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The Night is for Hunting: Tomorrow #6    by John Marsden order for
Night is for Hunting
by John Marsden
Order:  USA  Can
Macmillan, 2001 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Burning for Revenge, the remaining foursome of the Australian teen resistance fighters introduced in Tomorrow When the War Began, were mugged by feral children while hiding out in Stratton. Their concern for these kids leads the indomitable Ellie to keep an eye on them, and eventually to rescue five from enemy soldiers in one of the series' trademark thrilling escapades (this one involves a masquerade and a wild cross-country truck ride).

Though Ellie and her friends are only trying to help, these scarred, gutsy children have learned to fear anyone other than their peers. They run away (with serious consequences) and must be pursued through the bush before the battered group finally reaches the refuge of 'Hell'. The kids' presence there changes their elders, who set up a school and risk their lives to feed these damaged children and to make a 'Christmas Day' for them. After one especially risky adventure (the one involving the motorbikes on the cover) Ellie, whom war had hardened emotionally, softens, and there's a rapprochement with Lee. During this time, the group find signs of soldiers' presence on 'Tailor's Stitch' above 'Hell' - the enemy seems to be closing in, having focused substantial resources to track down the Wirrawee Airfield saboteurs.

Though all the books in this series are worth reading, The Night is for Hunting started slowly. It's clearly a bridging episode between the major thrills in Burning for Revenge, and the grand finale that's ahead in The Other Side of Dawn. But, as usual, there's good emotional (and spiritual in Ellie's case) development of the teens, hair-rasing adventures, and a cliffhanger ending as these resistance fighters wait for final direction from New Zealand. Musing on what she's learned from years of war, Ellie concludes 'It seems like suffering's the only way we can see what's essential' and vows to keep that perspective ... if she has a future.

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