Reading through this, it's obvious that the poster never read Collins' other work, the Underland Chronicles. It's ostensibly aimed for a younger audience (at least, it's shelved for a younger audience in bookstores and libraries, so make of that what you will), but in the course of five books... hell, five PAGES, you can pretty much expect people to die. They get eaten alive by carnivorous gnats, people! And when they're not dying, people are poor and life just sucks. God I love those books.