system, Noah must work to join together a rag-tag bunch of miners, farmers, and scientists who would rather just live in peace. With only a time-traveling ship full of animals and a general from the history books, the Zarc family has to stand against the full might of the Poligarchy. Will the truth about what really happened a thousand years in the past be enough to stop total war, or will Noah and his friends need to find another way to bring down a dictator?

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 


 Special Omnibus Edition

Noah Zarc - Omnibus by D. Robert PeaseNoah Zarc: Omnibus (Special Edition)

Author: D. Robert Pease
Publication Date: November 2, 2013
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Number of pages: 630
Recommended age: 9+

 

Summary: FEATURES ALL 3 BOOKS IN 1 SPECIAL EDITION & INCLUDES 22 PENCIL ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

In a future where Earth has been wiped clean of all life, and humanity has moved on to other worlds, twelve-year-old Noah Zarc and his family have embarked on a quest, in a time-traveling spaceship called the ARC, to retrieve two of every animal and repopulate a dead world.

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 


 The Buzz About the Noah Zarc Books

Book 1: “Pease’s strength as a storyteller lies in his ability to connect multiple time periods imaginatively, as well as Noah’s excited, fast-paced narration.”
~ Publishers Weekly

Book 1: “If I had read this book at age 10, I think it would have made me love SF just as much as reading Asimov did. If you like the non-stop action and humor of Rick Riordan’s Olympians books, I think you’ll also like Noah Zarc.”
~ Sher A. Hart, book blogger and author

Book 2: “This is another great mind-bender. The wild time jump details are fabulously thought out and cause some unexpected results.” ~ Michelle Isenhoff, Children’s Author

Book 2: “A well-written, adventurous read for young readers and even adults, Noah Zarc blasts through space and into your imagination.”
~ TKristufek, Amazon Reviewer

Book 3: “I was completely captured by the characters, the action and the issues and questions: set in fantasy but integrating concepts and engaging readers with a fun tale that teaches as it entertains.”
~ Gaele, Amazon Reviewer


 About the Author: D. Robert Pease

D. Robert PeaseD. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn’t been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike.

Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer’s Sirens. It’s not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters he brings to life.

Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook |
Goodreads | Google+

 


 * $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 20, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter button below.

ENTER-NOW

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, D. Robert Pease and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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cheeky-monkey1

There’s a change on the way …

Previous visitors may remember that a few months ago I posed the question “Should I redesign my Quest covers?” I was very heartened by the resounding responses that my covers were perfect as they were and that I shouldn’t fix what wasn’t broken. Thanks everyone  for your kind words … but …

As I’m always looking for ways to improve and to find the magic bullet that will launch my books into the stratosphere, I couldn’t get the redesign mentality out of my head. I have to admit that I’m a sucker for judging a book by its cover. I know that when I’m presented with pages/shelves of books, my attention is grabbed by clever, vibrant and well designed covers. I can’t ignore that and have to think that other readers are the same.

Even though I’m happy with my existing covers, I’m not so sure that their style nails the potential audience. I have come to the conclusion that, as middle grade books, they need to be way more kid friendly. Enter my newest inspiration … movie posters. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could harness the amazing qualities of a movie poster (which kids love) and roll them up into new covers for my books.

So, that’s what I’ve tried to do. Take a look below at a super exclusive sneek-peek of my new Quest series book covers. Keep your eyes peeled for the full reveal in the near future. If any bloggers are keen to also share the results of my extreme makeover, then just contact me (rather soon). Fingers crossed that supporters of my current covers and readers like what I’ve come up with.

Q123 peek

TS1 - eBooks

TIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT released today + giveaway

After the long journey from idea to publishing, today marks the day that my new series, TIME SQUARE, is launched on Kindle.

TS - The Shift - Final CoverTIME SQUARE | THE SHIFT is the first book of this great new series, which is a mix of my trademark time-travel adventure, packed full of tension, fun and mystery. This one has plenty of great quirky characters, which I’m sure that you’ll fall in love with, and there is a generous serve of humor thrown in as well.

What’s it about? I hear you ask …

 

There’s more to time than ticks and tocks.

Imagine this. Your dad is a part-time archaeologist who has a tendency to discover things. One day, he comes home from an expedition with a crusty old relic, and dumps it in the basement. You’d probably think everything would be fine and dandy, but that’s where you’re wrong. Because that’s precisely when all the trouble started.

It’s 1930, and Lewis and Eva Hudson are a couple of twin teens with just such a dad. Then, on a chilly wintry day in Washington D.C., the three of them mysteriously disappear into thin air, without a trace. Throw in a weird and mysterious rival with a point to prove, add a looming disaster that threatens to break time itself, and pretty soon they’re smack bang in the front seat of a roller-coaster to doomsville.

