Select one of the keywords
The Dead of the Night: Tomorrow #2    by John Marsden order for
Dead of the Night
by John Marsden
Order:  USA  Can
Laurel Leaf, 1999 (1994)
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ellie continues to keep a journal on the activities (and the feelings) of teen resistance fighters in Australia. In Tomorrow When The War Began, they returned from a bush trip to find that their country had been invaded and their families interned. They gathered intelligence, had a few close calls, and fought back. They lost two of their members - Corrie was badly wounded and Kevin surrendered in order to get her to medical attention.

The action heats up in The Dead of the Night, and individuals respond differently to the stress of constant danger, physical discomfort and fear ... 'The hard thing was to calm myself, to stop my chest taking on its own life and breathing like a set of bagpipes.' One of them doesn't make it. They are also horrified to discover that their friends and family are not being as well treated as they had thought, and that some of their neighbors have begun to collaborate with the enemy, in exchange for preferential treatment. Enemy settlers arrive and safety zones decrease.

Ellie emerges as a co-leader, along with Homer. Her relationship with Lee progresses, though she wonders if they would be in love under normal circumstances. She decides that the group needs to find an alternate route out of their refuge in Hell, and they go looking. They find Harvey's Heroes, a group of adults who are fighting back; sort of. Though they are initially relieved to take direction from those older and supposedly wiser, events soon spiral out of control.

Lee witnesses atrocities; Fiona is chased by a would-be rapist, and Ellie kills in her friend's defense. None of this is easy for them, and they struggle with their reactions, and to understand what the new limits should be ... 'How could we have been huddled in the dark bush, cold and hungry and terrified, talking about who we should kill?' They decide that they must hit back, and each of the group has to face up to how far they are willing to go, in terms of sabotage and in deliberate execution of enemy soldiers. They are especially incensed to find out about a new collaborator, who points out reservists to the enemy (these people subsequently disappear).

The story climaxes in a major attack on the enemy and a thrilling escape. Through it all, Ellie learns that 'Sometimes you just have to be brave. You have to be strong ... You struggle along, putting one foot a little bit ahead of the other, hoping that when you go backwards it won't be too far backwards, so that when you start going forwards again, you won't have too much to catch up.'

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews