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The Underland Chronicles #4: Gregor and the Marks of Secret [Kindle Edition]

Suzanne Collins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Follow Gregor in the fourth enthralling adventure in Suzanne Collins' New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles -- with gorgeous new cover art coming July 1st!

In Book 4 of the bestselling Underland Chronicles, Gregor is drawn ever deeper into a brewing crisis. For generations, rats have run the mice out of whatever lands they've claimed, keeping them constantly on the move. But now the mice are disappearing and the young queen Luxa is determined to find out why.
Gregor and Boots join Luxa on a simple fact-finding mission. But when the true fate of the mice is revealed, it is something far more sinister than they had imagined -- and it points the way to the final prophecy Gregor has yet to fulfill. His abilities are put to the test in this suspenseful, action-packed penultimate installment of Suzanne Collins's thrilling Underland Chronicles.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–No good deed goes unpunished in the fourth installment in the popular series. Gregor and his sister Boots are regular visitors to Underland, where their mother is slowly recovering from injuries incurred in the previous episode. Gregor is supposed to be studying echolocation with his rat friend, Ripred the Gnawer, but hes doing very badly. Ripred has his own problems, largest of which is Bane, the once-sweet little baby Gnawer whom the protagonist refused to kill in Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (Scholastic, 2004). Bane, now a half-grown monster of a rat, is surprisingly charismatic yet emotionally stunted and easily controlled by the forces of evil. When Queen Luxa gets a message that the mice that saved her life in the jungle are in trouble, she and Gregor head out to investigate, accompanied by her cousin Howard, several bats, Gregors sisters, and a brave cockroach named Temp. The breathless pace, intense drama, and extraordinary challenges will leave fans clamoring for the conclusion of this fine series.–Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Kirkus Starred
In this penultimate volume in "The Underland Chronicles," Collins begins to gather herself for the grand finale. Gregor has been taking echolocation lessons with Ripred, the charismatic and violent outlaw rat, and after one session he introduces Gregor to Bane, the white-rat pup Gregor spared in defiance of prophecy (Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, 2004). Bane is now some eight feet tall and still growing, and thoroughly, dangerously mad. Shortly after this introduction, both Ripred and Bane go missing, and Queen Luxa discovers that mice who succored her in the jungle (Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, 2005) have also disappeared, leaving only one enigmatic Mark and Hazard, Gregor's little sister Boots and the faithful cockroach Tornp. A customarily eventful trip through Hades Hall to the Firelands leads the band to both the mice and Bane, who has his own Final Solution in mind for the entire mouse race. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers gasping as Gregor goes chasing another prophecy, the direst yet.

Product Details

  • File Size: 318 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0439791456
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (September 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041T52UE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It’s getting dark in here May 27, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Book four of the Underland Chronicles deals with some pretty dark stuff. It picks up the story not long after the end of book three, with Gregor’s mom still recovering in Regalia, and Gregor unwillingly continuing his echolocation lessons with Ripred the Rat.

Gregor and Boots are regular visitors down below, but things take a bad turn when Luxa receives a distress signal from the nibblers while the friends are enjoying a birthday party for their friend Hazard. Gregor and Luxa try to slip away undetected to investigate, but their plans are foiled and the expedition is forced to become a group picnic, complete with children and the ever present shrimp salad.

Gregor is relieved that for this adventure at least he is not under pressure as the key figure of a prophecy, but learns that things are not always as they seem. He encounters the fast growing Bane, and is deeply troubled by the Hitler-like aspirations of the white rat - but even more troubling is his inability to master either echolocation or the rage that transforms him into a warrior.

Although still written in age-appropriate language, within this book lies violence, death, erupting volcanoes, poison gas, deadly creatures, the genocide of a species, and the outset of war. In addition, like that other embattled hero, Harry Potter, Gregor’s hormones are beginning to warm up with similarly awkward results.

To fully appreciate this book, you’d be better off reading books one through three first, but be warned that the ending of this one tantalizingly sets the stage for the final installment “Code of Claw”, which unfortunately isn’t expected until 2007.

Amanda Richards, May 28, 2006
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Am I the only one... May 14, 2006
By molly
Format:Hardcover
...who is hopelessly obsessed with the Gregor series? The only one who puts signs up all over her bedroom announcing RIPRED RULES? The only one who has a bat drawn on the mug-coaster next to her bed? The only one who painstakingly drew computer backgrounds of Hazard and Thalia, Luxa and Aurora, Gregor and Ares, Vikus and Whatshisname, and all the other bats and humans? (I also did a wallpaper of Boots and Temp, since she doesn't have a bond). The only one who would willingly wear a self-made RIPRED RULES or OFF RIDING MY BAT T-shirt to school if the said school didn't have uniforms? The only one who even cares that Gregor and Luxa like each other, that Ripred's the greatest rat EVER -- am I the only one who is completely head-over-heels obsessed with this series?

But even through my highly unscientific lenses of obsessed reader, this book was marvelous. Ripred's pitiful condition but eternal sarcasm and hysterical remarks, and Gregor's awkward relationship with Luxa were all great, but I think my favorite part was at the end, when Ripred notices Gregor's feelings about Luxa. (This is paraphrased, forgive me if a word's misplaced.)

"Don't bother," said Gregor. "I know what you'll say. The whole thing's stupid."
"Quite the contrary," said Ripred. "I was going to say that life is short. There are only a few good things in it, really. Don't pretend that one of them isn't happening."
It was absolutely the most un-Ripred-like thing Gregor could have imagined.

Yeah, that was my favorite part. I also really liked how the author incorporated the horrors of the Holocaust into the story, to give us Overlanders, who could easily feel nothing for the nibblers as there were never any prominent mice characters, some sort of parallel.

