Title: Dark Inside (Dark Inside #1)
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
My Rating: 5/5
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 more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everyday people into hunters, killers, crazies.
Mason's 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, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety. (Summary from Amazon)
I finally decided to buy Jeyn Robert’s debut Dark Inside because of Chandra over at Indigo Teen Blog. She wrote a list in December of her Teen Top Ten of 2011, which featured Dark Inside as number ten. I had heard about the novel earlier, but couldn’t decide if I wanted to pick it up or not. I put it on my Christmas list and was excited to see it appear under my tree. When I finally decided to read it, I was absolutely stunned. If you’re on the fence about this one just go to the book store and read the first chapter. I can guarantee that you’ll be walking out with it.
One thing I found very fresh about this book was where it started. Normally in dystopian books, the novel starts out years after the apocalypse has happened after, for the most part, society has re-established itself. Dark Inside instead starts at the apocalypse. The world as we know it ends in the first few chapters. Instead of learning about this whole new world, we see our own be destroyed from four different points of view. It’s pretty shocking, and terrifying. These characters are in the exact situation each of us would be in if the apocalypse happened. They are simply trying to survive in a destroyed world. There are no rules and no guidelines, simply the fierce will to survive. Dark Inside is one of those books that keeps you thinking even after the book is put away. I found myself wondering what would happen if I, just like Aries, were sitting on a bus when it all happens. I started looking at my own life and wondering “could I survive the apocalypse?”. Because this book isn’t about fitting into this new way of living, it’s all about trying to live in a world surrounded by death. It is a frightening book because it doesn’t offer you an escape. In other dystopians, you can think that the world simply couldn’t end up that way, that there would events to make sure that wouldn’t happen in our world. But Dark Inside is our world. It is our world in ruins.
One of the scariest parts of this book is the fact that humanity is destroying itself. The concept that people you love and care about could simply switch off one day and turn against you is one of the scariest parts of this book. The horror that, although natural disasters were the catalyst, it is humans that are destroying our world, drives this book. It's not for the faint of heart, let me tell you. It is very graphic in parts, and utterly disturbing. You will not be able to tear your eyes away.
The characters in this book are fantastic. They are all brave in their own ways, and they all are forced to make impossible decisions. Aries has to be my favourite. She is a firecracker with a fierce will to survive, and unmatched courage. Aries is the person I would hope to be if ever faced with this situation. The rest of the characters have to deal with their own impossible tasks, and stare defiantly into the face of death. I admire them all for it.
Dark Inside will surpass every expectation you have for it. It will scare you out of your mind, question your own will survive, and make you love every second you spend reading it. Simply fantastic. There is no better phrase to describe it.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for its sequel, RAGE WITHIN, out September 2012!
-Ciara who is lost at midnight