When the first book ended, I wondered how Collins would bring Gregor back to the Underland. After all, he left with no intention of ever returning. I needn’t have worried, as Collins had this issue well under control with a plausible reason for him to return and stay there.
Gregor was needed back to fulfill a second prophecy, known as The Prophecy of the Bane, about a legendary, large white rat known as the Bane that would plunge the Underworld into chaos. Gregor’s job is too stop the Bane.
The strength of this book is how it picks up where the second book left off–there is no happily ever after. Ares, despite not being exiled, is alone and despised. Gregor’s father is sick and weak, so now his mother has an extra person to take care of. A nosy neighbor keeps asking questions. Gregor has scars that he needs to disguise. These details are so clever. Collins has clearly thought out her world carefully.
Book two in the series is just as strong, exciting, and surprising as the first one. We get to learn a little more about the Underworld creatures–Shiners in particular, which are gluttonous, enormous fireflies.