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From the PublisherThe fourth in the series that includes Tomorrow, When the War Began (1995), this sequel to A Killing Frost (1998) has Ellie, Fi, and their other teenage combat companions being pulled from a safe refuge in New Zealand and returning to their hometown in Australia for another perilous mission. Consistently intriguing and only occasionally gruesome, the battles they face develop credibly and include enough surprises to keep readers turning the pages. With a tone that suggests a natural maturity and shades of cynicism resulting from her hardships, Ellie is a solid narrator whose no-nonsense approach to love, war, and friendship makes her an unusual and impressive female protagonist. A personalized war novel that is apocalyptic yet open-ended enough for another sequel, Darkness benefits from not being limited to fitting into any one genre, but satisfactorily including aspects of several.
April 1, 1999 Booklist, ALA
"Fans of this powerful series will not look forward to an early armistice." (The Bulletin) The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This fourth book about a group of Australian teenagers fighting for survival following an enemy takeover of their country contains as much riveting suspense and cliffhanger chapter endings as the first three. A highly unlikely opening and premise is, ironically, followed by a string of events that are more realistic than those in previous books." Horn Book
Like John Marsden's other books, this story is immersed in darkness and dread. It's packed with almost unbearable suspense and breathtaking action, as the personalities and relationships of these decent country kids are eroded by the imperative for violence. Marsden fans will elbow each other aside for a copy of this one, and will look forward to the three new installments on the way.
"Marsden's style is as surefooted as his independent band of teens." School Library Journal