Rating: Very Good
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gregor and The Marks of Secret - Series Number 4 October 14, 2006
Format:Hardcover
This is the 4th book in the Gregor The Underland Chronicles series. My granddaughter continually reminds me to check for the next volume of this particular book series as she loves the adventure. She began reading the series when she was 11. She is now 12 and is as much excited about the Gregor books as she was from the beginning. I've already been asked to check for the 5th book in the series, which I understand is arriving in early 2007.

My suggestion would be to make sure to start with the first book in the series as each new book picks up where the other left off leaving readers in suspense and wanting the next book right away. I've listed each title and book number below to help readers and those searching for the next volume as most do not list volume number in the title search.

Suzanne Collins has caught the attraction of kids in this series of fantasy adventures which leaves them only wanting more! I highly recommend this book.

Below are titles and volume numbers for each book in this series:

BOOK ONE IN THE UNDERLAND CHRONICLES
TITLE: GREGOR THE OVERLANDER

BOOK TWO IN THE UNDERLAND CHRONICLES
TITLE: GREGOR AND THE PROPHECY OF BANE

BOOK THREE IN THE UNDERLAND CHRONICLES
TITLE: GREGOR AND THE CURSE OF THE WARMBLOODS

BOOK FOUR IN THE UNDERLAND CHRONICLES
TITLE: GREGOR AND THE MARKS OF SECRET

BOOK FIVE IN THE UNDERLAND CHRONICLES ** COMING 2007 **
TITLE: GREGOR AND THE CODE OF CLAW
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
The "Marks of Secret" is a powerful contribution to the already excellent Gregor series. Although Suzanne Collins operates on a smaller scale (and is less interested in the kind of digressions that can flesh out the world and the characters she describes) the Gregor books are every bit as exciting -- with characters who matter and endlessly surprising plots -- as the Harry Potter books. As with J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books that use the magical world as a "safe" dimension within which young people can confront and think about real world problems, the Underland Chronicles raise important questions about violence and war, about the nature of evil, about tyranny and genocide (but also about friendship and love, loyalty and respect, honesty and care) in ways that convey the horror (and importance) of such things but without being overwhelming (or preachy) to young readers. These books would probably be ideal for about the 10-15 age group -- though of course I couldn't wait to get through it as I read it in four nights with my 10 year old daughter. This one is probably the most intense (and darkest) of the lot -- especially as it depicts the rise of a fascistic Rat leader -- but it is never oppressive or dull. The only disappointment was coming to the end. While all the other books felt like they could be continued but were in a way complete, this one clearly ends on a cliffhanger (when I said "The End" my daughter thought I was joking, that it couldn't stop there! and then she started looking at the publication dates of the other Gregor books to try and figure out how long it would take for the next one to appear!) -- if you are impatient like me and my daughter, maybe you should wait until this one comes out in paperback so that at least you will finish much closer to the publication date of the next novel!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter's 4th grade teacher read the first two books ...
My daughter's 4th grade teacher read the first two books to the class. Now a bunch of the students are reading the other 3 on their own.
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My son LOVED this series!
Published 17 days ago by Renee Vroman
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series
There has been VERY few books which have sparked my 9 year old's imagination like this series of books. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Gregory B. Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars A little darker
Another great book in the Underland Chronicles. This one is a little darker than the first 3. My 8 year old hasn't finished and am thinking it's because of all the deaths going on. Read more
Published 18 days ago by toobusyreading
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
need refund. I ordered all books in one book
Published 25 days ago by R. W. Koblegard
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
I think this is #3 in the series? I did enjoy it for its adventures & interactions but it has been my least favorite in the series so far.
Published 1 month ago by Madelyn
5.0 out of 5 stars gregor the overlander
It was interesting and I could not take my eyes off of it. Over all it was very good. Thank you for your time
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
LOVED
Published 1 month ago by LINDA BLUSE
5.0 out of 5 stars One more to go
I loved it these are the best books I have ever read one more to go
So happy and I can't wait to read the last book getting it right now
Published 1 month ago by Jessie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
my only complaint was that it ended so abruptly. i will definitely be getting the next in the series.
Published 1 month ago by anthony demarco
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More About the Author

Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children's television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Collins made her mark in children's literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles, which has received numerous accolades in both the United States and abroad. In the award-winning The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#55 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#4 in Books > Teens
#55 in Books
#63 in Kindle eBooks
#4 in Books > Teens
#55 in Books
#63 in Kindle eBooks

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Topic From this Discussion
Anyone surprised at what Luxa, Ripred, Aurora. and Gregor looked like on...
Luxa looked BIZARRE to me. I mean, I knew she cut her hair short, but not...that...short. And SPIKY! Who told the artist they should paint her hair SPIKY?
Mar 18, 2007 by molly |  See all 9 posts
was anyone else really mad at the auther in the end?
Yeah, I hated that. I mean, come on, Ms. Collins, you didn't have to do THAT...but I guess it was necessary. I mean, it's not like she could end with Gregor going back to the Overland like she did in previous books...
Feb 20, 2007 by molly |  See all 7 posts
How much do you like the book and why?
I like it's storyline. Who's your favorite character?
Jan 23, 2007 by Anonymous |  See all 21 posts
Book on CD
Probably so. It took them a while to release those on CD, but since they did those, I would imagine they would do that for this one as well.
Aug 27, 2006 by George Buttner |  See all 2 posts
Anyone know Gregor's last name?
i think that is weird that the auther didn't give him a last name. maybe she couldn't come up with one.
Feb 24, 2007 by J. Boman |  See all 3 posts
Gregor and Howard on book4 and Luxa wow! Be the first to reply
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