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ISBN: 2290303313
ISBN 13: 9782290303313
By: John Marsden

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About this book

Nowhere to run; one place left to hide. You're running from bullets through the streets of your own town. Your life's on the line and no-one's there to help. What's happened? When did safety turn to fear, peace turn to war, happiness turn to panic? When did your normal day become a nightmare? Ellie and her friends struggle with the biggest questions life can offer in Darkness, Be My Friend, the fourth book in the award-winning Tomorrow series.

Reader's Thoughts


Another brilliant instalment in the 'Tomorrow' series. After escaping from occupied Australia to New Zealand, Ellie and her friends have been living there and getting back something of a 'normal' life - they have real beds, hot food and showers, a bit of school, and they're undergoing therapy. Despite all this however, they are all still struggling with what they've seen and experienced, and of course their families are still prisoners back home. They agree to return to Australia to lead a small team of Kiwi soldiers into their hometown of Wirrawee, so that the soldiers can mount a guerrilla attack. Shortly after they arrive, they find themselves separated from the soldiers, who vanish while out on a mission, and once again have to fend for themselves and come up with a plan to attack the invaders.Really gripping. I can't wait to read Book 5 which is already waiting on my Kindle. It's incredibly refreshing to read a teen series that doesn't involve vampires/werewolves/post-apocalyptic worlds. Yes, Australia has been invaded, but there's no overseeing 'evil government', no weird divides in society. The invaders are pretty much just normal people, even the soldiers trying to capture and kill Ellie and her friends - indeed, this is a point that Ellie makes several times throughout this book and the previous one - she may hate the invaders, but she's smart enough to realise the soldiers are just doing their job. That makes the enemy and the whole situation so much more plausible and scary - because the invaders literally take over the homes and land of the gang's hometown, and believe they have every right to be there and treat it as 'their' country and in turn see Ellie and the others as the enemy and the ones to be feared/hated. It's very neatly and carefully done by Marsden, and it just adds a whole 'nother dimension to the book.

Sean Kennedy

This entry in the Tomorrow series was actually a lot better than I remember it being. I know some readers are disappointed that it isn't as action-oriented as the previous books, but I like the direction that Darkness goes - indeed, it is all about darkness but this time it is darkness of the soul. Ellie is suffering from PTSD and it is affecting her relationships with her friends and her conduct in the world as she becomes reckless and disregarding of her own safety. I like that this shift has occurred - the war has now been going on too long for them to act like teenage guerrillas and the consequences of their actions are now weighing upon them.The main problem however, is believability. The series expects you to take the central premise with a large grain of salt but it pushes it too far here. I really doubt the New Zealand army would rely upon a group of teenagers to take them into enemy territory, no matter how well they knew the terrain.


As the fourth book in the series, I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. The last book finished with the teenagers finally escaping from Australia into relative safety. Despite having lost three of their friends, they were finally in a position where they could start to heal. Except, of course, that their families were back in Australia, and they'd lost their homes, their country, and their futures.I was curious how they would be dragged back to the conflict, and concerned that it would feel a bit forced. After all, why would they want to go back? I shouldn't have worried. John Marsden handled the situation expertly, giving them real reasons to venture back to their homes, while also letting them fight against the idea of being there. And once they were back, of course, things got intense.If I was to pick a single theme for this book it would be "mental breakdown". And rightly so. These kids have been through so much in such a short time, it's only reasonable that they start fraying at the seams. At times that made the book difficult to read -- but that's mainly because Marsden did such a good job of showing rather than telling what was going on in Ellie's head.Unlike the previous novels in the series, there were a lot more mistakes and accidents and problems during this adventure. Their every plan seemed to fall apart or break down, which was a great external way to represent what was happening in their heads.I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to the next.

