Darkness, Be My Friend - John Marsden
If you haven’t read the other books in the series, BEWARE. There will be spoilers in this review.

As the story begins, Ellie and her friends, Lee, Homer, Kevin, and Fi, are enjoying a little R & R in New Zealand. After receiving some much needed medical treatment, they get to enjoy a couple of months of good food, soft beds, and even a little hero treatment. Stories are published in newspapers about all of their accomplishments. Everyone knows them.

You can imagine how hard it was when they found out the New Zealand Army wanted them to return to their hometown, Wirrawee, to serve as guides for Kiwi soldiers. Ellie particularly has a hard time coming to terms with going back to war.

Things move quickly as soon as the orders are issued. Ellie and the gang pack up again – this time with a dozen trained soldiers in tow. They return to Hell and set up camp. After only a few days the mission is in full swing. Ellie and Lee lead the Kiwis to town. Things go smoothly until Ellie makes a dangerous error – forcing her to retreat back to Hell and leave Lee with the soldiers to complete the assignment. Neither Lee nor the soldiers make it back to Hell. After several days, Ellie, Homer, Kevin, and Fi have to decide if they are going to look for them or call the New Zealand commander and ask to be rescued. Can you guess what they chose? Of course, they head into Wirrawee to see what happened.

DARKNESS BE MY FRIEND is an important novel in the series. While in the past Ellie and her friends have been able to do some major damage to the enemy, the events in this book prove to them that they can’t always have good luck. Everything they attempt is more difficult and more dangerous. One upside to this visit to Wirrawee is the information they gather. Finally, they get word about their families and friends – giving hope to some and providing closure for others. The story ends with Ellie and her friends in a desperate situation. There aren’t many options left and there is only one place for them to hide – Hell.