Author: John Marsden
Genres: war fiction, adventure, adrenaline
Rating: 5 stars!
Summary: At last, the final episode of the gripping Tomorrow series by wildly popular Aussie author John Marsden has crossed the Pacific, and this concluding chapter in the lives of Ellie, Fi, Homer, Kevin, and Lee may be the most exciting one yet. Informed by Colonel Finley that the military is making a move that could be compared to the D-day attack of WWII, the outback teen guerillas know that the end of the bewildering war that changed their lives is drawing near. Armed with plastic explosives and grenades, courtesy of the New Zealand Army, they have been instructed to "spread chaos and confusion behind their (enemy) lines in every way, shape and form." For Ellie and company, this means targeting a hostile refueling station and train tracks. Of course, nothing is ever easy. There are still the feral kids to worry about and the dismal discovery that soldiers have infiltrated Hell, their only secured hiding place in the bush. As The Other Side of Dawn rockets at breakneck speed towards its stunning climax, only one thing is certain: there is no guarantee that any of them will make it through this last conflict alive.
This is a first...I've read this entire seven-book series all in one year. It's the longest series I've stuck to, besides Max Ride and Harry Potter. And it's just as worthy and awesome! I wish it didn't have to end.
These books have been a great cure to "so many books, what should I pick up for a relaxing read in between?" Now that may sound weird considering these are war books and not a bit relaxing, but over the past year, I've become so attached to Ellie and her friends, reading the next one was like a comfortable visit to see them all.
Now, I haven't written reviews on every single book. But I did review the first book on here, at the beginning of this blog. And to this day, it's the most viewed review I've ever written. I really wish this series'd get more publicity here in the States, but I know you guys in Aussie appreciate it's greatness. ;)
So there's a few spoilers mentioned ahead from the previous six books...I mean, it's kind of hard not to include some accidentally. But I'll try my best, and also not include any from this one...even though it's realllly hard not too. Lots of my opinions have to do with major events that would spoil for the not-yet-readers.
I'm a normally peaceful person...pacifist. War books are a turn off for me. Not this series though. And I think the reason I love them so much, is because of the intense psychology involved. None of it is exaggerated to sound cooler, people die. A lot. Friends change, relationships are extremely unstable and this is war, and it sucks.
Expanding on the relationships. For the first three books, romantic relationships were very present. But as the story moved along, there was less time for that, and more time to figure out if your friends could hold your back in a shootout. I liked that, and the romances in here I never really liked in the first place. Well, except Homer and Fi. They were awkwardly sweet for a while.
Ellie's not one of my favorite protagonists. Lots of decisions she makes, and things she does I did not agree with and I got mad at her sometimes. I think that's because if I were in her shoes, I wouldn't be able to handle anything at all, just end up like Kevin did with a nervous breakdown and hinder my friends for two books worth of adventures. So I admire for her strength of what had to be done, but it makes me sad to think she's my age and had to kill so many people.
Homer, to the very end, remained my favorite character. He always says the wrong thing, but that keeps things just a little bit brighter sometimes and I could tell he cared so much about his friends. Fi went through the most character development throughout the year-and-a-half-long war; from a girly city girl afraid to misplace her make-up bag, to a loyal best friend of Ellie's and not afraid to blow stuff up. She actually enjoyed it a lot more than she should have.
The ending...epilogue...man, I was kind of a mess. There is obviously no happily ever after; that would just be inconsistent and stupid. But it's realistic, and scary because of that. Marsden did an excellent job at tying everything up, especially some ends that had been loose for a few books. Ellie's troubles are not over, and she has a hard time ahead of her still...and that's pretty much all I can say without even hinting at how the book ends. Throughout the entire book I had no idea how it would all end up, so I want to keep that feeling for you guys too. Just know I got chills a few times, and cried a bit.
I could go on and on with every detail in the entire series, but this is too long already, and I'll just let you get to reading the book, or series, if you haven't started already.
The movie for Tomorrow, When the War Began just appeared on my Netflix the other day. So after screaming in excitement, I watched it. And it was perfect!!! Totally good job, especially the casting! I recommend seeing it whether you've read the book(s) or not! Can't wait for the second one.
From some Goodreads browsing I found, to my delight, a follow-up series! The Ellie Chronicles! I'm very interested to read those, and I hope my library has them...BUT don't even look at the page unless you want entire series spoilers like I did a few months ago. Not on purpose. *headdesk* You've been warned.
Alright, now I need another long series to get addicted to! Anyone? :)