Jul 10, 12
Recommended to P.Sannie by:
anyone who liked The Hunger Games, people who enjoy reading thrillers or YA lit
Read from July 07 to 08, 2012, read count: 1
This series kicks ass. Seriously. It's so exciting and thrilling and well thought out. Comparing this to The Hunger Games (which I highly enjoyed, mind you), the Tomorrow series is just so much more mature. A Killing Frost is the third book in the series, but John Marsden considered ending it here. And if this had been the end, what an end it would've been!!
**SPOILERS FROM HERE ON IN**
I don't even know what I can say about this. The five characters from book 2 are still around: Ellie, Robyn, Fi, Homer, Lee. However, the reader doesn't lose sight of the other characters because Chris's death hangs over the main five and Corrie's being in the hospital is like another dark shadow. What I found really cleverly done was how Marsden brought Kevin back in the picture. I didn't think it would be possible for Kevin to become such a central character again, but it is so well written and thought out that it seemed completely logical. Moreover, I love that the characters make mistakes. They're human.
The fact that the plan for Kevin's escape is botched shows how the characters are still teenagers. They aren't professional soldiers, as much as their accomplishments would have you believe. But even though they are caught, it is chilling how Lee acts and chokes the soldier to death. It shows that these characters really want to survive and they are able to act when they need to. The same goes when Ellie shoots the three soldiers in order to save her friends and escape after she and Homer blow up Cobbler's Bay.
And Cobbler's Bay...wow. If I were watching this as a movie instead of reading it, I'd probably have my hands coveirng my eyes because it was so nerve-wracking. Again, the characters are imperfect, make mistakes, and get injured. They are not James Bond or Jason Bourne. They are teenagers and with good heads on their shoulders and a LOT of luck, they manage to get by. I like that Ellie was injured and still managed to hobble back to meet her friends, but she just wanted to curl up and practically die. I felt her pain and her tiredness. She is such an admirable character because she admits to the reader that she doesn't feel brave and she doesn't want her friends to think she is weak. Yet, when it comes down to it, she can pull herself together and do whatever needs to be done.
But talking about admirable characters -- Robyn. Wooooow. I did NOT expect the ending. I couldn't believe that Marsden took her out the way he did, but it was just so incredibly admirable and unbelievable. If I cried when I read books, this would've been a moment where I cried. I kept thinking in the first two books that Robyn was so gentle, so God-fearing, and yet, she sacrificed herself for her friends.
This is what makes this series so great. Marsden kills characters off that you love. Some people might tell me I'm crazy, but honestly, if the book is about death and destruction (and it is), someone the reader cares about has to go. Otherwise, the death and destruction doesn't have nearly as much of an impact.
I also thought about the Tomorrow series generally and my penpal Linda, who recommended it to me, was afraid that I wouldn't like it because it's "so Australian." Well, it is very Australian, but that's what makes it so brilliant. This story would not work if it took place in any other country. OK, I will admit that there's stuff I have to look up and don't understand ("chook", what a drop bear is, other vocabulary). But the story wouldn't make sense. Australia is so isolated from the rest of the world, but it is highly developed and is a first world nation. Moreover, it has the bush and the wilderness. I think that no other country in the world could be isolated and have quite the experience that these teenagers have. They have access to farms and ammunition, all types of food, short wave radios, etc. Australia has political allies and nobody really dislikes Australia. If you moved the story to say, South Africa, it would take on a completely different tone. South Africa does have political allies, but its political system is not as stable as Australia's (and this is why the invasion is so surprising). South Africa is not nearly as developed as Australia and the disparity between rich and poor is much greater.
So yes, this series is super Australian, but it wouldn't be nearly as riveting otherwise. And now I have to wait almost 3 months until the next book is released on the Kindle!