August 27, 2007
Adventure: a week camping with your six best friends in the Australian bush, quiet and remote enough from your families back in town to seem like you're much farther away than you really are. Adventure: a trip down into the wooded and untouched gully called Hell, where few humans have ever gone. So peaceful, even planes flying overhead seem far away.
Adventure: when you return home from your camping trip, your entire country has been invaded, your town occupied, and your families put into a holding camp. Not such a fun adventure any more—not for Ellie, Lee, Fi, Homer, Kevin, Corrie, and Robyn, anyway, the six Aussie teenagers whose world is turned upside down. It's an amazing, riveting, non-stop thriller of an adventure for the reader, though.
Every single book of John Marsden's seven-book series, starting with Tomorrow, When the War Began, is heart-pounding, gritty, and all-too-realistic. If you enjoy dystopian visions of the future, and you like cliffhanger-style adventure, this is a series not to be missed. I made the mistake of checking out only the first two books from my library—just to try them out, I thought—and I ended up having to rush back to the library to get the other five.
Told from Ellie's viewpoint, this is an unforgettable tale of what might happen if any of our complacent, well-off western countries were invaded by a desperate force of colonizing outsiders. However, it's neither excessively political nor primarily cautionary. The focus is on the human side of the story—what would happen, could happen, if a group of ordinary teenagers found that they were some of the only ones left on the outside, free but on the run? How would they survive, find food, find their families, save their world? And, sadly, of course, it's not a question of whether they will survive unscathed, but whether in the end they'll be able to bear everything they've seen and done. I highly recommend this thoughtful, frightening, and mesmerizing series. And I just found out there's a follow-up series, so I guess I'd better take yet another trip to the library...
Thanks to Jen Robinson's One Shot World Tour post for tipping me off to these!