Publication Date: May 1, 2006
Story Perspective: Third-Person
Themes: Loss, Grief, Family, Love, Sibling Love, Death,
Friendship, Trust, Persistence, Courage, Acceptance
As Gregor enters the Underland once again, something goes awry. The future queen, Luxa, receives a seemingly cryptic message. However, she knows exactly what it means. Something bad is happening to the Nibblers (mice), her friends. Their lives are in danger…How far will Luxa, Gregor, and their companions go to save Luxa’s friends?
The fourth installment of The Underland Chronicles, I would say, wasn’t as strong as the previous ones. (I apologize in advance if this sounds like a rant.)
Character development is very much lacking here. The characters from the previous books pretty much stay the same and not much new information is learned. The author focused so much on the action sequences, and that made her characters weaker.
Speaking of which, the author went from action-heavy scenes to big drops in recapping way too much information. There didn’t seem to be a good balance of both. I found the action scenes tiring, and the amount of recapping of previous books boring.
In general, though, there were two major plot points that really bothered me. Without much spoilers, the “love/crush” building between two twelve-year-olds was odd and a bit uncomfortable for me. There isn’t a need to model these feelings at such a young age and didn’t add to the story. The other scene that was repetitive and bothered me was the constant use of medication to force someone to sleep. This way the group wouldn’t have to deal with this character’s questions and concerns. It was borderline abusive, or perhaps it was abusive. Either way, it rubbed me the wrong way.
As a warning, there are a number of fighting sequences, those who die, and those being slowly murdered. That last one was actually disturbing to read, and I would be cautious to allow certain children to read.
Overall, Gregor and the Marks of Secret did not meet my expectations, which saddens me. The only reason it isn’t getting a one is because I think the author sets up the next book nicely. Hopefully, the last in the series is better.
Perhaps those who enjoyed the previous books would enjoy this. As I said, though, I would take caution in regards to the slowly murdering scene for sensitive children.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
9 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!
Click on the links to see my reviews of other books in this series: