Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-"If only our country hadn't been invaded." Ellie and her friends are back in this fifth volume of Marsden's adventure series that started with Tomorrow, When the War Began (Houghton, 1995). Having orchestrated several harrowing guerrilla attacks on the enemy, the five teens find themselves inside the enemy-held Wirrawee Airfield, outnumbered by hundreds of trained and heavily armed soldiers. Their decision to inflict as much damage as possible sounds like a suicide mission, but these gutsy teens pull off a brutal attack and escape worthy of a Hollywood movie. The action is fast paced and heart stopping, and the characters are so believable that readers forget that the story is fiction. Although Marsden's description of warfare and death is explicit, it is necessary to make his story real. Ellie, the narrator, is thoughtful, resilient, brave, and yet totally human. The other characters are equally intriguing; teenagers will readily identify with their fears and emotions. Fans of this incredibly suspenseful and riveting series will not be disappointed. If your library owns volumes one through four, this is a must buy. If you haven't yet discovered Marsden's writing, it is well worth investigat-ing.-Susie Paige, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 8^-12. John Marsden does not disappoint in the fifth book in his series of thrillers about the small band of Australian teens who fight the enemy nation that has conquered their country. In this installment, Ellie, Fi, Kevin, Homer, and Lee move out of Hell once again, this time to launch an attack on Wirrawee airfield (the heart of the enemy takeover) and return to semi-civilization, the town of Stratton where Ellie's grandmother lives. Marsden is a master at creating tension and excitement. Descriptions of the teens' foray into Wirrawee and their subsequent escape are riveting. Even their visit to Stratton is exciting, fueled by the constant tension of deserted streets; a wild gang of starving, undisciplined children; and Lee's surreptitious, dangerous affair. Ellie is obviously the main character of this series, which is aimed at older teens, but young men won't find that a problem. The adventure, the sense of isolation, and the touch of sophisticated romance will draw readers of both genders to this well-crafted novel and others in the series. --Frances Bradburn
Horn Book Review
In the fifth book in the series, the Australian teens continue to wage an independent battle against enemy invaders. This time Ellie and her friends set off on a kamikaze mission to destroy an airfield--and miraculously survive. It's getting more and more difficult to suspend disbelief, but avid fans of the series will be drawn by the breakneck action and strong emotion. From HORN BOOK Spring 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
The fifth and latest in Marsdens series about a group of Australian teenagers who find themselves in the middle of a war follows the adolescent guerrilla fighters as they try to survive in an Australia occupied by enemy forces, while inflicting some damage on the enemy along the way. The five kids (who in the first book, Tomorrow, When the War Began, had returned home from a camping trip to find their country occupied and their families gone) have now become fairly experienced soldiers. Although the five are in theory backed up by adult soldiers, the grownups have been out of touch for so long that the teenagers are virtually on their own. Deciding that they have to try and do something, even if there is not much chance of success and even if it means being discovered by the enemy soldiers, the group plans to infiltrate an enemy airfield and blow it up. Miraculously, the group succeeds, and, even more miraculously, they all come out of the experience alive. Between the day-to-day struggle for survival and the desire for revenge that they feel, the personality of each character emerges, displaying moments of bravery, as well as fear, despair, jealousy, and even pettiness. A fascinating portrayal of the dynamics that occur within a group whose members are dependent on each other, this is part survival, part adventure, and part war tale, with plenty of undercurrents of romance and hints of sexual tension thrown into the mix. It is exciting, dramatic, and laced with violence, while also capturing the drudgery and boredom that is part of the groups daily life. The contrast between the difficult lives they now lead and their former comfortable and peaceful lives as normal Australian teenagers is especially poignant. Something for everyone. (Fiction. 12-16)