It took me a little longer than I anticipated, but I finally finished the Gregor series. Contrary to Suzanne Collins' usual style, book four ended on a cliff-hanger and book five continues the story right from that point.
Gregor once again finds himself wrapped up in a conflict in the Underground. Soon-to-be-Queen Luxa has declared war on the rats, and Gregor finally learns what "The Prophecy of Time" has to say about his involvement. We heard about this prophecy in the last book, but no one would tell Gregor what it says, however, Collins does not make us wait much longer - Gregor finally gets to read the prophecy within the first chapter of book five - and he learns that this prophecy calls for his death.
Gregor must face his fears all while grappling with the questions of the looming war. Is it right? How can you distinguish your friends from you enemies? What is it that causes one to become evil? Are they born evil, or do outside influences make them that way? Don't we all have some evil in us or our pasts?
Many tough questions for a book aimed at upper-elementary readers. Collins seems to be promoting an anti-war message, but the book never feels preachy. My one complaint of the series is that the ending is a little too ambiguous for my tastes. Gregor's future is left largely unexplained. I would have liked a little more resolution than offered, but on the whole I really enjoyed the series and would highly recommend it.