Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane: Book Two in the Underland Chronicles
By Suzanne Collins
Published by Scholastic Books

I decided to read the Underland Chronicles after reading another of Collins' books. I chose to write the review of this book first and, in particular, the second book in the series because I think it is the best of the series and could easily stand alone without the remainder of the series.

Will I understand what is happening if I haven't read the first book? That is the question I always ask myself but Collins does a good job of introducing much of the back story along the way without dumping it all at the reader in the first chapter.

I have to say that the first book in this series, Gregor the Overlander, was a bit of a sad disappointment for me. I enjoyed her Mockingbird series but the first book just didn't have the depth, the description or the explanation for the characters' feelings and actions. After doing some research, I realized that Collins came from a background of writing for television which explains much of the lack of detail that the first book needed. However, my nine-year-old has begun the first book and is highly enjoying it.

This book, however, really developed the characters and created a more carefully laid and expansive plot. Gregor is an eleven year old boy from New York City who had an adventure in the last few months. He and his little sister, Boots, discovered a whole different world underneath the ground called Underland. In their adventures, they fulfilled an ancient prophecy and were able to rescue their father who had been missing for some time. Now that their father is home but not fully recovered from his ordeal, Gregor thinks his days in Underland are over. Then his sister is kidnapped and Gregor is forced to return to Underland in order to save her. He again faces the humans of Underland and all the giant creatures - bats, cockroaches, spiders and rats to name a few. While following another prophecy, he must face the consequences of is actions, make adult decisions and generally grow up quickly while journeying deep into enemy territory.

How did this book speak to my faith? This book reminded me that following God does not always make a person popular. Gregor kept trying to follow the prophecy and the image that everyone in Underland thought of him as a hero, a warrior. This often got him into trouble. However, when he made a decision based upon what he had been taught as the right thing to do, he ended up making the correct choice for that time. If he had tried to follow prophecy, life in Underland would have been very different. The prophecy does end up being fulfilled but not in the way everyone else believed it should. And Gregor makes a lot of enemies when he chooses to do the right thing. Yet, he comes through it as a stronger and better person.

Following God rather than the crowd can make you less popular but a stronger and better person.

I highly recommend Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane.

Happy reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

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