Collins, Suzanne. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane. Scholastic, 2005. 358 pages. PLB $13.36, ISBN 978-1-41568-450-4 ; TR (mass market) $6.84, ISBN 978-0-439-65624-5
TL;DR: Do I recommend this book? Yes!
Part of a series? Yes — the Gregor the Overlander series (The Underland Chronicles).
After his last adventure in the Underland, Nerissa handed Gregor a scroll to “reflect upon” while he was in the Overland. As well as his worries about the missing Queen Luxa, this prophecy has kept Gregor pretty occupied of late, particularly since he literally must use a mirror to read Sandwich’s prophecy. The eerie prophecy calls for a curse and a cure…but what can it mean? This question is soon answered when Ripred informs Gregor that he and Boots MUST return to the Underland in order to help a cohort determine how to fix a plague affecting only mammals (warmbloods) of the Underland. Gregor’s mom refuses to let him go, but the “escort” the rats send to ensure Gregor’s arrival in the Underland prove very convincing. Gregor and Boots may go to the Underland…with Gregor’s mother Grace in tow. Quickly, Gregor learns that this was never meant to be a short trip; instead, Gregor and his sister are needed for all of the Underland to seek the cure to this plague and save those whose lives hang in the balance … particularly Ares, Gregor’s bond, as well as other friends from his last adventure. Seeking the cure out in the jungle with Ripred, two other rats, Boots, her cockroach friend Temp, and other assorted adventurers, Gregor must focus on the task at hand while also wishing for his friend Luxa to be found. Will the party find the cure? Can the sick warmbloods be saved?
Critical Evaluation/Reader’s Comments:
I still love Gregor’s voice — hearing him ask “How you doing man?” of his Underland friends is pretty funny, especially given the Regalians’ formal speech. Ripred has a nice role in this one, and he can be counted upon for both his battle know-how and his own (rather dark) sense of humor. There is real peril and loss in this novel, but it is handled well.
Curriculum Ties/Library Use:
Grade Level: 3-6
Awards and Starred Reviews:
Horn Book Magazine starred 04/01/06