YA Review: The Dead of the Night (Tomorrow #2)

Title: The Dead of the Night (Tomorrow #2)
Author: John Marsden
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 4/5

The second book in the Tomorrow series picks up the story several weeks after the end of Tomorrow When the War Began. The invasion of Australia continues, and Ellie and her friends are in hiding, piecing together the current situation from radio broadcasts while they stay out of sight in the bush. But with their town occupied, the weather growing colder, and their supplies running low, the group must decide what risks they are willing to take, and whether they are ready to fight back.

Ellie, the narrator of Book 1, is back as the group’s official record-keeper. The first-person narration is still gripping, and the descriptions – while age-appropriate – still drop the reader into the middle of a war. There’s romance, too, and friendship, and the characters make plenty of mistakes in their attempts to undermine the invasion. There’s bravery and fear, and the author doesn’t shy away from writing about the consequences of the characters’ mistakes and actions. The action sequences are tense and breathless, and the danger feels uncomfortably real.

As with Book 1, the story puts a simple challenge to the reader – if your country was invaded, what would you do? Would you fight back? And what would you risk, to fight for your friends and family? How would it feel to fight, and would it change who you are?

I’m really enjoying this series. I like the characters, and their different reactions to the events of the story. I like the way they come together to work as a team, even though they have very different attitudes to fighting and bravery. And I like the premise – giving teenagers the freedom to make mature decisions, to make mistakes, and to discover their own abilities in life-and-death situations. I’m looking forward to Book 3.

Have you read the Tomorrow series? What did you think of the story? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

Review cross-posted to GoodReads.


Please keep your comments YA appropriate. Be patient! We want to hear from you, but comments are moderated, and may take some time to appear.

YA Review: Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3)

Title: Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 5/5

Hero at the Fall cover image

Oh, I loved this book. The final installment in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy brings more peril, more bravery, more sacrifice, and more adventure. The author still doesn’t pull her punches, and with powerful legendary beings stepping into the lives of the characters, the stakes are raised ahead of the final conflict. There are stand-out scenes, daring rescues, and plenty of punch-the-air moments. It’s a fantastic climax to an exciting story.

And then there’s the end. Throughout the trilogy, certain chapters are written as campfire legends, particularly where Amani is not present for important plot developments, and couldn’t narrate as a Point of View character. There are more of these in ‘Hero at the Fall’, and towards the end the reason becomes clear. The author ends the story with a wonderful meditation on the difference between the characters’ lived experiences, and the legends told about what they have done. It’s lovely, and it made me cry.

I highly recommend the entire trilogy. Amani is an inspiring protagonist – by no means perfect, but strong, determined, and loyal to her friends. Her journey through the books is one of self-discovery and exposure to a wider, more dangerous world than she had encountered at the start of Rebel of the Sands. Her relationships – with friends, family, and creatures from legend – develop and grow until the reader can’t help but care about everyone she cares about. There is real danger, and real sacrifice. There are scenes I read while metaphorically peeping through my fingers in case something happened to someone who mattered to me. And there is real friendship, loyalty, and bravery.

I can’t believe the story has ended! I miss the characters and the gorgeously described world already, and I want to go back to ‘Rebel of the Sands’ and start all over again. I’m not sure I can think of higher praise than that!

Have you read the Rebel of the Sands trilogy? What did you think of the story? And what did you think of Amani? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

Review cross-posted to GoodReads.


Please keep your comments YA appropriate. Be patient! We want to hear from you, but comments are moderated, and may take some time to appear.

Battle Ground Reviews

Wow!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported ‘Battle Ground’! We published a week ago, and so far the book has been the Amazon number one free download in three different categories, reached number 41 in paid YA Dystopia, and collected some amazing reviews. We’ve been to YALC, and met readers and writers who are passionate about YA, and excited to read our post-Brexit dystopia. We’ve sent ‘Battle Ground’ on a blog tour. Amazon ratings are at 4.8 stars.

We’re exhausted, but ‘Battle Ground‘ is finally live on Amazon.

Read this year’s most relevant dystopia for 99p (or FREE on Kindle Unlimited).