Monday, July 25, 2011

Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods - Suzanne Collins

Summary:  With two prophecies fulfilled, Gregor is now focused on the Prophecy of Blood, which calls for Gregor and Boots to return to the Underland to help ward off a plague.  But this time, his mother refuses to let him go...until Ripred the rat convinces her that Gregor and Boots need to stay for only a brief meeting.  Finally, Gregor's mom relents, provided she is allowed to travel with them.

When they arrive in the subterranean city, the plague is spreading--and it has claimed one of his closest companions.  Only then does Gregor start to understand how the illness plays with the fate of all warmblooded creatures, but he still doesn't know how he can help combat it.  (Summary from back of the book and image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/)

My Review:  Gregor and Boots are growing up.  It is so nice to have a male protagonist who has such a great heart and tries in every way to be true to himself.  For that reason alone I would recommend this book. 

So far, this book is one of the most conflict filled books in the series (i.e. man vs. man, man vs. world, man vs. himself, etc.)   I probably shouldn't be surprised after reading The Hunger Games series. There is so much darkness, pain, loss, death (some unnecessary), and tragic-irony to make this book very heavy for the audience for which it's aimed.   While I've known many kids who've read The Giver and not caught half of the older messages it contains, the issues Collins introduces to such young minds does cause some concern.

The end of the book does not bring resolution.  Yes, I do realize it's a series, so I was not expecting full resolution but I was expecting a little more.  The ending leaves you discontent (I'm sure this is Collins' purpose) but, regardless, I can see kids questioning the ending or rushing to pick up the next to find out what happens.

Regardless of the darkness and lack of resolution, Collins writing rarely disappoints.  She manages to pull you right in and makes a 350+ page Children's book feel like a 100 pager.  I definitely recommend this series to those who like Collins' writing and this genre.

Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  Despite its roughly 5th grade reading level, the content and messages are quite mature.

Sum it up: Gregor is fighting something he feel he cannot win, but desperately must if he hopes to save his family.

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