Thursday, 7 June 2012

Darkness, be my Friend by John Marsden

Title: Darkness, be my Friend
Author: John Marsden
Publisher: Pan
ISBN: 978-0-330-36005-0
Pages: 274
Series: Tomorrow #4
Type: Young Adult Action/Adventure
Source: Gift

Five months after their rescue, Ellie and her friends have been recuperating in New Zealand and trying to deal with the loss of their friend Robyn. Now their rescuers need their help - the New Zealand troops want to go behind enemy lines...and they need local guides. Soon the teenagers are back in Hell, but when something goes wrong the mission becomes fraught with tension and the inevitable question - will they ever escape Wirrawee again.

This is the fourth book in the Tomorrow series (after Tomorrow When the War Began, The Dead of Night and The Third Day, the Frost) and has a different tone to the previous books in the series. The previous book saw some massive twists and turns, not least of all the death of Robyn and this book mostly deals with the psychological consequences.

The book begins in New Zealand, but the narrative feels forced and lacks the spark of the previous books. Once the group returns to Wirrawee the low-key tone flows easier and makes more sense. After all the characters were rescued and given the opportunity for normal lives, but chose to return to their home and start their fight again. This time they are out of practice, and the drama comes not from the risks they take but from the mistakes they make.

The level of introspection also means that at times news important to characters other than Ellie gets covered very quickly without the detail previously seen. It is interesting to see how Ellie deals with her choices, but I wish the other characters had gotten a bit more attention.

All in all this was a good read and I'm looking forward to Burning for Revenge.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 7/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 42/50

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