The town of Wirrawee is emerging from war, slowly. School’s back in, Juicy’s is open for coffee, farmers are bidding at the cattle sales. Ellie Linton at last gets what she longed for and what she fought for, to be back on the farm with her parents. But it’s not the same. A new nation is on the other side of a new border. Suddenly the war is about to explode into Ellie’s life again. The effects are devastating. The consequences will change her forever.
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Another book full of beautiful writing from the amazing John Marsden. Seriously, this man is amazing. The extended metaphors he has going on are always so creative, I absolutely love them. While maybe they don’t need to be on every single page, I forgive him for them being done so well.
But plot-wise, this book is lacking. The book was mostly about Ellie trying to keep the farm alive and well. Yes, that was interesting, but not what I wanted. We got a few great fight scenes – the book started with Ellie’s parents being killed! But there were only a few, not as many as I expected. Compared to the Tomorrow When the War Began series, I thought there would be a lot more.
Which brings me to my next problem. Is this part of the TWTWB series? I thought it was a little bonus series, with extra stuff after the war. But I’ve read a few other reviews, and apparently it’s meant to be totally separate. As a separate series, it’s done incredibly badly. He assumes you know all the characters, and all the events that happened in the war. Which is okay, as long as you say it’s a series done after the original. So please, make sure you’ve read TWTWB before you read this!
There were certain scenes that I think could have been cut. For example, when Ellie was mourning her parents at the end of the book. (I don’t consider the death a spoiler, it happens on like page 4) Firstly, that should’ve been done a lot earlier. It was almost there, but not quite. Secondly, it wasn’t as sad as I wanted it to be. I thought it was much sadder when they first died. Thirdly, and most importantly, the things she was remembering were just… Awkward. Describing their private parts in such detail was odd. Sure, you can see them naked, but not as regularly as she seemed to. And it’s not something you love about them. Or compliment them on. That bit made me feel uncomfortable.
I think Marsden just had to make up his mind about what he wanted to do with this book. Was it an action book, or meant to only focus on the farm? Was it separate or not? I’m not saying it was bad, I’m saying it could and should have been a lot better. Overall, 3/5 stars