Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
A crop of sequels and series additions greet fans this fall. Australian author John Marsden's The Other Side of Dawn brings his Tomorrow series to its dramatic conclusion. Bestsellers in Australia, the seven-book series revolves around a dwindling group of teenagers fighting for their lives and Australia's survival against a brutal invading army. Here, as the war enters a final phase, the dangers for narrator Ellie and her friends seem greater than ever. Who among them will find a lasting peace? (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-This final installment in the series takes place approximately one year after Ellie and a group of friends became reluctant guerilla fighters in the war that broke out while they were on a camping trip in the Australian bush. The teen and her surviving friends are asked to conduct raids and sneak attacks on the enemy, creating confusion among their troops at a critical point in the fighting. In spite of the great danger, they agree and the action intensifies. Ellie, the narrator, is a strong female character and the weight of her leadership responsibilities and the urgency of the situations the group faces are vividly conveyed. The action sequences are gripping and there is an expected amount of violence. The confusion, depression, and tensions that follow the end of the fighting are also realistically depicted. The book can stand alone, but the many references to the action and characters from the earlier titles make it a better choice for those already familiar with the series. Purchase where the previous books have been popular.-Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 8^-12. Yes, this really is the final book in Marsden's Tomorrow series, and it may be a disappointment to Ellie's fans across the English-speaking world. The war finally grinds to an end as the five teens fight one last battle with the enemy, this time with the help of a New Zealand soldier and with supplies from the ubiquitous Colonel Finley. Marsden is at his exciting, if somewhat improbable, best when writing about Ellie's single-handed train sabotage and the teens' attempts to blow up a huge truck stop on the road to Cavendish. However, the prison-camp scenes become uncomfortably derivative of Holocaust fiction. And while a satisfying reunion with family and friends is the ultimate payoff for Ellie and readers alike, too much retelling rather than action will be the verdict about this last book in an otherwise very satisfying series. --Frances Bradburn
Horn Book Review
(Middle School, High School) This seventh title wraps up Marsden's saga of a group of Aussie teenagers retaliating against an enemy invasion of their country. This time, Ellie gets separated from her friends during a sabotage attempt, finds herself in an Indiana Jones-like chase scene on a moving train, escapes and blows up the train, is caught by the enemy, and once again spends time in a prison camp. As were the previous titles, this final book is chockful of action sequences that are undeniably gripping if not always completely believable. The characters, on the other hand, feel quite real, and readers who have come to know Ellie and her comrades will be kept riveted throughout this three-hundred-plus-page novel, eager to know the final outcome for each member of the group. Marsden's exploration of the teens' individual responses to their traumatic experiences is as involving as ever, and while fans may be disappointed that the series has come to a close, they won't be disappointed by this satisfying finale. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
The Australian teenage resistance fighters are back and as dauntless as ever in this seventh and last installment of the gripping series that started with Tomorrow, When the War Began (1995). Three of the original eight have died since a foreign power invaded their country in the opener, and now the remaining five have word from New Zealand that an all-out effort is imminent. Their assignment is to cause as much trouble as possible in the final days, using the explosives they've received. Ellie's compelling narration continues to have an authentic teenage tone, mixing suspenseful fighting scenes with occasional musings about love and forays into sex. A smart, brave risk-taker, Ellie is one of the group's leaders, who draws on useful knowledge from her farm upbringing. For about a third of the way, she's on her own, in serious danger, worried sick about the fate of her friends. As always, the plot keeps readers on the edge of their seats, never knowing if the whole group will survive. Australian writer Marsden provides a realistically imperfect yet hopeful conclusion. Readers new to the series would do well to begin at the beginning, while the series' many fans will be sorry to reach their final chapter in such an outstanding story of friendship, courage, and survival. (Fiction. 13+)