P.Sannie's Reviews > The Dead of Night

The Dead of Night by John Marsden
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Jul 07, 12

bookshelves: childrens-ya-books
Recommended to P.Sannie by: Linda
Read from July 02 to 07, 2012, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** I know this series is almost 20 years old. But what the heck, it's waaaay better than The Hunger Games or Twilight.

Tomorrow, When the War Began left off on a dark note and The Dead of the Night picks up directly after that. There are five characters that are the focus of story: Ellie, Lee, Robyn, Fi, and Homer. Marsden develops them really well and realistically. The trauma that they have all experienced due to the invasion of their country and the violence that has forced them to grow up so quickly is tangible. I really love Ellie because she is such a strong-willed, smart, driven character with flaws (temper, sometimes impulsiveness). She is a wonderful narrator and Marsden captures being a teenaged girl well, even under extreme circumstances.

I was surprised when Ellie and Lee actually have sex and it's described. OK, I'm American, and I kept thinking to myself, "This book is for teens?!" But let's get real: This is what teens do. And frankly, it's better than cutting away and implying it (eh hem, Twilight). I really loved that Ellie stood her ground and said she wouldn't do it without condoms. Way to be a role model! But this also seemed fitting to the story and wasn't excessive or unnecessary. We're talking about 5 teenagers here who have nobody else to talk to except for each other and they have raging hormones.

But The Dead of the Night isn't mostly about Ellie and Lee's relationship. You'd think that there's only so much that can happen when the characters are out in the bush and their country has been invaded. But the characters keep pushing, discovering new things, doing more reconnaissance. The plot develops really well and the series is definitely getting darker. I like that the characters keep thinking that they need to get out and do stuff rather than sitting around. The introduction of Harvey's Heroes was intriguing, but just as quickly, they were gone but played such a central role to all 5 characters.

I also like that Marsden is not afraid of killing off characters that you've gotten to know. It drives the plot, the characters are faced with hardships that cause them to think introspectively, but also what they need to do to fight back. If the Tomorrow series were only 3 books, The Dead of the Night is definitely worthy of being compared to The Empire Strikes Back (yes, yes, I know, I am comparing two different media types, but I mean that it is a generally dark movie with a dark ending that is a perfect bridge between the first and third parts. I'll see if I still feel this way after I read the third book)
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