Lars Guthrie

Marsden keeps hitting them out of the park for me in this series, which take place in a present-time Australia that has been invaded and conquered. In 'Darkness,' Marsden's teenage narrator Ellie is forced out of a sort of retirement in New Zealand after she and her friends accomplished a spectacular act of resistance in 'A Killing Frost.' Perhaps this is best, as Ellie seems at loose ends. After some self-destructive behavior at a party, she signs on to return to Australia. As with the previous three books, from this point on there's no stopping, as the reader gets involved in the interactions of Ellie's group of friends, each with very distinct personalities, and a healthy dose of suspense and action. Highly recommended.

Tyler Suzuki Nelson

So, I've been slacking off on these book reviews. It's been a while, so I'm just going to combine my book reviews for A Killing Frost, Darkness, Be My Friend, and Burning For Revenge.A Killing Frost is thus far my favourite book in the series. From what I can remember, I was kept in a suspenseful state the whole time I was reading the novel. That being said, it also made me cry at one point because of something that happened. I read a spoiler at one point, and expected something to happen. It did happen, but in a totally different way from how I had imagined it. In that way, it wasn't really much of a spoiler.Darkness, Be My Friend provided a twist in that many of the characters had changed personalities especially starting from this point. I can't say why without spoiling much of the story, but I thought it gave some interesting insight into each of the characters.I found Burning For Revenge to be sort of slow. Again, there was quite a bit of character development, but from what I've seen so far, nothing of significant importance (though, maybe I'm overlooking something that will become more obviously important as I progress through the plot?). However, there was another scene in this book that had me crying. This is what happens when I connect to characters in a book. *sigh*


Sorry, but no.1. The author lost me right on page 1. Because you want me to believe the New Zealand Army needs five kids to help them win a war? 2. I ride horses. And what they did in the book is not possible. You need a) horses that are really really really well-trained in being steered bridle-less. Or without reigns. And nobody can just sit a horse in full gallop without a saddle. Not if you aren't an excellent rider. Plus, it hurts if you do it wrong. And to do this all in the dark of night? You lost me again, dear author.-> I want the series to end. I was so bored. Nothing new happens. It is the same damn story line over and over again. But of course, eventually I will rad on, because I want to know how it ends. I hope the author comes up with a new opening, the story being suddenly told by Fi and in the end we find out how this had to happen or something. But I don#t have high hopes for creativity.


As with all the Tomorrow books, there is a small gap between book three and book four, but as always, this is only a small break. Enough to take a breath, remember the previous book, and jump right back in to the story.Darkness, Be My Friend, finds the teens safe and comfortable for the first time since discovering their country had been invaded. And with that long-awaiting feeling of safety, all their emotions and reactions come spilling out. As the series is told in Ellie's perspective, much of the focus is on her own emotional reactions, although she does also speak about how her friends, and the group as a whole, are dealing with the reality of their situation now that they have time to stop and think about it.Some of the most strong reactions from Ellie in the whole series so far comes when she is told that the powers that be want her to return to the war zone she has only recently been rescued from. Her emotions feel real and powerful, and I could completely sympathise with her feelings and how torn she felt.Darkness, Be My Friend is much more of a psychologically intense book that the previous books in the series, and focuses far more on the survival of the group, rather than the explosiveness of the first three books. This change of focus allows more reflection and rethinking by Ellie - and it's obvious that her psyche has been damaged, most probably permanently, from everything she has been through.That is what I find most compelling about the Tomorrow series - the characters grow as the story progresses, but they also become much more emotionally affected - which feels natural and logical - it's great to see heroes that aren't always perfect. Darkness, Be My Friend is introspective and character driven, with enough action to keep it moving along at an intense pace.


I feel like Darkness, Be My Friend is the weakest novel so far in an otherwise excellent series. I would still recommend the series on a whole but I hope the next novels are better than this one. Some people might not have a problem with it but for me there were some issues with the plot that were so far fetched that it had a negative effect on the believability of the entire series, and I already had to stretch my imagination to begin with so that's not a good thing.Also there was a reference to an Alanis Morissette song and that's enough reason for me to lower my rating a little bit right there. I give this book three Ironic stars out of five.


