After they killed my best friend I was angry
After they ruined my thirteenth birthday I was determined
To get to the forest
To join forces with Gabriek and Yuli
To be a family
To defeat the Nazis after all.
Jesus. I feel like I've been properly through the emotional wringer with these books.
So at the end of Now, we knew that Felix had survived the war and had emigrated to Australia with Gabriek. We know that Felix survives, so it made me wonder how he would continue to maintain interest and tension in the final two books.
He does it by serving up lashings of Nazi brutality and terror, that's how. Gleitzman writes with a sledgehammer, which is not a style I generally enjoy but because of his subject matter I think it's actually quite appropriate. He never once pulls his punches, which is a brave thing to do, considering this is a MG/lower YA book. But then, when you're writing about the holocaust you really can't beat around the bush of gloss things over.
And that ending. Bloody hell.
The thing that prevents this book from being a complete misery-fest is Felix's delightful narration and inspiring optimism. It's like, holy shit, the kid has has had literally the worst childhood it's possible for someone to have, but he never throws his hands in the air and gives up (which he'd be perfectly entitled to do).
Like the other books, I listened to this on a Bolinda audiobook and it was narrated by the author. This really added to the whole experience.