(Cover picture courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Months have passed since Gregor first fell into the strange Underland beneath New York City, and he swears he will never go back. But he is destined to be a key player in another prophecy, this one about an ominous white rate called the Bane. The Underlanders know there is only one way to lure Gregor back to their world: by kidnapping his little sister, Boots.
Now Gregor’s quest reunites him with his bat, Ares, and the rebellious princess, Luxa. They descend into the dangerous Waterway in search of the Bane, and Gregor knows what is at stake. If he does not fulfill the prophecy, his life, and the Underland, will never be the same.
Just like in the case of The Iron Daughter, this is a book that does not suffer from Book 2 Disease. In fact, I like it even more than the first book because there are many interesting new characters (Photos Glow-Glow, Zap and Howard, for instance) and a great plot that throws many twists and turns at you, especially at the end. Gregor also becomes a much more interesting character as he braves even more dangers to help protect a land he owes no true allegiance to.
What I like about this book is the fact that Suzanne Collins does not spare her characters any pain. Gregor, unlike a lot of heroes, gets injuries and these injuries actually leave scars. What a novel idea! People get scarred in real life (both mentally and physically) and Suzanne Collins injects this realism into her writing. Sometimes she goes overboard, but no one is perfect.
What is odd about Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (and really, the entire Underland Chronicles) is that it is written in a style more suited to tweens and young teens, but it contains just as much violence as The Hunger Games. I would definitely recommend this book for younger readers who are mature simply because of the violence, which is not something I would normally warn readers about. This really is an excellent book, but it does have mature content.
I give this book 4/5 stars.