(Cover picture courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Now, with the third prophecy fulfilled, Gregor is drawn ever deeper into a brewing crisis. For generations, rats have run the mice—or “nibblers”—out of whatever lands they’ve claimed, keeping them constantly on the move. But now the mice are disappearing, and the young queen Luxa, who credits them with saving her life, is determined to find out why.
When Gregor joins her in a fact-finding mission, he is relieved that this time, at least, there’s no prophecy on the line. But when the true fate of the mice is revealed, it is something far more sinister than Gregor or Luxa had imagined—and it points the way to the final prophecy he has yet to fulfill. Gregor’s role as warrior and his abilities as a rager are put to the test in this suspenseful, action-packed penultimate installment of Suzanne Collins’s thrilling Underland Chronicles.
Gregor and the Marks of Secret is a really great build-up to the final book, in my opinion. We learn about the aftermath of the plague in the third book, characters become much better defined and the ever-present threat of war finally becomes a reality. Honestly, what’s not to like about this book?
Unlike in The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins allows the romance to develop at a natural pace. The young love between Luxa and Gregor begins to bloom, with all of the awkwardness and heartache that it entails. Collins does not neglect relationships between other characters as well, as evidenced by Howard’s almost brotherly protectiveness of Luxa and Vikus’ rocky relationship with Solovet. These relationships are in the background, but they have certainly not been neglected.
As always, the plot moves along very quickly as Gregor rushes head-on toward his ultimate destiny. There are rarely any slow scenes, but the ones that are present are a welcome reprieve when you need to put the book down and go to sleep. Both boys and girls will enjoy this book because the themes of love and loyalty are universal and Gregor is an excellent narrator. Suzanne Collins’ Underland Chronicles have long taken a back seat to her more famous Hunger Games trilogy, but it’s time that they were recognized for the great books they are.
I give this book 5/5 stars.