Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: November 1, 2011
Source: For Review from Simon & Schuster Canada (Thank you!)
Rating: 2.5 Stars
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 everday 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.
In short: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts is an intense post-apocalyptic read, but unfortunately lacks distinct character development for its four narrators.
My main problem with Dark Inside was there were too many perspectives to keep track of. The four main characters had different backgrounds but ultimately did not have as fully fleshed out personalities as I would have liked, making them difficult separate and difficult to relate to. Also, it did not make for a fun reading experience to have each character's chapter end on a cliffhanger only to return to them finally three chapters later. And often the promised action at the end of the chapter was completely skipped over by the time that character's story was returned to, making the experience even more frustrating.
If there was one interesting aspect that having four perspectives provided though, it's the differing outlooks and actions taken by each character and using this to evaluate what would be the best course of action for me should I ever find myself in a post-apocalyptic setting. You never know. It could happen. What's best: not risking it and staying hidden in a secret hideout or not being a sitting duck and never staying in the same place for more than a night? Grouping together with many people to have safety in numbers or going it alone so that it's not as easy to be tracked? These are important questions that we should ask ourselves in case the world ends tomorrow.
Overall, I can appreciate the intense plot and psychological undercurrents that debut author, Jeyn Roberts, created for Dark Inside. But ultimately, Dark Inside needed more in depth character and world building to keep me interested. I'm confused as to whether this one is a planned series or a standalone, but there were certainly a ton of unanswered questions leftover.
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*Read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge