Friday, August 26, 2011

REVIEW: The Dead of Night by John Marsden

It's been a really long time since I've been as excited as I am about a series as I am right now with the Tomorrow series by John Marsden. In this, the second book in the series, The Dead of the Night, I was just as drawn into the story, drawn to Ellie's voice and the other characters as well as the emotions and decisions and the action and these teenagers struggle to survive and to make a difference.

The Dead of the Night by John Marsden follows on a few weeks after the shocking ending to Tomorrow, When the War Began. Ellie and her friends are still in their hidden valley (which they call Hell) and are pretty shaken up with the departure of two of their friends. The balance seems to have shifted and without their two friends, they've lost their hope and their momentum.

A decision is made pretty early on into The Dead of the Night that they need to shake themselves awake and start preparing for more of the worst. Their families are still being held hostage by foreign invaders and it's beginning to get colder. Ellie and her friends decide they need to stockpile more food and supplies, they need to go after their two missing friends and they need to take stock of their surroundings to find out the situation in other places beyond their secluded little family.

Honestly, I really love this series, but I'm also finding it a little difficult to describe just what it is that I really love about this story or these characters so much. Ellie and the rest of them are dealing with something really horrible and disturbing - a complete change in everything they knew. And they have to come up with the strength to keep going, to plan ahead, to continue rebelling and using what they know and what little they have in order to provide for themselves as well as strike a blow against the people who have taken everything away from them. It also raises some thought-provoking questions about life and death and what it means to take someone else's life.

And as well as being this exciting and dangerous story about a bunch of teenagers making it on their own and blowing stuff up (which happens a lot, to my utter amusement and joy!) but there's also some really complicated and emotional connections between these friends as they navigate new relationships and heading into territory. I'm so seriously excited and anxious to dive into the third book and continue on with this story. Why has it taken me so long to get to these books?!


  1. I agree, this is a fabulous series! I love Australian YA anyway (it's become a bit of an obsession, in fact) but these books really blew me away. It's such a realistic scenario and the way John Marsden portrays the relationships and tensions between the characters is incredible. I'd recommend it to anyone.

  2. Thanks for the comment Emma! We are in full agreement there :) I adore this series so much.. and it's rare for me to be this excited about the next book in the series but I really just can't wait.

  3. I love watching people discover and love this series!

  4. To be fair, it was always hard to get hold of this series in the UK, I read Tomorrow, When The War Began while I was backpacking down under and loved it, but when I couldn't find any more to the series after I got home - I kinda gave up looking. Now, 5 years later and the books are easies to find! Yay! :)

  5. Darren - I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing a lot more posts about this series from me as I really get stuck into it :)

    Mel - I was sort of despairing about finding them as well and considered buying them all on the internet when I luckily found ALL 8 books in the series in a charity shop. I bought 8 books for £4. Was fantastic.


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