Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins

(Cover picture courtesy of Whitcoulls.)

Everyone has been trying to keep Gregor from seeing The Prophecy of Time.  That is because the final prophecy calls for the warrior’s death.  The warrior being Gregor, of course.

With an army of rats quickly approaching and time running out, Gregor must gather up his courage to defend Regalia and get his family back home safely.  There is a code that must be cracked, a new princess to contend with, Gregor’s burgeoning dark side, and a war designed to end all wars.

The fates of the Underland and the great warrior, Gregor the Overlander, masterfully unfold in this thrilling and suspenseful final installment in Suzanne Collins’s Underland Chronicles.

Suzanne Collins still hasn’t managed to end a series well, but she did manage to end her first series, the Underland Chronicles, better than The Hunger Games trilogy.

What I like about Gregor and the Code of Claw is the character development.  Gregor has come a long way since the first book and is finally accepting the role of warrior, despite the fact that the Prophecy of Time calls for the warrior’s death.  His feelings for Luxa have also developed at a very natural rate and are complicated because of all the awkwardness of a first love.  We also learn more about other characters’ backstories, especially Ripred’s, since there is more to him than meets the eye.

If you’re not going to read the series for its amazing characters, you should read it for the world-building.  The Underworld is populated with gigantic rats, mice, bats and cockroaches; it’s definitely not your stereotypical fantasy world.  Humans have adapted to their new environment, but because they still need light, they are at a distinct disadvantage to the other creatures they share their world with.

The tension between the races that has been mounting in the past two books has finally spilled over into full-scale war.  One of the good things about Suzanne Collins’ writing is how she doesn’t let characters get through violence unscathed.  The war that erupts affects everyone; no one, especially Gregor, is immune.  But one of her greatest strengths is also one of her greatest weaknesses because her endings are never satisfying.  I don’t like completely happy endings, but I certainly don’t like endings that are completely tragic either.  Suzanne Collins must find a balance between the two extremes in her future books, but alas, it’s too late for Gregor and the Code of Claw.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

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