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Apocalypse (Tomorrow #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  37,917 Ratings  ·  2,394 Reviews
When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be wit ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 282 pages
Published May 24th 2000 by J'ai lu (first published 1993)
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Kelly I think it develops more throughout the series. It's not overly romantic but there is some.
Shelby Rooks okay, what I did was; I didn't read the first book. i watched the movie. I liked it, so i read the rest of the series. it was great!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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aussie teens are no joke. if they ever decide to band up and take over new york, we should be very afraid. these kids know how to mobilize and all that outback tends to athleticize a body. our chubby doritos-eating teens do not stand a chance. but i would totally read that book.

i truly love teen survival tales, and this one scratched my itch, and there are SIX MORE BOOKS!! i mean, hells yeah! that is a lot of surviving! american survival stories tend to only go trilogy. oh, you hardy aussies, yo
Jubilation Lee
My mother clearly failed Parenting 101. She raised me in the relative peace and security of moderately-sized-town America. This is a disaster.

She should, in a perfect world, have raised me in the Australian Outback.

There, I could have learned to wield a chainsaw whilst driving a Land Rover across barren wilderness! I would know how to herd sheep and drive cattle and raise chickens! I’d own a short-wave radio! I’d ride a motorcycle! I’d have easy access to guns!


As it is

**I find myself giving weird, abstract, and emotionally-based reviews for books that have billions of reviews saying pretty similar things to each other. So forgive me for this weird, abstract, and emotional review. I do agree with the others—this book is an incredible social commentary on war, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat, etc. blah blah

After reading this book for the first time, I watched the recent movie adaptation. In doing so I realized, with shocking clarity, what the story isn’t
Rachel Neumeier
Jul 12, 2011 Rachel Neumeier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished it a few days ago! Definitely one of my favorite stories of 2011!

This is the first of a seven-book YA series by John Marsden, and I'm going to let this one review cover them all. Spoilers for Book 4 of the series areincluded.

I discovered this series via The Book Smugglers' post on hype. Then it was like, where has this been all my life?

I see the first book is supposed to be a "major motion picture." Says so right on the cover. I have my doubts. Can the movie version possibly begin to ap
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Oct 16, 2008 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone - it's a must read!
Ellie and her friends Corrie, Robyn, Lee, Kevin, Homer and Fi live in and around a small rural town in an undisclosed part of Australia. They decide to go camping, to “go feral” and spend a weekend over the Christmas holidays up the bush instead of at the showgrounds with the townsfolk. Some of them, like Ellie and Corrie, are close, but not all, so over the weekend they get to know each other a lot better. Ellie and Homer are both from farms and Ellie’s family’s property is the closest to the t ...more
3.5 stars but I am marking it 4 because, well I do love this book.

This is such a fun start to a series. I feel weird writing "fun" when the story deals with a foreign invasion of one's country and home grown gorilla groups responding to the invasion. But .... it is fun. Tomorrow is told from the point of view of a high school girl Ellie, she is one of 8 kids hiding out in the wild and unpopulated area outside of their hometown. The theme is somewhat similar to Red Dawn if Red Dawn had been done
Nov 17, 2011 Hira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like action packed books
*Updated since watching the movie Red Dawn

4.5 stars

Tomorrow, When the War Began starts off with a group of teenagers going to camp out at a place they call Hell. By the time they get back, their country has been invaded and they're the only people left in their town, as their families and friends have been taken prisoner. Now they're faced with a decision - they can flee or surrender. Or they fight.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book, i picked it up because i wanted to watch the movie, si
Jun 07, 2013 Benna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is a fun read but a bit too unrealistic, I mean a country such as Australia doesn't get invaded in five days. No matter how much planning is done!
Karina Halle
May 11, 2012 Karina Halle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for: ANYONE. Especially those disappointed in today’s dystopia/Sci-fi/adventure novels and readers wanting a fast-paced, action-packed realistic thrill ride with fantastic characters.

Bonus points: interracial couplings, realistic teen speak, your worst fears realized

Back in 2003, I was a communications student living and studying in Auckland, New Zealand. My newfound best friend Kelly was obscenely obsessed with Lord of the Rings. Like, she needed help (still does). But while I had o
Like many, many others I was captivated by Suzanne Collins's THE HUNGER GAMES. It hooked me with its pulse pounding action, nightmarish vision of the future, and most of all its strong, capable female lead and wouldn't let me go. I finished it in one sitting. Unlike many others I was less impressed with the sequels. Thankfully the books I wanted to read exist. After a very average first instalment John Marsden's TOMORROW SERIES is the series that THE HUNGER GAMES promised to be.

The school holida
Oct 13, 2012 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personally, one of the scariest reading experiences is going back as an adult to read a book I loved as a teenager. What if my 'growing up' has changed my opinion of the book - will I ruin a good memory, or reinforce just why I loved that book so much that the paperback I had eventually fell apart from so many re-reads?

