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Suzanne Collins – Gregor and the Code of Claw

June 26, 2017

34. Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins (2007)
The Underland Chronicles, Book 5

Read my review of book:
1. Gregor the Overlander
2. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
3. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
4. Gregor and the Marks of Secret

Read By: Paul Boehmer
Length: 9h 03min (413 pages)

Genre: Mid-grade, Fantasy

Started: 07 July 2016
Finished: 13 July 2016

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I wanted to finish the series, of course.

To save the humans
from the rats, the prophecy
says Gregor must die.

Summary: Gregor has faced many threats in his time in the Underland, and has been identified by the prophecies as the Warrior, who has helped to defend the Underlanders against the rat hordes under command of the Bane, a giant white rat who is most likely insane. But now Gregor is confronted with one final prophecy, The Prophecy of Time, which – like most prophecies – makes little sense, except for one thing: it very clearly predicts that the Warrior will be killed. As an army of rats approach the city of Regalia, Gregor tries keep his family safe while simultaneously helping the human forces to prepare their defense, and trying to keep control of his Rager nature before it consumes him. But the key to winning the ultimate battle for the fate of Regalia might not be Gregor at all. Instead, everything depends on the rats’ secret communications… communications that are conveyed in a seemingly unbreakable code.

Review: This book was a satisfying conclusion to the series, at least on most fronts. It’s pretty action-packed, although it felt more contained than other books – the action is happening over a relatively short time scale, and within a relatively small geographical area. Along with all of the action, though, there’s also a good mix of strategy and thinking and planning, instead of 100% fighting, which helped balance things out. Everything, both the strategizing and the battle scenes, is well-described and easy to follow/visualize, which is not always the case for me.

I found the emotional aspect of this to be a little bit more of a mixed bag, however. The resolution to the “Warrior will be killed” part of the prophecy was glaringly obvious to me from the beginning of the book (because, really, I’ve read fantasy novels before. I know how this whole “prophecies that seem to clearly say one thing but might mean something totally different” thing works. Also, spoiler alert, mid-grade/YA novels tend not to end with the death of their protagonist.) The romance angle to the story ended somewhat less satisfyingly than I was expecting, although it was probably more realistic than a more satisfying ending would have been. But the emotional heart of this novel, for me, was Lizzie, and her coming into her own. I particularly loved her relationship with Ripred, and his ability to calm her panic attacks – I legit got choked up during that part, which was unexpected from a kids’ book that features giant talking cockroaches. All in all, this book did an good job wrapping up the series while remaining engaging and fun to read. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Definitely don’t start with the last book in the series. But the series as a whole is unique in its story and setting, and should be entertaining for mid-grade readers as well as older readers who need a bit of a break but don’t want something that’s entirely fluff.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Words by Annie, and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Gregor’s back pressed into the cold stone floor as he stared up at the words on the ceiling.

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