Enjoyed the third and fourth book so much that I am half tempted to go in to work to retrieve the final book in the series. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods was very good. Gregor is called to the Underland for a "meeting" about a plague that is hitting all the humans, rats, and bats, but of course gets involved in the quest for the cure. It was especially interesting that his mother came along. Of course, she gets the plague and is not allowed on the adventure. Gregor learns some more about the dynamics of the royal family, and more about how evil some creatures should be.
Gregor and the Marks of Secret was a bit unusual-- by this time, Gregor's mother is staying in the Underland while she recovers from the plague, and he and Boots come to visit her. While there, they realize that "nibblers" are dying, and the Bane, whom Gregor did not kill in book 2, has grown and is trying to rally support among the rats in order to take over from the humans. I'm really curious to see how things turn out now.
One literary device that Collins uses to excellent advantage is ending many of the chapters with cliffhangers. "He did not need Howard's answer to know this was his first earthquake." "At least a hundred mice lay twisted and motionless at the bottom of the tunnel." "Waiting on the floor with their tails poised in the air were a pair of giant scorpions." This really helped me when my concentration was flagging, and this will also be helful for students who try to read a chapter a day, since they have something to look forward to when the next pick up the book.
Guess I'll have to content myself with the fifth Last Apprentice book, the second Ranger's Apprentice book, or the third Blue Bloods book, since there's no other reason to go to work (the new Destiny circulation system rolls out next Wednesday) aside from getting the last book!