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Darkness be my Friend by John Marsden

Saturday, December 12, 2009
There are only five of them left now. Ellie and her four friends, Lee, Homer, Kevin, and Fi, have reluctantly returned to New Zealand from Australia to lead more guerrilla attacks on the enemy. When they were rescued and airlifted to New Zealand, they thought the nightmare was over. But now they have been sent back to Wirrawee to guide a party of adult raiders on a planned sabotage of a strategic airfield. Something goes wrong; the adults never come back from the raid, and Ellie and her friends are again left on their own to do what they can--and must--to survive.

The 4th book in the tomorrow series, we continue the journey of Ellie and her friends and we see them deal with the violence and pain produced by the war. They continue to be in danger without the guidance of adults and it is an immersive and heart pounding adventure.

In this book I felt that the main character Ellie did so much recount of the past (before the war) for at least a quarter of the book. I felt she got angry really quickly and had strange mood swings which is understandable in her circumstances but I somehow sensed that it was a completely different character. However, recognition of the same Ellie as in the previous books picked up half way. The action occured in the last half of the book which was really good and made me fly through the pages wanting to find out what happens next. It was a rollercoaster of emotions I felt with the characters - fear, shock, anger and empathy.

A problem I had with this book, more than the previous books in the series, was the recount of Ellie's past. The author writes in a female point of view which must be hard but I find some of the things he writes aren't really what goes in the mind of females. For example, "Lots of boys in New Zealand wear shorts to school. They have a Seventh Form too and even some of the Seventh Formers wear shorts. It looks kind of silly, because they seem too old for it, but it gives you a good chance to perv on their legs" and reminiscing when Ellie and her best friend Corrie were children: "We tried to peep at the shearers through a little hole in the wall of their dunny".

Ellie learns a lot in this book, which is recounted in the Epilogue. Some of her actions at New Zealand at the beginning of the book I saw was unnecessary and uncharacteristic of her, but she regretted it and reflected that it was a bad move which was great to see.

The ending left me hanging and was quite a shocker so I can't wait for the next in the series, Burning for Revenge.



Amy said...

I've never heard of this series, this sounds pretty good, though the cover is blah.

Liviania said...

I really loved this series. I liked the recounting since I read this one years after I read the third.