by Jeyn Roberts
[Note: this is the UK cover]
Summary: 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.So I was talking to Julie yesterday and we were talking about scary books and I said that books don’t really scare me at all. Literally hours later, I read this book and was totally proven wrong....
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 book was awesomely creepy at some parts and I loved it - reading it felt like watching one of those thriller movies that keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
The book kind of surprised me, I wasn’t expecting it to be that good or to love it at much as I did. I’ve mentioned before that I am generally not a fan of books that alternate perspectives between different characters, especially if it’s between more than two, but it didn’t bother me in this book -- there were five different characters the story switched between and it was done really, really well. Aries was my favourite, I loved her chapters the most - sometimes Masons chapters dragged a little and I found myself wanting to speed through them to get to the ones I liked better, but in general, it was good.
The book showed humanity at it’s worst, but showed the good parts too and it really makes you think about how far you’d go to survive, whether you’d be strong enough -- you don’t really know how you’d react in the face of a disaster until it happens and I love books that explore that, there was a wide range of characters showing all different kinds of people an how they’d cope and some of them were surprising.
The world/plot was…creepy. Reading about it in my room with most of the lights off at 4am kind of freaked me out a little (did not help that it was really quiet and one of those nights where the house kept making settling noises).
The monsters weren’t your typical monsters that go bump in the night -- they were people, regular people, who just snapped; people turning on their loved ones or people they’ve known all their lives, good people doing horrible things…and that’s what made it scary, way scarier than a book about ghosts or zombies or vampires or any other monster could hope to be.
The only real negative I can think of right now is that with the way it's written, in third person (for 4 out of 5 of the characters), the reader is left very...distanced from what's going on. I mean, it's written well but it never made me cry once, even though there were people dying, being brutally murdered, throughout the whole book -- even when it was people close to the characters, I didn't really feel it. The book was more - adrenaline rush than emotional, it's like it sacrificed real emotional connections to the characters for the sake of being fast paced and creepy. I think if all the perspectives were told in first person they would've been more personal and it would've been easier to connect to what is going on.
This book isn’t the kind of book I’d pick up on my own (which is surprising seeing as I love horror movies and apocalypse/post-apocalypse type things) but I’m so glad I read it. I think it’s probably one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year, because it kept me entertained and on edge from start to finish and it was different to all the other books I’ve read this year (most of the other books I've loved it's been emotional connection to the characters or the writing or something that made me love them).