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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane - Suzanne Collins - Underland Chronicles Book 2

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
The Underland Chronicles
Book 2

Suzanne Collins
Scholastic
ISBN 9780439650762
eISBN 9780545317962

This series is absolutely riveting. The story runs at an amazing pace. The details of the Underland geography, scenery and creatures are amazing. It has only been a few months since Gregor, his sister and father have returned from the Underland to New York City. Christmas is fast approaching and Gregor is doing what he can to help his family out. His father has a strange illness he brought back from the Underland and has not returned to teaching. His mother is working hard to support his family. His grandmother's health is still ailing. Their kind neighbor Mrs. Cormaci has been hiring Gregor to help her out on Saturdays. He always brings home some money, a lot of food and usually some hand-me-downs for the family. But things are still tight and Gregor cannot stop worrying about what will happen next.

Then it does happen. He has taken his littlest sister Boots to Central Park to go tobogganing and he gets distracted thinking about the Underland for a few minutes. And his sister disappears. There are signs that it was the giant roaches from the Underland. Soon Gregor is back in the Underland reunited with his Bond, the bat Ares, and Luxa the soon-to-be Queen. They go on a perilous journey in the Waterways and through a Labyrinth at the far end of the Rat's domain in search for the Bane, a legendary white rat that is prophesied to be able to destroy the whole of Underland. But unlike the Prophecy of Gray, the Prophecy of Bane does not indicate how many and what species should make the quest, and how many they will lose. The prophecy states:

"If Under fell, if Over leaped,
If life was death, if death life reaped,
Something rises from the gloom
To make the Underland a tomb.
Hear it scratching down below,
Rat of long-forgotten snow,
Evil cloaked in coat of white
Will the warrior drain your light?
What could turn the warrior weak?
What do burning gnawers seek?
Just a barely speaking pup
Who holds the land of Under up.
Die the baby, die his heart,
Die his most essential part.
Die the peace that rules the hour.
Gnawers have their key to power."

It is not as clear as the previous and open to more interpretations. All Gregor knows is what is at stake - his life, his sisters and all of Underland. That is a lot to put on the shoulders of a teen-aged boy, but Gregor manages and even seems to thrive under the pressure. This is a great book in an amazing series.

Books by Suzanne Collins:
The Underland Chronicles:
Gregor the Overlander (2003)
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (2004)
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (2005)
Gregor and the Marks of Secret (2006)
Gregor and the Code of Claw (2007)

The Hunger Games trilogy:
The Hunger Games (2008)
Catching Fire (2009)
Mockingjay (2010)

Other books:
Fire Proof: Shelby Woo #11 (1999)
When Charlie McButton Lost Power (2005)

Suzanne Collins Visual Bibliography

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