It seems like this is the year of the reread – first Red Rising and Golden Son and then Harry Potter and now this. The last time I read these was 10 years ago! And I absolutely loved them then. The reason why I am rereading them now, is because there was a recent ABC (Australia) TV series based on the first book. Now it wasn’t the best adaptation, and it was hardly true to the book, but it still made me want to reread the books and see what they were actually like, since I had forgotten about them. And not only has there been a TV show, there was also a movie based on the first book, which did ok, but clearly not good enough to warrant sequels to cover the subsequent books.
So reading through this first book definitely was nostalgic. There was excitement, and there was survival, and it was about teenagers, which obviously resonated with me back in the day when I first read the series. Reading through it now, I’m fairly pleased with the first book. I think it does quite well at portraying the horrors of war, and the harsh reality of it, for those young people growing up around it.
And I think another strength is the realism of it. The characters react in ways which I could definitely see myself reacting in, or another person reacting like. Ok the idea of an invasion from an enemy force to Australia undetected and so successfully is out there, but certainly not impossible.
It is also interesting to see just how much has changed since the book was written, like the lack of mobile phones and no real mention of the internet. It just reminds me how fast technology has progressed in such a short period of time. And now I wonder how the book would be written if it were written today. Would Hell have to be a blackspot? And surely some farmhouses would have a satellite phone? [the TV show did have mobile phones, and an infuriating scene where the parents decided to delete photos of their kids off their phones, but do it in a one by one manner, which was so slow].
I’m curious to see how the series goes, because I only remember vague bits and pieces.