Publisher's Note:  

In the months since Gregor first encountered the strange Underland beneath New York City, he’s sworn he won’t ever go back. But when another prophecy, this time about an ominous white rat known as the Bane, calls for Gregor’s help, the Underlanders know the only way they can get his attention is through his little sister, Boots. Now Gregor’s quest reunites him with his bat, Ares, the rebellious princess Luxa, and new allies and sends them through the dangerous and deadly Waterway in search of the Bane. Then Gregor must face the possibility of his greatest loss yet, and make life and death choices that will determine the future of the Underland.
Suzanne Collins has created characters and a world that are capturing countless imaginations. This second installment of the Underland Chronicles is sure to win her even more enthusiastic fans.



Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane

by Suzanne Collins

Review Date:
09/23/2011

Recommended Age:
14+

Overall Rating:
****1/2

Profanity / Language Rating:
**

Violence / Gore Rating:
***

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

Get ready for more intense fun as we follow Gregor and Boots on another incredible adventure!  At the end of the first book, another prophecy is mentioned, but only just.  (The prophecies are riddles in poetry form that the characters have to decipher and follow.)  Now, with the entryway into the Underland glued and bolted shut, Gregor feels safe from the wiles of the Underlanders.  Unfortunately for him, however, there are a few more entrances than just the grate in the laundry room wall!  In order to fulfill the next prophecy, The Prophecy of Bane, he and Boots are once more thrust into the world of darkness, tunnels, waterways and giant talking creepy-crawlies!  This time around, they spend a lot of time in the water (sometimes there is the feeling of Voyage of the Dawn Treader or Jason and the Argonauts) and then in the dark Labyrinth of the world of the rats—in search of The Bane!

Once again, I loved the character development.  We see more of Ares, the bat, and what a personality he has!  I also became more attached to the friendly warrior, Mareth , Luxa the future queen, and  Howard, a new character who happens to be Luxa’s cousin.  All who went on the journey to ‘fulfill’ the prophecy went because they cared.  Well, all but the ‘shiners’, but they definitely added some color to their travels!

I think above all the action and adventure of the plot, the thing that I am really loving about this series is the depth of humanity.  There is such a sense of loyalty and responsibility that pervades the lives of the characters!  Gregor, for instance: How many 11 year old boys would find opportunities to work to earn money—then use it to buy food for his family and diapers for his little sister?  And when he goes after Boots (who is kidnapped), how many young boys would think to call home to let them know where he’s going?  Gregor even begs Ares to rescue Boots first—no matter what—even though Ares has sworn to protect Gregor at all costs.  These are just a few examples.  Over and over again, throughout the pages of this book, love and loyalty and caring shine through.  It even comes through as humor, when Temp (a giant cockroach and best friend of Boots) permits Boots to dress him up with doll clothes!  He definitely didn’t enjoy it, and it’s slightly odd to think that a huge cockroach is cute, but how could I not love the little guy for letting a little lost and frightened girl play dressup?

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane is another fast paced ride through the wilds of Underland, and a great addition to a fun series!


Content Analysis:  

In keeping with the first of this series, Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane has no sexual content whatsoever. 


There are two mild exclamations of profanity this time around.  And there are two references to the glowing end of a firefly which could be considered crude. 


Above all, there is violence.  There is a short scene of warrior training that includes sword play and some gymnastics.  A character explains briefly the best places in which to kill a rat.  There is a fight against a giant squid that is a little intense.  A character has a brief and disturbing nightmare involving fish with large teeth.  The characters encounter a whirlpool—a craft is destroyed and some characters are almost lost.  A character discovers an ability to fight that is hard to control.  Some very creepy bugs eat a character (it was quick and disturbing).  Some dinosaur-esque serpents attack the characters and most are injured.  Some rats get into a fight—they end up killing each other and it’s a little gory.  The characters are forced to eat raw fish after their supplies are destroyed.  



Mature Subject Matter:  

The main themes are all about accountability, responsibility and dealing with the results of our choices.  There is also the moderate fear factor of facing the unknown along with grief over the loss of loved ones and friends.



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

***



Reviewed By Emily
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