16 May 2011

Double Review: Incurable & Circle of Flight by John Marsden

I finished the final two books in John Marsden's The Ellie Chronicles last week. This short double review assumes you've read the previous books about Ellie Linton but has no spoilers for the two novels discussed here. I reviewed While I Live, the first in the trilogy, a couple of weeks ago. For my reviews of the Tomorrow Series, click on the review tab (above).

Incurable and Circle of Flight finish out the story of Ellie Linton and her involvement with the enemy in postwar Australia. Each book is centered around two primary issues: the ongoing guerrilla war against enemy raids and the changing face of everyday life in rural Australia. When the raids become personal, Ellie has a hard time staying out of the action, but at the same time, she is growing weary of the constant vigilance and is questioning her own acts of violence.

In the months since the war officially ended, Ellie is pulled in many directions: keeping the farm running, caring for Gavin, going to school, and staying alive. She feels the burden of other people's expectations for her and begins to think of her long-term goals. She realizes that something must give, and her story ends with her making the decisions that will color her life perhaps forever.

Although the Ellie Chronicles were not as good as the original Tomorrow Series, Marsden's characterizations never faltered. The mix of action with the personal stories of the characterics keep the plot moving to a satisfying end.

My only true complaint about these books has to do with the audio production. Instead of the fabulous Suzi Dougherty (who is Ellie in my mind), the final two books were read by Mikaela Martin (Bolinda Publishing: 6 hr, 56 min and 9 hr, 12 min). Martin's reading made Ellie seem less self-assured and more angst ridden than she was in the previous books. I realize that no one could measure up to Dougherty for Ellie's voice, but it was disappointing that the audio producers changed narrators at the end of the series.

Give it to me quickly: Satisfying ending to John Marsden's trilogy about Ellie Linton and her struggle to find normalcy and security in a postwar Australia; Marsden is a master at developing believable teens.

Incurable at Powell's
Incurable at Book Depository
Circle of Flight at Powell's
Circle of Flight at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by Scholastic, 2008, 2009
ISBN-13: Incurable, 9780439783224; Circle of Flight, 9780439783217
YTD: 46, 47
Source: Bought (see review policy).
Rating: B+, B+
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Jenn's Bookshelves 5/16/11, 10:16 AM  

Loved, loved, loved this series. I'm with you on the change in narrator. It just wasn't the same without Suzi Dougherty!

bermudaonion 5/16/11, 12:59 PM  

I don't understand why publishers change readers part way through a series - it drives me bonkers.

Nise' 5/16/11, 3:44 PM  

Ditto on the frustration of changing narrators in a series.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 5/16/11, 4:32 PM  

Totally with you on the narrators. I disliked Mikaela Martin's interpretation that much, I don't think I'd pick up a book with her again unless I really had to.

I think I said this to you on twitter, but her voice for Gavin, was just horrible.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 5/16/11, 6:36 PM  

OOH I would like the same readers too... thats like changing actors mid movie...

Col (Col Reads) 5/17/11, 6:53 AM  

I can see what you mean by being put off by a change in readers. It would completely change the mood of the book, which is so important to an audio title!

Rebecca Rasmussen 5/17/11, 10:15 AM  

This is so cute: your section: give it to me quickly. I love it! I know, I know, I must be in a weird mood this morning :)XOXO

Alice Teh 5/19/11, 10:48 AM  

Although the audio production is not great I'm glad the ending was satisfying for you.

Robin McCormack 5/19/11, 9:07 PM  

Sound like an interesting series of stories. Since I don't listen to audio books that wouldn't affect my read. But I can imagine how annoying that would be for you. Just get used to one voice, then they change on you. Changes the texture of the whole story.

Michelle 5/29/11, 1:20 PM  

UGH, I have got to get through the rest of the Tomorrow series. I've got these books to get to as well!

matteo 8/29/11, 6:02 PM  

Is there any way to get John Marsden personally involved and to reproduce the two last books with Suzy Dougherty? Through Social Media? After all the money earned this mistake should be corrected.....

Beth F 8/29/11, 6:07 PM  

Matteo: I wish!!

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