**check out my review for Tomorrow, When the War Began for my take on the series as a whole** Probably the slowest of the series so far, but by no means unworthy of the 5 stars rating. The feel of this book and the style are a bit of a departure. There is less action and craziness and way more internal dialogue for Ellie. I noticed a lot more “I remember when...”, and Ellie will often stop midway through a conversation or action sequence to share an anecdote with the reader. I can see how this might bug some people, but I didn’t mind. Everything she shares is relevant and it really grounds the town of Wirrawee in to reality more. You get a deeper understanding of the history of the place and the relationships of the characters. You get some more background on these radically changed kids, and it gives you new perspective on everything that happens. It also makes sense that Ellie would do more musing and philosophizing as part of her recent therapy. Writing helps Ellie exercise her demons and sweet goodness does she have a lot of them. Also, as soon as I thought some healing was happening for certain relationships, I got sideswiped with some really devastating news and lost it. I cried for the first time in this series, which surprised me. Took me long enough. But I have a theory that it was because the book slowed down the pace a lot more and things calmed down. I wasn’t ready.

Helder Castro

Em comparação com os primeiros três livros da serie é um pouco mais monótono.A história tem acção, mas nada corre bem, pelo que a acção é mais em volta do medo de ser apanhado do que dos planos mirabolantes, explosões e lutas!Sim, a sorte tinha que acabar, mas não era preciso tornar tudo tão aborrecido!Para além disso, não existe uma única plot twist...


"Darkness, be my friend" by Marsden, J.Vote: 2,75Class: L-B1 (FP)(fourth book of the Tomorrow Series)I wasn't very impressed by the first three books, because I found them too unrealistic even if the story did grow to catch me at a point; this one is not only unbelievable, but actually preposterous: the Army asks to a bunch of kid to go behind the enemy lines and play guerrilla!?! Sorry, but I can't buy that, it seems to much an excuse to sell some books without putting to much an effort...However, if you can get over this, you may be able to be caught anew by the events happening to our protagonists (I wasn't!)The dystopian world (2,75) is... a not really believable Australia recently invaded (in a day!) by a not clearly identified foreign army. The characters (3,00) don't feel completely realistic (some kids who go on thinking on their love life, while they go around playing guerrilla or blowing up things). However I do see how you could get caught by them.The story (3,25), not very believable too, is sometimes captivating, even if it feels stretched too much (perhaps to sell more books?). Too often I was able to anticipate what was going to happen.The writing (3,00) is almost good: the story is told first person by one of the main characters and is quite refreshing; unfortunately the background remains too shallow. All in all this series begun with good original idea and some promising characters (clearly not in the same league of, say, the Hunger Games or Divergent, but not bad) but it's getting more and more unbelievable and boring. I think I'm not going to continue reading it.


