Publication Date: September 1, 2004
Story Perspective: Third-Person
Themes: Family, Love, Sibling Love, Family Income,
Friendship, Trust, Persistence, Courage, Loyalty
Young Gregor is back in another adventure in this second installment of the Underland Chronicles.
Gregor is constantly trying to help his family: one parent who works a lot, another parent who is sick, his grandmother who needs much support, and his two younger sisters. However, sooner than he expected he finds himself leaving the majority of his family again, back to the Underland to fulfill yet another prophecy.
As he and others travel through open waters, a dangerous maze, and unknown territory, Gregor finds himself faced with the Bane, an enormous dangerous white rat. The prophecy says he must take the rat’s life, but he finds himself unable to do so. What are the repercussions of not fulfilling the prophecy? Is he willing to risk everyone else’s lives because of his inability to kill a dangerous creature?
Since enjoying the first in the series, I was excited to jump into this one, and I’m happy to say it did not disappointment.
You can find a mix of happiness, relief, sadness, fear, and feeling proud for our protagonist here. When an author causes you to have that much emotion, even within a children’s book, then you know you have a strong writer at hands.
For instance, it broke my heart to read about how Gregor is trying to support his family in any way that he can. Having a loving, yet fairly poor family as the main family in the series is touching and brings such a sense of reality to this otherwise fictional read. Reading about Gregor again does give a deeper level of his personality and his strong bond between his familial relationships and such loyalty to the friendships he’s built. I especially love his connection to Boots, Gregor’s youngest sister. He has such a big heart for his baby sister that can easily break the reader’s own heart.
There was never a dull moment throughout. Whether it was the struggles of living in a extremely low-income family, training to become a warrior, the stress of being on unknown waters, fulfilling the prophecy, or even the resolution at the end, I was hooked. Due to Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane being a children’s book, the scenes were not long and were fairly simple, but nonetheless, I always looked forward to reading this book. Reading the second book in the series allowed me to not be taken aback with all the enlarged rats, bats, cockroaches, fireflies, and human-like creatures as it did in the first book.
As a warning, there are some fighting scenes, those who die, and near-death experiences. The scenes, just as the first one in the series, are not gory or lengthy, but worth noting for future youngster readers.
Though it’s not the level and depth of The Hunger Games, it’s still a series that I feel many can enjoy. It’s one that puts a smile on my face and keeps surprising me.
I would highly recommend this to upper elementary and middle school children who enjoy adventurous stories with a strong and likable protagonist. Also, I would recommend this to adults who enjoy children’s books!
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
6 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!
Click on the links to see my reviews of other books in this series: