Flying High With Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
If you're thinking, Oh, no. Now she's going to drone on and on about how much she loves The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins, give yourself a gold star. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods does not disappoint.
Okay, maybe, there was a little awkwardness at the beginning as the author brought readers up to speed because this is the third book in a series. And there was a spot toward the end where Gregor might have been thinking a little too much about the events he'd just lived through. If someone wanted to argue that Gregor seems a little too capable for an eleven- and, now, twelve-year-old, I'd have to admit that the thought has crossed my mind.
But so what?
These books have so much to offer. A fully realized and unique alternative world. A main character who loves--and is loved by--his family. Marvelous characters.
The Underland Chronicles are all stories about quests. They are believable quests--believable within the context of the world that Collins has created, at least. There are very real risks involved in the journeys Gregor and his companions must make. Lives are lost. No games are played with the reader. No announcements are made to the press before publication of a new book in order to use killing off characters as a means of firing up the public. No characters are placed in danger over and over again while we cringe wondering if this is the spot where someone's going to buy the farm.
Death comes so fast in the Underland books that it can take your breath away. Hey, that's a great plug for a kid's book, huh?
Ripred is by far my favorite character. He's a classic anti-hero, extremely witty, and a real take charge kind of guy when under attack. He's not perfect, of course, what with being a giant rat and all. But who is?
And the Underland grandparents? Wow. Are they ever stereotype busters.
Have I mentioned that Suzanne Collins will be at the Connecticut Children's Book Fair this year? The website isn't giving any info about dates yet even though the fair is only a few weeks away.
By the way, Robert Sabuda, who I mentioned in my last post, will also be there this year.