I started reading the Tomorrow series a few years ago, after a family friend bought me the first book (original australian edition muhahahhahaha) after discovering my love of books. I fell in love with the characters, story and writing straight away - despite the leap that I'd just made into more sophisticated writing. I have to say, the last book, The Third Day The Frost, left me wondering how a sequel could better it - so I'm not surprised the Darkness Be My Friend didn't quite live up to my expectations for the books.Darkness Be My Friend starts in New Zealand, where Ellie and her friends are being looked after following the events in Wirrawee that led to their escape of their invaded home. All of them - most of all Ellie herself - are greatly shellshocked from their experiences, but, as time passes, and the progress in Australia stalls, they aren't entirely surprised when they're asked to go back into the country. Living as guerrillas in war time was hard enough when there were eight of them, mostly just trying to survive. Now, with only five left and on a mission to make a difference to the retaking of their home, can they possibly continue to survive when danger is hunting them down whenever they go?John Marsden writes in a very complex way for Young Adult fiction. Whilst his writing isn't difficult to read, as such, it's definitely more sophisticated and detailed than the majority of teenage fiction out there. A lot of thought and deliberation goes into his passages, so the reader picks up all kinds of emotions from the characters, which definitely adds to the effect.The Tomorrow series is, firstly, a action/thriller. Yet, for the most part, the plot is actually based around these kids and how they manage to deal with war time and their situation. This book especially, a lot of the writing is about how Ellie and her friends feel and react to their parents being held hostage by the invaders. This is shown very well through Ellie's point of view.I usually don't like books written from the first person, because I feel like the reader is influenced to think a certain way about people and events - whereas I prefer to draw my own conclusions from adding different sides of an argument that sometimes don't come through when a book is written this way. But Ellie's a very aware girl, and she always understands that there's another side of the story. But, at the same time, she is very selfish - and very real. This combination creates a quite confusing feeling for the reader - but it works in the situations the characters are in because it's a lot easier to empathise with someone when you have an idea about how they feel, not just what they're going through.It's one of the most intense books I've ever read - there's either action and danger going on, or deep meaningful soliloquies from Ellie.Like I said, a great deal of the plot is focused on the characters, particularly in this book. Not a whole lot actually happened, event-wise. This is probably why I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous books, just because I really enjoy reading action and adventure.Having said that, the events that did happen were very well orchestrated. The action scenes were detailed, but brief. Marsden is an incredibly realistic writer; he never goes for the predictable, because the predictable very rarely happens in these situations. Although it may nail-bitingly annoying that the group failed their goal in the book, I have to admire Marsden for actually choosing this route. It's what would likely have happened, and that's why I'm still giving the book a very high rating.I love the little down-time parts of his novels. I don't usually like quiet-bits in books because I think a lot of authors use them too much because they want a break from writing challenging chapters, but you can tell Marsden always uses them for a reason: sometimes it's to get a certain reaction from the reader; sometimes to prepare or foreshadow a future event; sometimes even just to emphasise how one of the characters is feeling.The characters are the basis of this book, and it would all crumble down without them and the relationship they have with the reader. After reading the previous three books, I've grown to love these characters so much that I feel for them and I get sad when they do etc etc. And that's exactly what Marsden wants and planned when he started writing the series.I often feel very sorry for Ellie. The thing that makes her such a great protagonist is that she is nothing special: just an ordinary, normal girl with no amazing abilities or anything. Yet she manages to live through so much. And that's what makes her special. In most books we're greeted by a person who already has something unusual and wonderful about them. What makes Ellie so brilliantly made is that she becomes special throughout the books, so we get to see her change slowly and gradually - and we hardly notice it. In a way she's one of the weaker characters, since it's made quite clear that she's affected by what happens to them quite a lot more than her friends, and she often jeopardises the group through her fear. But because of that the reader can relate to her and her narration makes it clear why she does such things and how she comes to doing them. We're presented with a character who, from the outside, could be considered very selfish and a bad person. But when we get to look inside her, we can tell that actually she's been forced into this situations and dangers and she's just dealing with it the best she can - which may not be very well, but she's only human. It's one of the best representations of human nature I've ever, ever experienced.Fi becomes a bigger character in this book. Previously, she's still had a vital relationship with Ellie, but now that some of the other characters have left, we're definitely seeing more of her. I've never really been sure of Fi. I'm not quite sure why: she's a perfectly nice person - on the contrary she's an amazingly kind and courageous person. I think what's always put me off about her is the fact she came from a very rich and posh family right at the beginning of the series. I'm actually quite ashamed of myself for letting a stereotypical role form in my mind, and then stick with me throughout the books, but I can't help it. There may be another reason why I'm not certain of Fi, but if there is I can't think of it.Homer is my favourite character, which was why I was sad he wasn't such a big part in this book. Homer is the most interesting to me because she's got such a big character and a lot of attitude, and still messes up all the time and is a complete jerk - that I can't help but find Marsden' flawless presentation intriguing. I honestly love him so much. I really wish his and Ellie's friendship was shown more, since we hear about it a lot, but rarely actually experience it. I just think he's such fun to read, even when he's in one of his signature stormy moods.Kevin used to annoy me, but actually I've grown to like him. I think we're supposed to see him as a jerk in the first book, because he really messes up big time. And that feeling does linger in the other books. But Kevin keeps proving himself in small ways, as Ellie herself points out, and that, in the end, made me like him. Again, it's just another way of dealing with their circumstances. Acting like an idiot must be hard to avoid when everything you know it's there anymore - but sometimes he manages to break through it and be a hero.Lee confuses me. I like him. I think. Like I said, he confuses me.The other problem I had with Darkness Be My Friend was that when the climaxes came, they didn't seem particularly important. It's hard, in a book such as this, to have things constantly going on, and yet still push some events out as bigger than others. You can clearly tell what the main parts of the plot are, but when I was reading them, I was more thrilled or excited than I was on the other parts of the story.The romance is brilliant. It's there a little bit, but it's very dysfunctional - as you would expect in the situation. I really like how that affects Ellie and the way she thinks about everything going on around her. It also doesn't consume the story. I was wary, when reading the first book, about how much it was going to affect the story. Btu actually, it definitely dies down when they realise the seriousness of their situation.Again, Marsden, the best believable writer in the history of ever.I would recommend this book to anyone who likes meaningful stories or anything about war time. There's loads of action, and I couldn't say it isn't a thriller. There is romance, but don't expect your typical Young Adult love story. It's anything but. I have a friend who's really into politics and loves these books, so maybe that might also interest you.It's quite hard reading, do don't be surprised if you're a bit slow at first, it does pick up, especially towards the end. Also, it's quite a subduing, sad book. Don't read it when you're in a sensitive mood - it won't help.Read the first books first! You won't truly love and understand and feel for the characters until you know their full story. Also, it's quite confusing if you don't know what's previously happened to them.


