Monday, October 17, 2011

Gregor and the Code of Claw

Title: Gregor and the Code of Claw
Category: Fantasy
Grades: 3-8
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Date: 2007
Pages: 412

War has come to the Underland, and with it, the final prophecy of Sandwich: the Prophecy of Time, in which the death of the warrior is foretold.  While the armies of Regalia hold off the siege of rats, Gregor’s friends attempt to break the Code of Claw, a secret cipher the rats have been using to send messages through the rocks.  Gregor’s eight-year-old sister, Lizzie, finds her way to the Underland, and proves to be exactly the mind needed to help in breaking the code.  With a fair shot finally at defending the city, the armies rally, and Gregor heads toward the final battle: an ultimate match between him and the fully-grown and quite insane Bane.  Only one… or perhaps neither…will survive.

Collins is one of those rare and valued writers who has a story to tell, tells it, knows when it’s over, and stops telling it.  While the ending leaves many things unresolved, and may disappoint some readers, Collins handles the delicacy of some very complex characters with grace and dignity as she wraps up this wonderful series.  While the book is as action-packed and rapidly paced as the others, Collins still finds time to fully develop her characters, and adds those imperfections, bad decisions, and quandaries that make them so real.  Readers will enjoy the continued vibrancy of the series, the colorful adventure, and the surprising and powerful culmination of five books, and will be able to empathize with Gregor’s fear and dilemma as he faces either his own death or life when he is no longer “the warrior.” 


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