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.
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