The 4th book in the tomorrow series, we continue the journey of Ellie and her friends and we see them deal with the violence and pain produced by the war. They continue to be in danger without the guidance of adults and it is an immersive and heart pounding adventure.In this book I felt that the main character Ellie did so much recount of the past (before the war) for at least a quarter of the book. I felt she got angry really quickly and had strange mood swings which is understandable in her circumstances but I somehow sensed that it was a completely different character. However, recognition of the same Ellie as in the previous books picked up half way. The action occured in the last half of the book which was really good and made me fly through the pages wanting to find out what happens next. It was a rollercoaster of emotions I felt with the characters - fear, shock, anger and empathy.A problem I had with this book, more than the previous books in the series, was the recount of Ellie's past. The author writes in a female point of view which must be hard but I find some of the things he writes aren't really what goes in the mind of females. For example, "Lots of boys in New Zealand wear shorts to school. They have a Seventh Form too and even some of the Seventh Formers wear shorts. It looks kind of silly, because they seem too old for it, but it gives you a good chance to perv on their legs" and reminiscing when Ellie and her best friend Corrie were children: "We tried to peep at the shearers through a little hole in the wall of their dunny".Ellie learns a lot in this book, which is recounted in the Epilogue. Some of her actions at New Zealand at the beginning of the book I saw was unnecessary and uncharacteristic of her, but she regretted it and reflected that it was a bad move which was great to see.The ending left me hanging and was quite a shocker so I can't wait for the next in the series, Burning for Revenge.

Aimee Ferguson

(I'll get around to writing reviews for each book eventually... for now my notes so I don't forget, this book gets 4/5 because until about half way in it was really hard to get into? I don't know if it was the time between reading book 3 and 4 (flying back to Canada) but it was a little slow at first, 'cause it felt like the same kind of set up. When things picked up and the characters started showing growth I got right back into it. Loved the language as always.)

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