Gregor and the Marks of Secret (Underland Chronicles Series #4)

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Overview

It's only a few months since Gregor and Boots returned from the Underland, leaving their mother behind to heal from the plague. Though Gregor's family receives frequent updates on her condition, they all know Gregor must return to fulfill his role as the warrior who is key to the Underlanders' survival. Accompanied by his now-talkative, potty-trained little sister Boots, still considered the honorary "princess," Gregor joins forces with another princess - 12-year-old Luxa - and Ripred the rat to defend the ...

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Gregor and the Marks of Secret (Underland Chronicles Series #4)

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Overview

It's only a few months since Gregor and Boots returned from the Underland, leaving their mother behind to heal from the plague. Though Gregor's family receives frequent updates on her condition, they all know Gregor must return to fulfill his role as the warrior who is key to the Underlanders' survival. Accompanied by his now-talkative, potty-trained little sister Boots, still considered the honorary "princess," Gregor joins forces with another princess - 12-year-old Luxa - and Ripred the rat to defend the Underlanders and the vulnerable "Nibblers" or mice, from the rat army.

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  • The Underland Chronicles Series
    The Underland Chronicles Series  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers will be pleased with this spring's crop of further adventures. In what Suzanne Collins is calling the "penultimate" adventure in her Underland Chronicles, Gregor and the Marks of Secret, the mice in the Underland begin to disappear, and queen Luxa enlists Gregor to help her find out why. (Scholastic, In the spine-tingling wrap-up to her Shadow Children series, Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Luke Garner, the third-born hidden child in a society that allows only two per family, unintentionally begins a rebellion that ends in anarchy. Ages 9-12. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Gregor and Boots travel back to the Underland, where their mother is still recovering from the plague. Anticipating a calm summer taking echolocation lessons from Ripred, the rat, Gregor first senses trouble when he is reintroduced to the Bane, the baby rat whose life Gregor once spared. The Bane has transformed into an "eight foot mountain of white fur." He has killed and eaten his caretaker, manifests mental instability, and is rapidly gathering followers. Ripred recommends that he be killed immediately to avert further trouble. But it is already too late. When Queen Luxa receives a message from the mice asking for help, she and Gregor set out secretly, only to discover that entire mouse colonies have been obliterated. The rats, led by the Bane, intend to exterminate the whole mouse race by any means possible and then attack the humans of Regalia. This fourth book in The Underland Chronicles seems primarily transitional,: identifying possible genocide, hinting at prophecies, and leaving Regalia arming to fight an onslaught of giant rats. While Gregor and Luxa brave renegade rats, volcanoes, and scorpions to save the mice, they are forced instead to watch hundreds of them die, unable to help. Gregor faces the unavoidable consequences of his decision to allow the Bane to live. He begins to mature from a boy into a warrior, almost loses his sister a second time, and even falls in love. Fans will be panting for this next installment that follows Gregor and the Curse of the Warm Bloods (Scholastic, 2005/VOYA October 2005). VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined asgrades 7 to 9). 2006, Scholastic, 336p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Nancy K. Wallace
School Library Journal
Gr 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 he's 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, Gregor's 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 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this, the 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 the mice who succored her in the jungle (Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, 2005) have also disappeared, leaving only one enigmatic Mark of Secret. Flying bat-back into the depths of the Underland go Gregor and Luxa, Luxa's cousins Howard and Hazard, Gregor's little sister Boots and the faithful cockroach Temp. 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. (Fiction. 9-14)
From the Publisher

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.

Horn Book
Suzanne Collins Gregor and the Marks of Secret: Book Four in the Underland Chronicles
341 pp. Scholastic 5/06 ISBN 0-439-79145-6 $16.99 g
(Intermediate)
"So this is how a war starts.... Not with two armies facing off, waiting for the signal to charge.... It begins much more quietly. In a room, on a field, in a remote tunnel when someone who has power decides the time has come." In this fourth installment, twelve-year-old Gregor returns to the bizarre subterranean land of archaic violet-eyed humans and giant rodents, bats, insects, and other creatures. He and his fellow Underland battle veterans set out to answer a call for help from the mice, and their quest leads to some grim discoveries -- including an abandoned mouse colony, symbols of death etched in stone and blood, and, most gruesome of all, a mass grave. Collins keeps the tension and the stakes high;
vivid description, expert pacing, and subtle character development all enhance this gripping fantasy adventure. At the conclusion, we leave Gregor heading into what promises to be an interspecies conflict of epic proportions. "Who would he be...if he survived?" Readers will have to wait for the fifth (and final?) book to find out. K.F.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439791465
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Series: Underland Chronicles Series , #4
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 88,378
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins' debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in The Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 262 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(186)

4 Star

(58)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 268 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    Read this now

    this is one of my top 10 books i've ever read in the book gregor goes into the underland every day with boots to train and hang out but one day luxa gets a call from some old friends and drags gregor on an adventure that ends up bringing a whole team in and some old characters back it is a thrilling adventure rollercoster of with epic heroism

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    I love this book

    My fourth grade teacher read the first book and got everyone hooked on it and all the others.it was a fight for the books kinda like hunger games fight to the dearh!!!!!!

