My son and I ripped through this second book in the Gregor the Overlander series (by Suzanne Collins). Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane kicked up the story a notch, as Gregor is called on yet again to the save the Underland. This time, the threat is a white rat named The Bane and the prophecy seems to suggest that the killing of the rat will save the odd humans and allies who live in the land beneath the surface. The story begins with the kidnapping of Gregor’s baby sister and for much of the story, he is driven by revenge for her death (which doesn’t quite turn out to be true).
Collins nicely begins to reveal more of Gregor’s character and situation. Here, he learns he is a “rager,” or a creature with innate fighting abilities. Ragers are feared in the Underland for their indiscriminate fighting powers, and Gregor loses all control of himself when he is put into a raging situation. The moment when Gregor finally confronts the white rat — with his rager instincts almost in full gear — Collins throws a twist into the story (which I won’t reveal) that gives Gregor more complexity as a character than we had seen previously.
So, now we venture into the third book of the series: Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods.
Collins does a lot right with this series. Although the initial scenario has been done before (a world below), she really gives you that claustrophobic feeling, and provides tension at every corner of the adventure. She’s not afraid to kill off a character and the use of giant spiders, cockroaches, rats, bats and more are enough to give you the shivers at times. And her use of prophecies to guide the plot is wise, since the interpretations and misinterpretations give just enough twists to keep you on your toes.
My son and I are hooked and along for the ride with Gregor, although the action here can get a bit violent at times.
Peace (in the Underland)