Book 12 – Burning For Revenge by John Marsden

Burning for Revenge - John Marsden‘Burning For Revenge’ is the fifth book in the ‘Tomorrow Series’. Only two books left!!! I can’t believe how fast I’m reading through these books. I guess part of it is the anticipation to finally be able to see where this story takes Ellie and her friends.

You can find the reviews for previous books here ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’, ‘The Dead of the Night’‘The Third Day, the Frost’ and Darkness be my Friend’. From a readers point of view it’s probably not a wise thing to review all of the books in ‘The Tomorrow Series’ one after another. But this is the order in which I’ve been reading these books and if I take too long between finishing them, writing the review while I’m already reading the next book I’ll be lost. I won’t know what happened in which book anymore because the new book continues where the last one left off. So I better get this show on the road because I’ve already read part of the next book.

This book – as far as I can tell right now – is the one with the biggest twist. It’s unbelievable! There is no way that you could have foreseen what happens in this book. It’s all about revenge … the title really says it all. I guess that in a way Ellie and her friends believe that they won’t make it much longer, the war has taken a toll on all of them and they have been struggling with the violent acts they have been forced to commit to keep themselves and each other safe. It becomes more difficult for them to believe that they will one day see end of the war or their families again and that they will ever be able to see a day where they will be free. Especially when it becomes once again clear that they are on their own.
After the Kiwi’s failed attempt to blow up – or whatever their plan was, since they never shared that information with Ellie and her friends – the newly expanded military airfield in Wirrawee and their escape from the area. They know that the enemy will be searching for them and that they won’t stop looking for them any time soon.

By sheer accident they find themselves literally in the center of the lion’s den. And all they can do is fight their way out or die trying. The problem is that no one can predict how they react when it’s a life and death situation. At this point Lee has turned into a true soldier, he does what needs to be done and seems relatively speaking ‘okay’ with what they have to do (of course this is also a front which some teenagers manage to put up when they don’t want the world to know what they think or feel). Of course he has also dealt with some personal information about his family which most likely numbed him. Homer and Ellie both use the practical knowledge of growing up on a farm to good use and they have been able to manage relatively well. Fi’s the one who probably made the biggest personal growth, even though they have seen some pretty shocking things, she’s also able to say really close to herself. The kindred spirit she was, for instance she still doesn’t swear. And she’s also often the voice of reason, especially for Ellie. I know that I stated this exact same thing in my review of the first book, it’s still true.  She – even though she lived in Wirrawee – was a city girl and now she’s has turned into a fighter. Ellie and Fi are complete opposites. She’s might not be the best shot or come up with the best ideas strategically speaking, however she steps up when anyone needs her even if she’s scared to death. The problem lies with Kevin, whatever happened to him when he was captured and the violence they recently seen has taken a huge impact on him. He’s basically catatonic and while no one really knows how to handle the situation or what to do with him they know that they have to help him. Even if he doesn’t want to be helped or if they have to force him to do certain things. They can’t leave him behind, because that would mean certain death.

Even though this is the fifth book in the series I’m reading I’m still impressed with way John Marsden manages to keep these teenagers so close to the original characters even while they grow tremendously. The way the characters interact with each other is so real, they could be your friends. He has an amazing grasp on what drives these teenagers, what makes them tick and how they would react in these extreme situations.


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