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Omg awesome book

    Best book i have ever read in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    REALLY GOOD!!!!

    I love it! The whole series bring me in and make me want to read them over and over again!!!! LOVE IT

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Awsome

    I think this is a very suspenful book and think it is just as good as the hunger games series. I recomend it to every body. Susan collions is one of those rare writers that can make every book better than the last. Susan collions is my family and my favorite writer

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Great series

    This book is Harry Potter-ish. Interesting characters. Great imagination. Strong character and values based.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    awesome

    i read this book i about 5 days, and i could not put this book down so anyone, who thinks about buying this book,they should.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2012

    After a few books a series needs to find ways to evolve its stor

    After a few books a series needs to find ways to evolve its story. Where as there are plenty of exciting scenes in this fourth and penultimate book in the Underland Chronicles, it also begins to lose some of its steam. After a while its darkness has started to become wearisome and missed the opportunity to take that next step. The series doesn't need to re-invent itself, but the whole fight the villains - see the war from the villains viewpoint - the villains are still villains - someone dies is beginning to feel formulaic. That being said, ultimately, this is still a good book and should lead nicely to the next entry. Also, be prepared for great scenes involving an earthquake, violent air currents, and scorpions.

    3.5/5

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Kiersten

    I read every Underland book there is! I wish there was a 6 th book- so awesome

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    Good book

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Havent read yet but soooo excited

    These books are soo good you wont beable to pull your self away it soo good it a mixture of percy jackson and hunger games two of my favoritw seris

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Great series!!

    You won't be disappointed.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Wow!!!!!!!

    There are so many to explan it:advantures,exciting,and just as good as the hunger games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i love this series;)!!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Cant wait

    I seriously want to read this book, I love this series sooooo much! But I read them too fast. Im still waiting for an ebook version at the library. Does anyone know a place where I can get this ebook for FREE??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 11, 2011

    Wow

    Absolutely+stunning

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2011

    friken amazing

    its the ultiment book in the series

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2011

    gregor and the marks of secret

    soooooooooo great love the books cant wait to finish this book ther soooo exiting. love um :)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Absorbing!

    "Gregor and the Marks of Secret," by Suzanne Collins is the fourth book in the action-packed Underland Chronicles. Suspense builds with every chapter, making this book impossible to put down! With an interesting plot and unique characters, this book will definitely not disappoint any fans! "Gregor and the Marks of Secret" is an absorbing adventure with not one dull moment! After finishing this book, readers will want to get their hands on the fifth book, "Gregor and the Code of Claw," as soon as possible!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2006

    Something they'll read

    I teach 7th grade students, and it is very difficult to persuade many students to read. The Underland Chronicles are the first books that got these students involved in the process. I personally find the elements of suspense wonderful, and these books completely worthy of being read by adults. Having read The Marks of Secret, I only find one flaw: I have to wait an entire year to read The Code of Claw. Thanks to Suzanne Collins for helping my students fall in love with reading and me to fall back in love with it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    Amazing new chapters in the Overland saga

    This book picks up soon afer the end of 'Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods'. Gregor's mother is still recovering from the Plague in the Underland hospital. He and Boots make regular trips to visit with her and to spend time with Luxa, Hazard and the other Regalians. His battle training with Ripred continues (he is still lousy at fighting in the dark) and he soon learns of a surprising turn of events involving Bane (the white rat whose life he spared at the conclusion of 'Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane'). A party, a rhyme and a mysterious delivery lead our heroes on another quest, with Suzanne Collins' ever-expected mix of danger, humor, pathos and amazing storytelling. The stakes are high, but with a comrade like Ripred at your side (or is that throat...or on your nerves, perhaps?) our protagonists cannot help but perservere. Aside from the Newbery Award shelves, I can only think of a handful of ' Young Reader' titles that have such rich allegory and power (all in easy to read 11 point type). This series would be a great way of introducing some of the issues of our society (especially war) into the family dialogue. Its captivating in its detail and has an engaging enough cast and plot twists to involve all ages of fans.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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