Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, the second of the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins, is just as good as the first (which is saying something). (Spoilers ahead for the whole series)
I really, really like the introduction to the Bane, and how in the end everything seemed okay with him. Without knowing how the series actually ends, I would have thought that the Bane threat was over. To have that genuine hope die in books four and five gives the series a darker, more realistic feel.
I also love watching the relationship between Ares and Gregor develop- from “Why’d I bond with this guy again?” to “I would die for you, man.” Not only do I love their relationship on its own, but this sets up the stakes for the next book, as well.
There’s one little thing in particular that stands out to me that’s the theme of this post. There are a couple moments where the comfort of physical touch is emphasized. Not in a romantic way, but it just shows that people need touch. It’s a small detail, but interesting.
There’s one time when Gregor was happy that the other bats let Ares sleep with them. Another time, Twitchtip snuggled up next to Gregor. Ares and Twitchtip are both loner characters, but both had an emotional need for touch.
Is this a big deal? Not really. It’s just a little detail that makes the story seem… more accessible, I suppose. Less of ‘characters’ and more of ‘people,’ even if those people happen to be a rat and a bat.
My takeaway from this isn’t that you have to write cuddly characters- although by all means, do! Physical touch is important to, if not everyone, then more people than you’d think. Instead, I saw this as a reminder that the smallest details can bring a surprising extra layer to your story. Find out what brings stories to life for yourself and incorporate that into your work.
What types of details makes a story come alive for yourself?