Book 9 – The Dead of the Night by John Marsden

The Dead of the Night - John MarsdenThe Dead of the Night‘ is the second book in the Tomorrow Series. When I reread the first book I couldn’t wait to finally continue the story. That was partly due to the fact that I am finally able to read where this story continues. I mean, if you’ve read my review of the first book you know that I literally waited twenty years for this. Through all of those years of and on this story came back to me. And of course also because the first book ended so abruptly and left so many questions.

When the first book ended I knew that there had to be more to the story – well anyone who read that book would probably feel the same way because there was no real ending, it was literally blown wide open – so many questions and definitively not enough answers. The war literally ain’t over, the families aren’t reunited and as long as that doesn’t happen in one way or another. The story isn’t over in my opinion and luckily I wasn’t the only one who thought so since there six other books in this series and then three more books which are also written from Ellie’s perspective. Other than that I have no idea what those books are about because I haven’t read anything about them. I don’t want to get spoiled so that’s all I know at this point. However if I’m not sick of this series by the time I reach the last book I might go ahead and read those as well.

The last part of the first book was a true roller-coaster ride, I don’t want to reveal too many details in my reviews because I want to get other people interested in these books – I really think they are that good. So I am going to try and write a review without revealing too much.

Ellie and her friends attacked a very important strategic point for the invaders. They are effectively crippling the way they have been working since the invasion. Due to the fact that the invasion was timed so perfectly and happened so unexpectedly, they never really encountered much resistance. Also a lot of the soldiers are young and unexperienced and it’s obvious that they are not by choice here.  The whole scene is written at a pace which is so intense – it reads so smoothly that it feels like you’re watching the scene of a movie,  it goes from nail bitting to extreme euphoria in a matter of sentences and when you think they made it all out, the most devastating part happens. And then it literally says ‘the end’.

This second book continues a couple of weeks after the first book ended. Ellie and her friends have returned to ‘Hell’ (the place they’ve been calling home, the camping ground surrounded by mountains where they stayed when the invasion happened). They are numb and basically spiraling into depression. The outcome of their action – as successful as it was in regards of crippling the enemy (or at least make things more difficult for them) there was a devastating outcome for the group.

Now with only six members left they need to find a way to get their steam back. Ellie was asked by the group to write down everything that they did so that if something happened to them someone might find it and know what they did. It was important to them and Ellie promised them that she would be honest. However when they read what she actually wrote they weren’t so happy. The whole situation combined with Ellie’s brutally honest report of the events have caused some tension in the group. And who could blame them, being in such a difficult situation. They want to be alone, or at least get away from one another. But there is no place to go and the six of them is all they got and that is going to cause tension sooner rather than later. Which is only natural.

This feeling of needing something different is what finally gets them away from Hell, they want to see what’s on the other side of Hell. The opposite side of Wirrawee, they hope to find more people who are free like they are. And hope that they can join them. The plan starts to form, however Chris decides that he wants to stay behind. The others plan on taking a trip which will last a couple of days but promise him that they’ll get back to Hell. Hopefully with some good news. The route they want to take is following the stream which runs through Hell through the other side of the mountains.

That is where they first meet a group of grown-ups who call themselves ‘Harvey’s Heroes’. The men in the group act like they are going to safe the country one run down truck after another and they are lead by an man named Harvey. The women are there to maintain the camp and make sure the men get everything they need. From the second they set foot in the camp the boys and girls are split up. And especially Ellie is offended by the way they are being treated. They treat them like they are little kids who know nothing and don’t believe that they were the ones who wrecked the bridge. Fortunately they don’t stay long – another huge event forces them to run for their lives and thankfully they all make it back to the entrance of Hell. But they have literally lost everything they brought with them and when they arrive back at their campsite they also find that Chris is gone. The campsite is in good shape so Chris obviously wasn’t taken by the enemy. Eventually they decide to go look for him in the most obvious places they can think of, their old homes and Wirrawee.

By the time they reach Wirrawee – they still haven’t found Chris – it has become obvious that the invasion was aimed to allow settlers to come to Australia and now that the area is seemingly under control they are moving into the farms. Which makes it increasingly hard for Ellie and her friends to move around. Also more parts of Wirrawee are now being used again. One of them being Fi’s old street, since this is the street where the biggest houses are situated in town they are being used by high ranking army personnel. And they make a great target for their next mission especially when Ellie sees Harvey walking around like he owns the place. He’s obviously a traitor.

I love how John Marsden allows these teenagers to do great things, real action hero stuff and at the same time also allows them to feel all the emotions. They aren’t just running around like headless chickens from one place to another. There is time where their emotions play a huge part as well – good and bad both get a time. And I love how each character brings something different to the table, their own set of skills and their own habits – as strange as they might be. At times they get along and at other times they don’t and that is fine because that is what life is, that is how teenagers – all people even – are. Ellie’s group is smart and resourceful and they can truly take care of themselves but they long for a grown up to take over from them.

I’m behind on my reviews! This one should have been posted a while ago, I finished reading the book June 7th. And I’m almost done with the third book in the series, only 20 pages to go at this point. 

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