Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins
We took a break from the Guardian of Ga’Hoole series to get caught up on the The Underland Chronicles series which we had begun some time ago. We quickly devoured the first four books of the series and then had to wait almost a year for Ms. Collins to get this book out. It was worth the wait. D-11 and P-9 enjoyed this book as much as they did the first four we read together.
All of the books center around a pre-teen boy who accidently discovers the underground world of Regalia where a race of pale-skinned, violet eyed humans live along with their enormous bats. Regalia is peopled by other large sized species as well, some of which are friendly towards the humans and some of which are not. In the first book, Gregor discovers that the Rats have his father who has been missing in the Overland (Regalia’s name for New York City) for over two years. The Regalians regard Gregor’s visitation as a fulfillment of Bartholemew of Sandwich’s (the founder of Regalia) prophecy. They believe Gregor is the Warrior. Gregor is sure they are mistaken and that he is just an ordinary kid who ended up in a very wierd place. He goes on to rescue his father through much adventure which only cements in all of the Regalian’s minds that he is indeed the Warrior of the prophecy.
In the subsequest books, Gregor goes back, usually under duress to fulfill other prophecies made by Bartholemew of Sandwich. In each book, he discovers more about himself and about how Regalia works. There is always lots of action and mystery which kept D-11 and P-9 begging for me to read “just one more chapter, pleeeease”.
In this last book, the Prophecy of Time predicts the Warrior’s death. This is a tough one for Gregor. Everything in him just wants to escape. The Regalians need him because the prophecy predicts that unless he kills the Bane (the Goliath of the Rat race) all of Regalia will be lost. They have ways to keep him. In the subsequent book, his mother had caught the plague and in this book she is still recovering and is still too weak to travel back home. She becomes a hostage, a tool to keep Gregor in Regalia doing their will.
Suzanne Collins has a way of surprising us in each book and she did so again in this one. It was very enjoyable to read through and to try to figure out how things were going to end happily. The boys like all the action and battles. I like that Ms. Collins lets us into Gregor’s mind as he tries to work through all that comes at him. Gregor is not portrayed as some invincible hero. He is a kid with worries, doubts and even romantic feelings for the queen of the Underland, a girl his age named Luxa. There was something in each of these books for all of us. Let’s hope that Suzanne keeps putting more out and that we won’t have to wait quite so long this time around.