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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ARC Review: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

The world fell apart when they least expected it. For Mason it started when his mother died and his school was bombed to oblivion. For Aries when the earthquake struck and the bus she was in got mangled, saved by a mysterious man named Daniel. For Clementine, when her whole town was shot dead. For Michael, when he witnessed a road rage incident and the cops started shooting people instead of protecting them. Four different lives with only death and destruction in common. How will they survive when the world collapses?

Title: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
Pages: 368
Release Date: September 2nd 2011
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Source: Borrowed (thanks Precious!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


Four teenagers on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found. THE DARK INSIDE is a stunning, cinematic thriller: 28 DAYS LATER meets THE ROAD.

Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…. Now it’s our turn.

Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even worse is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, hooking on to weakness, turning the unwary into hunters, killers, crazies.

Mason: His mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground. Everyone he knows is killed.

Aries: A school bus, an aftershock and a crash. Pulled out of the wreckage by a mysterious stranger, she’s about to discover a world changed forever.

Clementine: An emergency meeting at the town hall that descends into murderous chaos. Outside the rest of their community encircle with weapons. How can those you trust turn into savage strangers?

Michael: A brutal road rage incident. When the police arrive on the scene they gun down the guilty and turn on the by-standing crowd. Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad?

The whole world has gone mad and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. A violent earthquake shook the planet, destroyed cities and decimated the world's entire population, leaving only a few survivors in a place where people are hunted and killed by other people, by those taken over by the Rage, the Baggers. Told through the perspectives of four different teens and one lone, mysterious character, Dark Inside tells us of a tale of what happens when Evil takes over.

What else can I say? I think this book is just brilliant. It's a masterful take on what evil really is. Is it a disease? A state of mind? Something dormant that is inside all of us and just waiting to be unleashed? Dark Inside is a tale of survival amidst the most terrifying circumstances. With no one else to trust, how can you last in a world where every single person you might have known wants you dead? I salute Jeyn Roberts for presenting the 'evilness' in a way that's always been familiar to us. In Dark Inside, your enemy is your own self. What if you let the darkness of yourself took over? Everyone can be a killer, your sister, your mother, your neighbor, your best friend. And if you think battling with the darkness inside of you is difficult, you had to do it in a world that was slowly falling apart, with millions of people dead, hopelessness takes over and you are left alone. Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael may not have known it, but they are part of the small percentage of humanity left that are still themselves, and they are being hunted.

I've always find it a challenge to write a story through several point of views, let alone read through it, but Jeyn Roberts handled it very well. I was never distracted or confused as each teen has his own distinct voice and challenges to go through if he/she wants to survive. All four teens' worst nightmares were happening simultaneously and throughout their experiences you will feel the same constant emotions over and over. Fear, hopelessness, confusion, the struggle to survive, the pain of losing those you love, but most of all, you see how their lives get joined together because of one goal. They all want to live and continue forward with what was left of humanity.

The addition of "Nothing" amidst the stream of thoughts from multiple points of views is what made this book spine chilling and terribly scary. Nothing's presence adds an extra dose of desperation and dread, because you see how everything happens through the eyes of one who has let the darkness took over. Nothing is a very complex character, very much alive and thinking and feeling. His mere existence blurs the lines between what can be considered as good and evil. Not all those taken over by the darkness are evil, but how can you tell? How will you know?

By far Daniel, Aries and Mason were the ones with the most intriguing story arcs in the story that caught my attention. Each character had their own stories to tell, but on top of that, they're writing stories of their own, they're starting from scratch. Aries is a tough girl, determined to live on even when the odds seem to be always against her and the band of 'survivors' she had come across and eventually led. Her constant encounters with Daniel is what gave the story a hint of romance, and I find that a welcome distraction through the overall dark tone of the book. Daniel, a person of great mystery, whose intentions were sketchy at best, wants to keep Aries alive, and it's all that matters in more ways than one. I look forward to reading more of him! Mason, on the other hand, is a lost kid. The world fell apart and so did his life. Without the only family he has, how will he continue on with his life? Mason's journey throughout the story felt like the central piece of the book, because it shows how it was like for those struggling with the dark. Will Mason give in and lose himself in the evilness of it all or will he stay as he is and believe in humanity's goodness and help Aries and the other survive?

Dark Inside is just wonderful. It's about sacrifice, it's about love, it's about death, and ultimately, it's about life and the choices you have to make in order to survive. Do you become evil or not? When do you choose to die and leave it all behind and when do you persevere to live on in a place where there's only death, blood and fighting everywhere? Dark and heavy, intense and enthralling, and highly engrossing, Dark Inside is a book I will not hesitate to recommend to every one!

Fantastic. Awesome. Amazing. This book is just what I need to break me out of my reading slump. I just fell in love with Dark Inside after reading the first page!

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:


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