These were exactly the worries I had when I started listening to the audio of Tomorrow, When the War Began. I read the first book a few years after it was first published, when I
Steve Lowe

I'm really torn about this one. It's a fairly interesting examination of teens trying to decide what to do when their country has been invaded by a foreign nation. Do our Australian heros go to war? Do they run and hide? Do they just hook up with each other and get their freak on out in the Outback?

Eventually, they do all three in one form or another, but I never really got attached to the story. It's written as a journal entry by one of the girls, 17-year old Ellie, so it reads as though it's b
Dec 11, 2010 Yune rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't help comparing this to Hunger Games, which I read first -- then I came across this one and thought, "Oh! This is what a really good YA survival story is!"

Because although Katniss goes about with the doomed air of a tragic hero, Tomorrow deals refreshingly with a band of realistic Aussie teenagers, with a believable level of independence. They're trusted to go camping without adult supervision in the bush for several days, and emerge to discover that their homes are empty of people and th
5 Highly recommended for readers young and old.

I’ve been late to the party in reading John Marsden. I’ve enjoyed his interviews and seen coverage of his school, Candlebark, north of Melbourne.

In this 1993 novel, the kids are in their early to mid-teens and show the kind of resourcefulness that I imagine Candlebark is hoping to instil in their primary school students, without the homemade bomb capabilities, though!

In my girls’ rural high school, one of the boys was fun
Opening Line: “It’s only half an hour since someone-Robyn I think- said we should write everything down, and it’s only twenty-nine minutes since I was chosen, and for those twenty-nine minutes I’ve had everyone crowded around me gazing at the blank pages and yelling ideas and advice.”

This was very good and had I read it when I was a teenager I know I would have loved it. Back in the day this would have been comparable to The Outsiders or the movie Red Dawn *sigh* young Patrick Swayze. I’ve actua
Apr 09, 2012 Jessi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hey-ya, australia
More like 3.5 stars
I love survival tales and this is an exciting and different spin then I have been reading of late. No apocalypse, no zombies and no little children dying horrible deaths.

Ellie and her friends are in their last year of high school and decide over the break to go on a week camping/hiking trip deep into the outback. This was a great start, I love to read about camping but to be clear I do not camp. Gah! Its the worst, I am miserable the second the word tent is mentioned. Anyway
Apr 19, 2009 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my brother, readers of The Hunger Games
Recommended to Alexis by: Lucy
When Ellie, a high-school senior who lives on a ranch in rural Australia, gets the idea to invite all her friends to "go bush" and spend five days in the outback wilderness, they think it will be fun to get away from everything they know for a short while. But they never expected everything to change while they were gone.

After returning from a fun, successful trip, the group of seven kids - Ellie, Corrie, Kevin, Homer, Robyn, Lee, and Fi - discover that something really bad has happened. Their
Jan 31, 2012 Noelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Noelle by: Maggie
Shelves: yay-for-ya, reviewed
3.5 stars
Whenever I hear a random, not easily explainable boom, there is a small part of me that wonders if that noise I am brushing off as a transformer going out or random firework is actually something much more sinister. What if it is in fact not a benign blast but the first act of war? There I’ll be, wandering around in my safe oblivious bubble with electricity, plumbing, shelter and easily obtainable food and that boom was the moment my normal world changed forever.

That is what happens to
Oct 28, 2009 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to C. by: Sweet Vally High and Goosebumps
Eight teenagers who go camping in the bush for a few days, only to return and find that Australia had been invaded by an unknown enemy. They then spend the next five books fighting a guerrilla war against the invaders. The story is narrated by Ellie, who is elected to keep a written record of what happens to them. However, her record quickly turns into something closer to being a diary.

I read this at a much earlier age than I was supposed to - at about eight or nine rather than fourteen or fifte
Nov 19, 2014 Kaora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Looks like I'm in the minority here.

Tomorrow, When the War Began is a written account of Ellie and her friends, who after going off on a camping trip for a few days, return to discover that their family and everyone else in their town is missing, and soldiers are patrolling and looting.

I'm starting to think survivalist stories aren't for me.

First reading (and hating) Gone Home, and then this one. This time my dislike rested with the dreaded 'r' word. Romance. Even worse - Teenage Romance.

