“Gregor And The Marks Of Secret (Underland Chronicles #4)” by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s Fiction, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
It’s only a few months since Gregor and Boots returned from the Underland, leaving their mother behind to heal from the plague. Though Gregor’s family receives frequent updates on her condition, they all know Gregor must return to fulfill his role as the warrior who is key to the Underlanders’ survival. Accompanied by his now-talkative little sister Boots, still considered the honorary “princess,” Gregor joins forces with another princess–12-year-old Luxa–and Ripred the rat to defend the Underlanders and the vulnerable “Nibblers,” or mice, from the rat army.
I usually get a bit annoyed when books in a series don’t finish up a storyline by the end of a book. I actually think it worked for this book. I initially thought of the previous 3 books as individual stories rather than books working towards a larger theme. Now that the series is almost to the end, I’m starting to see how things have been building. The unrest in Underland is growing tremendously. No one is getting along, there’s no where for anyone to go, and something has got to give soon.
One of the things that continually throws me off with this series is the major lack of growing up of Gregor and the other characters. With similar series like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson each book takes place over a year or are set about a year apart in time. Since the books are set up like that the reader is able to watch as the characters grow up and mature. You see how things change over time. The Underland Chronicles books take place over a very short period of time. I think that it’s been less than a year from the events of book 1. Of course Gregor and the other characters do mature a bit. You can go through the things they’ve done and not mature a bit. It’s just not as much change as I keep expecting. It’s not really a problem with the book as much as it’s a problem with me.
I did like the story. There was lots of action and things are getting a bit darker. I don’t if the story is more action packed than previous installment but it definitely feels bigger. Maybe it’s because the story line is reaching the climax soon.
The bottom line? I liked it. I can’t wait to see how the story wraps up in the final book.