Big Book,  YA

Dark Inside

Jeyn Roberts
Moments after several huge earthquakes shake every continent on Earth, something strange starts happening to some people. Michael can only watch in horror as an incidence of road rage so extreme it ends in two deaths unfolds before his eyes; Clementine finds herself being hunted through the small town she has lived in all her life, by people she has known all her life; and Mason is attacked with a baseball bat by a random stranger. An inner rage has been released and some people cannot fight it. For those who can, life becomes an ongoing battle to survive – at any cost! Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen – now it’s our turn!
It started like any other day, but then the earthquakes came and people began to change. Four teens watch those around them transformed into ‘Baggers’. Humans who hunt down other humans and kill them. Humans who hunt down the weak and enjoy it, who drag families from their homes. The world has changed beyond recognition and it takes everything you have just to survive.
This book was really scary. It’s not often I find a book really chilling, but at one point I actually had to stop reading as I was in the house on my own and it was scaring me too much. It’s a book that examines the darker side of human nature. The idea that everybody has a dark side, just in the ‘Dark Inside’ this dark side is amplified to a greater extreme. It’s the books and films that do this that I do tend to find scary.
I loved that this was set during the ‘Apocalypse’, so many books are set afterwards this days. Though this is great for showing governmental control, setting the book during really adds to the tension, creating that feeling of chaos and panic, a feeling you find very real whilst reading this book. It makes the reader examine what they would do in the same situation as the characters.
The story is told from multiple points of view. Four teenagers who come from different parts of the United States and Canada. This works really well, it shows how different areas, farm villages to big cities, cope with the disaster. It also shows how different people cope, how some band together and how some isolate themselves. It also gives the reader access to a greater range of supporting characters. I also loved that they didn’t meet up until the end of the book, this means that as a reader we already have a sense of who they are as characters in their own right, leaving any group dynamic to ‘The Rage Within’. Which incidentally I can’t wait to read.
I’ve had a lot of teenagers coming in to my library and asking for ‘scary books’ lately. I think that I may have to buy some more copies of this as it will definitely be my new go to book for those after books in the horror genre.
Verdict: Tense, chilling and genuinely scary. A book that examines the darker side of nature that you won’t want to put down.
Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: September 2011
Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
Genre: Apocalyptic, Horror, Dystopian
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None


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