Book 5: Darkness, Be My Friend, John Marsden

Ellie and her friends had been rescued. Airlifted out of their own country to the safe haven of New Zealand, they’d arrived burnt and injured and shocked, with broken bones, and scars inside and out. They did not want to go back. But five months later the war is not over, the nightmares continue, and there are two compelling reasons for them to return: a planned sabotage of the air base in Wirrawee and, most important, the families they left behind. In this most recent episode of the tale begun in Tomorrow, When the War Began and continued in The Dead of Night and A Killing Frost, John Marsden takes us back to Hell, the outpost for a group of teens in a war-ravaged country.


YA novels are termed that because that’s exactly who they’re aimed at – teenagers, young adults. But when I actually was a teenager I didn’t actually read that much YA. I can pretty much name them all on one hand: aside from what we had to read in English class, pretty much the only YA I was reading was Harry Potter, The Obernewtyn Chronicles, Jaclyn Moriarty’s books, and everything I could get my hands on by John Marsden. I’m sure there were others as well but I know there weren’t many. I was too busy reading big tomes from the 19th and early 20th centuries. I had pretty much jumped straight from still loving The Babysitters Club at age eleven to tackling Pride and Prejudice at age twelve. But one of the YA series that I did read religiously during my teen years was the Tomorrow series by John Marsden.

Darkness, Be My Friend is the fourth book in the series. Last year, the first book in the series, Tomorrow, When the War Began, was released as a movie and after seeing it, my love for this series was reignited. I came home and immediately started reading them again for the first time since I’d finished high school. 🙂 And I fell in love with the characters all over again.

In Darkness, Be My Friend the war has been going on for months, but for the last few Ellie and her friends have been recuperating and trying to regain some semblance of a normal life in New Zealand. But then they’re asked to go back into Australia, and that’s when all the dangers they had previously faced during this war come right back to their doorstep again. The characters are seriously the absolute best part of this series for me, and especially during this book, after they are (in reality, even if they don’t see it as such, since they’re not really given much choice) forced back to their hometown of Wirrawee.

Every character is very real to me, Ellie, Homer, Lee, Kevin, Fi, all of them. Every one of them have their strengths and their weaknesses. Where Ellie is strong and driven and brave, she can also be harsh and short-tempered and stubborn.

I just love everything about this book, and the series as a whole. John Marsden is a fantastic writer. I cannot urge people enough to read this novel (though I would suggest reading the three previous novels first ;)). I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. 😀


You can find out more about John Marsden and his books on his website.

Check out Darkness, Be My Friend on Goodreads, or you can order it from Booktopia and Amazon.


Books left: 145

Days left: 555

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