Gregor The Overlander Suzanne Collins Audiobook Review

Maybe you have Hunger Games fever and in your withdrawal you have considered checking out Suzanne Collins’ middle grade Gregor The Overlander series. While the first book, Gregor The Overlander lacks the complexity of The Hunger Games and romance, it’s not a terrible read if you adjust your expectations and don’t assume it will be written in the same way as The Hunger Games.

Gregor The Overlander Suzanne Collins Audiobook Cover

Gregor The Overlander

Gregor’s little sister, Boots, falls down the laundry chute in their New York City apartment. Gregor, the protective older brother, of course goes down the chute after Boots. To his surprise there’s an entire world underground populated with giant sentient cockroaches, rats, humans, and bats. Gregor and Boots find themselves in the middle of a war between the rats and the humans. Of course, Gregor’s arrival has been prophesized and he is a bit of a chosen one.

Frankly, I wasn’t in love with Gregor The Overlander by Suzanne Collins. I just felt the book to be too simplistic and too black and white for my tastes. And for once I wasn’t crazy about the whole outsider who is the chosen one sent to save the under land trope. It just felt cliche to me. Like, it’s been done before and yes I know I read a lot of chosen one books, and well, they’ve done it better.

I decided to listen to Gregor The Overlander by Suzanne Collins on audio because that’s the easiest way for me to read a non-review copy book. The audio is produced by Listening Library and is 6 hours and 33 minutes unabridged. The narrator is Paul Boehmer. Unfortunately, I was not a huge fan of the narrator. His accent and his voice weren’t pleasant on my ears, but I guess I was hoping for a City accent and not a Southern one, being that the book takes place in NYC and Gregor is a New Yorker. So the audiobook of Gregor The Overlander wasn’t to my taste, but that’s not to say you won’t like it.

Disclosure: Borrowed from my local library.

Other reviews of Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins:
That’s What She Read
Squeeky Clean Reads
Loving Books

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Hmmm, my library has this audiobook, so it is on my listening list for this year. I do want to read some of Collins’ other, non-Hunger Games work, but my expectations are being suitably adjusted.

  2. This is a very seriously middle grade book, written for the lower levels of MG. I had a similar reaction when reading it–cute but a bit too simplistic–and I wonder if that isn’t because I’ve read so many MG/YA lately. It was written on the early cusp of the YA revolution, after all. I wonder, too, if maybe if I’d read this when it first came out, if I’d have the same reaction.

  3. I’ve been on the fence for this one for awhile: on one hand Suzanne Collins, on the other middle-grade. I think I’m going to continue to pass on this series for now, but maybe I’ll pick it up in the future.

  4. We are so completely opposite on Paul Boehmer! I adored his narration, especially of Boots and the Crawlers.

    I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, so any retelling usually grabs my interest. At least you gave it a shot. 🙂

    • Isn’t it funny how everyone’s narration preferences are different?

      Also, I like Alice In Wonderland, but alas this was not really the book for me. But yay for trying new things! 😀

  5. I haven’t actually read this, but I flipped through it once to see if I wanted to read it and I understand what you mean about it being a little too black and white. I wasn’t very impressed with what I saw and my friend told me that the writing is not nearly as good as she expected after reading THG, which is understandable because I’m pretty sure that this is her debut. Anyway, good review! 🙂

  6. I read this one (in print) in… oh, probably 2005. I liked it, though of course it ‘read’ very young. It was perfect at that point for my youngest brother. He then ripped through the whole series in about 2 days, and told me that it was pretty good. I stopped after the first, myself. I think it’s perfect for 8-10 year olds – and harder for us older folk to appreciate as much.

  7. I had wondered how this one was. I knew she wrote other books, but I never really looked into them too much. I saw they were geared towards the younger people, so I didn’t bother to pick them up.

    Kinda thinking I made a good call on it. ugh, and audio, I tried again.. it tried to listen to a sample of Fire, but I just couldn’t get into it. I wish so badly that I could love audio books.

  8. I’ve been curious about this series, especially since no new books seem to be coming from Suzanne Collins anytime in the near future- at least as far as I’ve heard.

    I didn’t know it had anything to do with rats though. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimph sort of terrified my 10 year old self, and I still don’t like them.

  9. I enjoyed this book but didn’t love it. I read the 2nd book recently (because I bought the whole series) and ended up enjoying it a bit more. Like you said, it’s all been done before. It’s not the best chosen one/quest book out there but I still had fun with it.

  10. I wish I had more driving time so I could listen to more audiobooks. I’m with you that unless it’s a review book it’s harder for me to get to. My husband listened to this one and enjoyed it and he rarely reads so I was curious about it. I’m picky about the narrators though so I wonder now that I read your comments.


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