Time Square | The Shift is an edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure that’s full of action and plenty of humour. It’s sure to leave you begging for a breather. Join Dr Rex Hudson, his two teen kids Lewis and Eva, and a whole cast of wonderful and wacky characters as they try to fix the unfixable.


Amazon Kindle button

The initial release (9th April 2014) is via Kindle from Amazon, so that means you can read it on Kindle or download the free Kindle App and read it on your iPad, iPhone, iPod, Smartphone, Tablet or PC.

TS1 - eBooks

Click your preferred link below to grab yourself a piece of history.

a.com_logo_RGB a.co.uk_logo_RGB a.ca_logo_RGB

    Amazon.com Amazon.in a.fr_logo_RGB

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Kindle App pic

Click above to grab the free Kindle App if you need it.


TS1 - paperbackstackIf you’d prefer to read the paperback edition, it’s coming soon (June 2014).

Please click the books to register your interest and be amongst the first to know when it’s available.


Want to win yourself 1 of 3 Kindle editions?
Click below to enter my exclusive giveaway.

ENTER-NOW

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Kids Movie Trailer Banner

Kids Movie Trailer ♦ [Almost] Home ♦ (2014) ♦

Hiya, This is just a quick post to let you know that I’ve added a new kid’s movie trailer to my KIDS MOVIE TRAILERS page.

[ALMOST] HOME (2014)

This is actually a short film, which I believe is a cool way of introducing an upcoming move from Dreamworks to be called HOME. The movie will be about a group of aliens seeking refuge from their enemies by hiding out on Earth. (IMDB)

This short is a bit of a story about before they get to earth. Check out IMDB for more cast info if you’re interested.

If you liked that, then click the MOVIE TRAILERS link at the top of this page or click on the MOVIES category in the right hand margin to see all of the other new and favourite trailer links I’ve posted.


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3

Kids Movie Trailer Banner

Kids Movie Trailer ♦ Rio 2 ♦ (2014) ♦

Hiya, This is just a quick post to let you know that I’ve added a new kid’s movie trailer to my KIDS MOVIE TRAILERS page.

RIO 2 (2014)

It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in RIO 2, after they’re hurtled from that magical city to the wilds of the Amazon. (IMDB)

If you liked that, then click the MOVIE TRAILERS link at the top of this page or click on the MOVIES category in the right hand margin to see all of the other new and favourite trailer links I’ve posted.


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3

Book Blast | Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files) | #win $25

Today I’d like to introduce you to a book that I recently read. It’s a cool adventure that I think will catch the imagination of super-sleuths in training. Maisy is a bit of a school detective and she finds herself on a tricky case. The story follows her most recent case and gives kids an insight into how she solves a mystery and searches out clues. Skills that readers may find useful themselves when they have their own mysteries to solve.


About the Book

Maisy and the Missing MiceMAISY AND THE MISSING MICE
(
The Maisy Files)
Author: Elizabeth Woodrum
Publication Date: Sept 24, 2013
Publisher: Independent | Pages: 75 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 10 

Maisy Sawyer is not your average fourth grade student. She is a detective with a special skill for solving mysteries. She loves black and white mystery movies, cherry lollipops, and her dog, Reesie.

When a thief known as The Black Boot steals the school’s mascots and her lollipops, Maisy sets out to solve the case. Can she help return the mice to their home in the science lab? Will she ever see her beloved lollipops again? Find out in the first book in The Maisy Files series.


Book Trailer


Purchase

Amazon | Createspace

* NOTE: Available for only 99 cents through Amazon. OR, you can receive 15% off the regular price of the print version of Maisy and the Missing Mice by visiting https://www.createspace.com/4368649 in the month of March and entering the code RXJN6DUZ upon checking out.


The Buzz

“Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It’s a quick page turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box.” ~ The Children’s Book Review

“My name is Kat. I am 9 years old. I would rate this a five because I like everything about it, the mystery the most. It was fun to read. My favorite part was the mystery and the end. I love this book so much. I think other kids would love it too because it has mystery and most kids would like mystery books. Most mystery books have a good mystery. I would love to read the whole series.” ~ 5 Star Review, Heather A., Amazon

“I knew I would love this book simply because I knew it would remind me of the mystery books I read in my childhood. I really love how much trust the teachers and community as a whole put in Maisy. She is well deserving of their admiration as the way she finds clues and finds the mascot for the school is well thought out. This is a story any child would love to read. I hope Maisy continues to solve mysteries…” ~ 5 Star Review, Josh, Amazon


About the Author: Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum
Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum is an elementary teacher in Ohio. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children’s series, is the first series that she has published. The series currently has one book, Maisy and the Missing Mice. Elizabeth plans to add more books to the series, and would also like to publish books for adults in the future.

As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks. Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently resides near Dayton, Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.

Book Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: April 18, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter the Rafflecopter using the button below.

ENTER-NOW

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Elizabeth Woodrum and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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MDBR Book Promotion Services

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