Monday, October 5, 2009

Book 2 of Suzanne Collins' Gregor Series

Now that Chad has succeeded in getting Mommy hooked on a new series, I had to hurry up and finish book # 2. He checked it out of his school library and it was due back this week. (on a side note, he also succeeded in talking his teacher into accepting his Hunger Games and Catching Fire reads as AR credit by lending her his copy of CF. God, I love that kid!) So, Book # 2 in a five book series is Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (312 pgs, Scholastic, 2004).

When Gregor opened his eyes he had the distinct impression that someone was watching him. He glanced around his tiny bedroom, trying to keep as still as possible. The ceiling was empty. Nothing on his dresser. Then he saw it sitting on the windowsill, motionless except for the delicate twitching of its antennas. A cockroach.

After Gregor had returned from the Underland with Boots and his father, he thought everything would be great again. But his father didn't return in the same condition in which he left. He was sick, and his mind just wasn't the same after all those years of captivity with the rats. He couldn't work, and there was never much food for the kids. But they were together again, and that was all that mattered.

One day, close to Christmas, Gregor took Boots to Central Park to sled. He couldn't do much for the family in the way of money, but he wanted to help out out all he could. But with all the family problems on his mind, he wasn't paying complete attention to Boots, and the next thing he knew she was gone! When he took the time to access where he was, he realized he was close to one of the waterways back to the Underland. And when he found the grate to the opening, he found a giant cockroach antennae! It seems that something had come from the Underland to take Boots. As he was trying to find the waterway, a couple of giant rats found Gregor. But luckily for him, Ares, his bat friend and bond, was waiting to take him to Regalia. It seems that the roaches had been watching the family. The rats had planned on stealing Boots and they wanted to protect her. And now that Gregor was back, it seemed that his help was needed once again. Another prophecy foretold of his actions. This one against the Bane, a giant white rat that would lead them to victory if it was allowed to live.

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 Hold 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.

If the gnawers kill Boots, it seems that Gregor, the Warrior won't be able to protect the Underland anymore. And Gregor is NOT going to let that happen.

Once again, Collins leads us on a fantastic journey of the Underland. We are introduced to more characters. Some are members of the Royal family: Luxa's cousins. And a few more creatures from the Underland. If the first book was good, this one is even better!! As a reader, you are even more vested in emotion with the people and creatures that take part in the next quest. Gregor, has grown and matured. But one thing hasn't changed: his love for family, above all else. The lengths he is willing to go through to save and protect his sister is astounding. And it makes your heart feel all warm and fuzzy!

I wish everyone would read this series. I realize it's aimed at middle school/junior high students. But the life lessons are there for everyone. And Collins is grade A, #1 at weaving a story so tantalizing, that you won't want to put the book down until you have finished!! Take my advice and get this book for you and your kids. But get to it first, because the kids might not give it back!! 4.5/5