Gregor and the Code of Claw marks the end of our adventures in the Underland with Gregor and his friends and family. This book had even ‘more’ than the others in the series: More indepth characters, more raging emotions, more humor, and more war. In the previous book, Luxa makes an oath to revenge the deaths of the nibblers, and in so doing, declares war on the rats. Now, we have the makings of the war to end all wars.
There are many questions raised and answered. There’s the question of Sandwich’s ‘prophecies’—are they to be trusted? Who is Sandwich, anyway? There’s the question of the Code of Claw… Who is supposed to be able to crack it? And what will they find once it’s been done? Another question is that of the necessity of war. Is it really and truly necessary? It does so much damage—is it still worth it after all the loss and sacrifices that are made? Can it be avoided before it’s too late? The end was very ambiguous and raised even more questions to ponder. I felt very torn as I closed the book, as there was just so much left unsaid.
The characters are still full of character and flaws. I was so happy to see more of Gregor’s sister Lizzie. She is a sweet girl and so intelligent. I loved the relationship between her and Ripred. Solovet is not my favorite—and almost seems to be on par with the Bane when it comes to her methods of running things. Two wrongs, as they say, do not make a right! There was so much growth and change in Gregor and his entire family. We were able to see their struggles and watch them stretch to overcome obstacles that were completely foreign and overwhelming. The whole message of this series isn’t so much closure as an ongoing plea for peace and a statement of the dangers of war and mistrust.
As with this entire series, this book has no sex (the slight romance continues from the previous novel), only one word that could be considered profanity, and it is full of violence.
This time, however, instead of just statements (such as ‘so-and-so was killed’), it becomes at times even more disturbing with a lot more blood and gore and descriptions! Many characters die in various ways: Swords, boiling oil, fire, poison, torture, massive ambushes, teeth and claws. These are all premeditated acts of war, and most of them are on the gruesome side (especially the boiling oil and burning alive). Some (in the case of poison and torture) are only mentioned that they happened without description. The war is very bloody. There are some skirmishes where characters fight with knives one on one, and they become very descriptive: Characters lose body parts and there is always a lot of blood and some disturbing descriptions.
Mature Subject Matter:
The themes, aside from the extreme violence of war, would include despair and helplessness, deceit, and overcoming all odds.
Alcohol / Drug Use: