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Saturday, 22 January 2011

Review: The Dead of Night

Author: John Marsden

Release date: first published in Australia 1994, this US reprinted edition 2006
Genre: Action / Dystopia?
Target audience: 12+
Publisher: This edition Scholastic US

Summary from Amazon:
A few months after the first fighter jets landed in their own backyard, Ellie and her five terrified but defiant friends struggle to survive amid a baffling conflict. Their families are unreachable; the mountains are now their home. When two of them fall behind enemy lines, Ellie knows what must happen next: a rescue mission. Homer, the strongest and most unpredictable among them, is the one to take charge. While others have their doubts about his abilities, Homer has no choice but to prove them wrong - or risk losing everything to the enemy.

Tomorrow When the War Began, Book 1 Tomorrow Series Review here

The Dead of the Night, Book 2 Tomorrow Series


WARNING: This review has a slight spoiler for the first novel in the series.

The Dead of the Night sees us return to Hell with Ellie and her friends as they struggle to come to terms with the great loss they endured at the end of Tomorrow When the War Began. It is a story about moral choices, about finding the courage to put yourself at risk time and again and most importantly, it is about endurance.

Ellie, Homer, Lee, Robyn, Fi and Chris all return to Hell. At first they are all lost to their shock and anger that the enemy managed to damage them so cruelly. The time comes when sitting around and wondering about the unmentionable fear in their hearts gets too much and they decide to take action. These six teens are transformed from high school kids into freedom fighters. The days of worrying about assignments are over. Now they worry about weapons, strategy and deciding on effective targets for their night time operations. The war is really just beginning for them as they journey deeper into the dark truth of what it means to go behind enemy lines.

Marsden continues to tell the tale of these teens through Ellie’s viewpoint. She records their story with a painful accuracy so much so that the others are rather resentful of her honesty at the beginning. Yet it is the friendship and love between the group that keeps them going.

In The Dead of Night the invading army begin to clear out the natives’ homes and prepare them for the settlers to move into. It also sees our teens find a band of adults who are free from the enemy’s grip. At first Ellie and the others feel relief at finding a group of adults. They think that they can now give the responsibility over to the people who are supposed to make big decisions. But it isn’t age that matters in times of war; it is having a leader who makes the right choices.

This novel is just as gripping as the first in the series. Truly, a page turner The Dead of Night has been yet again gasping for the next book in the Tomorrow series. I can’t help but ask myself at the end of finishing this book this question: What type of person can find the courage to kill someone in cold blood? Could I ever be such a person? This is the moral question at the heart of this book and it really has the power to make you think.

Read for the Aussie YA Challenge 2011


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review, Becky! I like novels that sort of test one's moral compass, that's why I think I'd like this series, not to mention that the two books so far sound interesting. Great question: who would kill in cold blood? I guess some people just...do. It's not so simple, of course, but simply people really just do.

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Awesome review! I love this series and are so glad you are enjoying it :)

Lauren said...

I can't believe I haven't this one yet! Sounds like more of the same awesomeness found in the first book in the series. Interesting that the others might feel uncomfortable with the way that Ellie 'narrates' what happens.

prophecygirl said...

I need to read this series don't I? You've just reminded me!

I Want To Read That said...

I ADORE this series! It's one of my all time favourites. Really pleased you are enjoying it too:)