The Dead of the Night (The Tomorrow Series) by John Marsden
|The Dead of the Night (The Tomorrow Series) by John Marsden|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Gripping - if rather bleak - continuation of Marsden's Tomorrow When The War Began series. Not quite up to the excellent first book but definitely worth reading.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: January 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
As always when I review sequels, spoiler warning for Tomorrow When The War Began - read further at your own risk!
Months after the invasion chronicled in the first book in this series, Ellie and her friends are still fighting against the enemy. Their latest plan - to rescue Kevin, who's imprisoned, and Callie, who's in a coma, after the ending of the first novel. Can they succeed?
Those who've read, and enjoyed, Tomorrow When The War Began will be pleased to know that Marsden keeps the action just as fast and furious here. If anything, actually, it's a quicker-paced book, perhaps because there's no need to spend any time establishing the characters. I also think the romance still works very well - in contrast to some books in the genre where it seems to overpower the main storyline, in this series it seems to be a natural response to the youngsters' realisation that death could be just around the corner for any of them. In addition, Marsden's character development continues to be strong, with narrator Ellie and the hot-tempered Homer being the two stand-outs. The arguments between these two in particular about the best way to progress, and the teenagers in general trying to each decide what they personally feel justified in doing in response to the invasion, make it decidedly more thought-provoking than some of its many rivals are.
While I'm impressed by the book as a whole, though, I'm tempering my praise slightly because it seemed to be a little too overwhelmingly dark for me at points. There are certainly a few triumphs for the heroes but an awful lot of the book involves them being in terrible positions and the ending suffered from being rather too much of a cliffhanger for my tastes.
Despite those qualms, I'm certainly enjoying this as a series and would happily recommend it. I'm about to start book three myself and am looking forward to finding out what happens to the group - although with seven altogether and a follow-up series, I'm expecting a few more of the cliffhangers to come!
For another tale of teenagers left without any adults due to the outbreak of war, then How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff is less action-orientated but completely spellbinding.
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