In the
Rebecca T
Jan 11, 2016 Rebecca T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love this series so much <3
Stacey (prettybooks)
I love that Tomorrow When the War Began is set in the 90s (first published in 1993). It is refreshing to read about teenage lives without the technology we are so used to, like high speed internet or smartphones. I couldn't help but wonder what it'd be like to have my country invaded and not be able to text or call to see where my friends and family were, read the news on my iPhone, or head straight to Twitter to see what other people are saying. Technology is such a huge part of our lives now t ...more
Aug 04, 2010 Annalisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My main issue with this book is the voice. Marsden's writing is dry, non-descriptive, and oh so masculine, but his main character is a girl. He made her analytic with a bit of an ego to try and compensate for the guyness of her, but even girls who are more analytic than emotional are still girls. We still think like girls and act like girls. There is nothing girl about Ellie. I read her as a girl with a man's voice narrating her story because there was no way a girl would have those thought proc ...more
Feb 13, 2008 Sisi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: own
I've lost track of how many times I've read this book. But I never get tired of reading it. Coming to the Tomorrow series rather late in the game (I'd hazard I was 16 when I first picked it up), I suspect if I had read it earlier it would have had more of an impact on myself. Even so, the book's impact is great. The writing is perfect, the premise of the book - that Australia has been invaded - is breathtaking, and the characters and their actions are unforgettable. I've been on a real teenage/Y ...more
This is the first book in the series that caused a borrowing frenzy in the school library. Seven teenagers camping in the bush. Australia gets invaded. And the teens go militia :) First published in 1993, it's just as awesome today. And *drumroll* the movie is coming to the big screen this year! It's the biggest budgeted movie ever made in Australia. I hope it makes the whole world go crazy over these books!

This is my absolute favourite series ever and I cannot recommend it enough to adults and
Seventeen-year-old Ellie Linton travels into the bush with her friends for one last adventure before they return to school. Ellie and her friends (quiet Fi, serious Robyn, best friend Corrie and her boyfriend Kevin, arty Lee and class clown Homer) return to a changed world. While they were camping in an idyllic hard-to-reach valley called Hell, hell has taken over their town and Wirrawee is no longer the home they left behind. Joined by stoner Chris, the teenagers are faced with a question - how ...more
Sep 17, 2010 ~Tina~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ~Tina~ by: Nic
Intense. Gripping. Captivating

A group of friends decide to go on an outing to Hell, who would have thought that Hell was waiting for them once they got they home?

Tomorrow When the war Began is a fantastic story about teen survival, fighting back against all odds and showing what one is made of in time of terror and hostility.
I loved the way this was written, it's exciting and overwhelming and extreme and has remarkable unforgettable characters.
Great book! Can't wait to read the other ones in thi
Feb 14, 2013 Damali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Red Dawn fans
This story was written in the early 1990s, so that explains the lack of internet, cell phones, and iPods. A group of kids in a very small rural Aussie down "go bush" for five days, and when they return, their town has been invadad. They have the choices of turning themselves in, or fighting. I'm continuously shocked at how much teenagers are allowed to do on their own nowadays.

I just saw the movie and it exceeded all of my expectations!

Oct 08, 2014 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a classic YA Aussie book that I knew the basic story before I started reading it, but nevertheless enjoyed this first book of the seven part series and look forward to reading the sequels.

A group of teenagers on summer holidays head off to a secluded place called Hell for a week long camping trip only to emerge and find that the country has been invaded and all the people rounded up and imprisoned at the local showground.What happens next is the story of their survival as they pool
Jun 12, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
THIS is honestly one of my favourite books ever. I found the series as a whole to be quite inconsistent but this book is the perfect introduction. Ellie provides the narration for the story and I always found her to be the ideal voice- reasonable but not flawless. She told the story objectively but the snippets of her personal insight spoke of her character. She was very protective of her friends which I found really nice considering the key theme of this series is friendship and strength in the ...more
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Kindred Spirits: Friday, July 29th, 2016: Tomorrow, When the War Began 47 47 Aug 15, 2016 07:21PM  
invading army? 16 279 Jun 20, 2016 10:42PM  
Theme Projects 2016: Hubert's Theme Project 1 7 Feb 14, 2016 11:16PM  
Theme Projects 2016: Alex's Theme Project 1 3 Feb 03, 2016 06:43PM  
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See also: John Marsden.

His first book, So Much To Tell You, was published in 1987. This was followed by Take My Word For It, a half-sequel written from the point of view of another character. His landmark Tomorrow series is recognized as the most popular book series for young adults ever written in Australia. The first book of this series, Tomorrow When The War Began, has been reprinted 26 times i
More about John Marsden...

Other Books in the Series

Tomorrow (7 books)
  • The Dead of Night (Tomorrow, #2)
  • A Killing Frost (Tomorrow, #3)
  • Darkness, Be My Friend (Tomorrow, #4)
  • Burning For Revenge (Tomorrow, #5)
  • The Night is For Hunting (Tomorrow, #6)
  • The Other Side of Dawn (Tomorrow, #7)

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“Some people wake up drowsy. Some people wake up energized. I wake up dead.” 248 likes
“All these words, words like 'evil' and 'vicious', they meant nothing to Nature. Yes, evil was a human invention.” 106 likes
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