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Gregor and the Code of Claw (Underland Chronicles, Book 5) Paperback – May 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 395 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Underland Chronicles

A New York Times Bestselling Series

A USA Today Bestselling Series

A Book Sense Bestselling Series

*"Gregor's luminous, supremely absorbing quest takes place in a strange underground land. . . . Creature depictions are soulful and the plot is riveting. Wonderful." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*"Collins does a grand job of world-building, with a fine economy of words. Unlike Gregor who cannot wait to leave, readers will likely find [the Underland] to be a fantastically engaging place." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

*"[An] exceptional debut novel, a well-written, fast-moving, action-packed fantasy. [S]ure to be a solid hit with young fantasy fans." —Booklist, starred review

From the Author

SUZANNE COLLINS’s debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in the Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. Also a writer for children’s television, Ms. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 730 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; Reprint edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439791448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439791441
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Wow. There isn't much else to say after finishing this book, other than, "Why can't there be any more?" For all the fans of the Underland Chronicles: realize that if you thought this book would help wrap things up in a way that left you satisfied with just five books, you shall be very disappointed. Sure, things are wrapped up, but the ending is sad. Heartbreakingly.

I don't even just mean the deaths, almost-deaths, and debilitating illnesses that happen to characters we've known and loved since they stole our hearts in book one -- though certainly there are enough of them. Just the sadness of leaving this behind is awful enough. Never since Lord of the Rings have I been so miserable to leave a world behind. While many people agree that certain parts, particularly a certain romance brewing since book 3, were not wrapped up nearly to their liking (and I agree! Wholeheartedly!) I also think that there is definite room for imagining here. Better yet, why not write a sequel, Ms. Collins? There are plenty of discussion threads on this page to give you ideas.

Loss is a key theme in this book, almost as key as the theme of War -- right or wrong? Gregor experiences loss of a kind he has never imagined. Sure, there were deaths before, but apart from a few he has never experienced agonizing, why-do-I-get-up-in-the-morning pain. And in this book he gets far more than his share of it.

Despite the fact that this book doesn't end happily, (the Underlanders' farewells were much too short for me) it has given us our share of good memories. How many books will ever make us feel affection for a roach or a mouse or a giant, sarcastic talking rat, for heavens' sake? How many times have we found ourselves thinking about ways the Underland could actually exist?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
/I / I/ \ \ . II\ I// \ / . /I II/ \ . I/ \ I// II\\ / \ .

Ha! Got you there, haven't I?

The title of this review is written in the Code of Claw*, so you'll have to read the book and then listen for my scratching, scratching, scratching and the tapping, tapping, tapping, but I warn you - TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!!

The fifth and final installment in the Underland Chronicles brings everything together in epic scale, as foretold by The Prophecy of Time. This prophecy contains two lines that everybody has been hiding from Gregor, the twelve year old New Yorker now known as the Warrior.

WHEN THE MONSTER'S BLOOD IS SPILLED,
WHEN THE WARRIOR HAS BEEN KILLED

As you can see, a grim fate awaits our hero - or does it? As readers of the series will know by now, the prophecies of Bartholomew of Sandwich are sometimes open to many interpretations, but as this one seems pretty cut and dried, Gregor has to make the decision to stay in the Underland, or return to the relative safety of the Overland.

Several factors limit his options, and this would have been a very short book had he chosen to flee, but things get even more complicated with the arrival of another member of the family down below, bearing bad tidings of those above.

Meanwhile, the Gnawers have joined forces with a long forgotten group of Underland creatures, and spurred on by the insane Bane, they have launched an all out war against Regalia. An alliance has been formed between the Humans, Fliers, Crawlers, and Nibblers, with a little help from the neutral Spinners, but the key to their survival lies in breaking the Code of Claw, which the Gnawers are using to transmit information.
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Format: Hardcover
There are many writers who've been writing fantasy drected towards young adults nine and over, but no one--save J. K. Rowling--does so as masterfully as Suzanna Collins. In no other fantasy series currently being published (not Charlie Bone, Septimus Heap, Pendragon, Artemis Fowl, etc) can one find such a deep and satisfying story arc as the tale of The Underland Chronicles.

That being said, "The Code of Claw" is the best of the series. To call it a fitting conclusion would be an understatement, because it is literally shocking how prose that seems simple actually tells a tale strewn with complex emotions with more twists and turns than an episode of "24." Every chapter makes the reader want to read "just one more" until there is nothing left to read, because it was all hungrily digested.

Collins' graphic depiction of the war going on in the Underland automatically takes her out of the category of those writers who talk down to young readers. But it is her attractive, yet flawed, characters who make this book what it is. The early parts of the book lack the action of the first four, but I am inclined to say that it is for the best. The moments of conversation and preparation for the climax of the war and the book were among the most poignant I've read. How could you not love Ripred, Gregor, Boots, Luxa, Ares, Temp, Vikus, and so many, many more? I'm just glad that Collins took the time to let relationships develop, and gave each of them a fitting send-off at the end of the book.

One thing I must urge all you readers to do is to not pick up "The Code of Claw" thinking it can be read as a standalone. An understanding of the events of the first four books is required to appreciate this book for what it's worth, and that's a lot.
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