Circle of Flight - John Marsden

Ellie arrives home to find Gavin gone, and spends over half the book getting him back from the terrorists who kidnapped him looking for Ellie and the Scarlet Pimpernel. Then Ellie loses him again as Child Services takes him away.


I’ve loved this series, really loved the spin-off of life after the war as well. I’m still trying to understand why Ellie never wanted to join Liberation if she’s freely admitting loving breaking the law and being in dangerous situations. I think it’s the rebel in her – she doesn’t particularly want to follow orders.


I think it was convenient but understanding how the terrorist threat that opened the spin-off series was neatly wrapped up by basically murdering everyone who was involved, and I also think it was pretty realistic to finally have someone try to interfere with Ellie’s relationship with Gavin. Although I don’t see the bureaucrat as a bad guy, I do think that Ellie was doing a good job of keeping Gavin alive even though she was still a minor herself. Anyway, she’s got to be turning eighteen sometimes soon, wasn’t she sixteen when the war began eighteen months ago?


I’m also still trying to wrap my head around her sudden assertion that she loves Lee, not Jeremy, not Homer, but Lee. Lee, who in the last book was little more than an annoyance – and suddenly she and Gavin are going to move in with him and his young siblings? They’re all going to play Happy Families while Lee continues with Liberation and Ellie, what, babysits until it gets too dangerous and someone needs rescuing?

I just don’t like this ending. Ellie was over Lee and I would have been happy to see her with Jeremy, who changed suddenly with little to no foreshadowing, because it would have been nice to see her being in more than one serious relationship in the series. Too often teen books are relegated to the couple being stuck as first and only love (although Ellie did have Steve before Lee, but that was before the war). And Jeremy was a nice guy until he suddenly went out of character. However I did find it amusing that everyone thought Ellie was in love with Homer. And also, apparently Homer is in love with Ellie? Can’t quite wrap my head around that either.


Although I liked the plot of having to continually rescue Gavin, I found the smaller ends tied up in a way I didn’t find entirely satisfactory. It’s definitely worth reading for Ellie’s adventures solo against the terrorists and how she uses her smarts, and even the legal stuff is quite interesting to read (especially the QC’s takedown of the bureaucrat). Endings are hard, especially series endings, and especially one where the reading is so invested in the characters. Although I didn’t find this perfect, I guess it was OK for the series on a whole.