Dark Inside – Jeyn Roberts
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Release Date: 2nd September 2011
Something bad is about to happen. A lot of people are going to die and it’s only the beginning.
A murderous rage has been unleashed. Moments after earthquakes rock the world, people start to change in the most terrifying of ways. Friends turn on friends, girlfriends on boyfriends, brothers on sisters. Nobody can be trusted.
For those who survive the first wave of killing, the world is a different, deadlier place. Michel, Aries, Mason and Clementine must battle to stay alive in a world determined to kill them. All they have is one another...but can they be sure of that?
An apocalyptic, heart-stopping saga of rage, hope and survival.
I was a little wary of Dark Inside because the idea of the population turning into homicidal maniacs is pretty terrifying, but once I got stuck into it, I enjoyed it.
For the first hundred-or-so pages of Dark Inside I was largely ambivalent to both the story and the characters. I think this was largely due to the four-character alternating narrative that were, in the beginning, all very unrelated to each other. There were no crossover points and at time it felt like I was reading four separate novels as their experiences were so different. But I persisted because dual narration is a favourite format of mine and I was starting to warm up to the characters.
Michael, Aries, Mason and Clem are four very different people and their stories panned out very differently to what I expected. The way they changed throughout the novel made me wonder how I’d react in a post-apocalyptic situation – and I really couldn’t work it out. Aries changed from a scared little girl into a strong leader (she was by far my favourite character), Mason from a survivor to a guy on a path to self-destruction, Michael from a leader to a person driven by self-preservation. And Clem didn’t really develop all that much; I don’t feel like I really know her very well as her search for her brother propelled her entire story.
But perhaps the most prominent and imposing character of Dark Inside is the mysterious force that is driving people to violence and insanity. This entity was represented (I think) in sporadic, short chapters titled ‘Nothing’ that discussed the impact of the darkness and violence on the brain and body. By the end of the novel it seemed to develop and intelligence and retain shreds of humanity and develop into what seemed to be a group mentality. It was extremely freaky.
Dark Inside is a highly intriguing debut and I hope that there’s a sequel to answers all of my remaining questions.