Published: November 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Copy: Received for Review
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.
'Dark Inside' was a powerful read. It was very dark indeed, but I felt that there was always a tiny spark of hope that kept going, for the characters and the reader. Most apocalyptic novels start several years after the 'event', but not this one - the event is the book.
The story is written in four voices, those of Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael, so it really is four separate stories. There is so much going on that just occasionally I had to stop and re-organize my thoughts over who was who and doing what, but ultimately, it was fairly easy to sort out and extremely interesting to see the same event from four different perspectives. Each of the characters is struggling to cope with total upheaval and the dangers of insipient madness. Why have most of the survivors gone crazy? Was the event natural? What caused it? Lots of questions. There are other characters who come and go - some nasty, some surprising, some sad, but all interesting. The story is extremely fast paced and gripping. My heart was pounding as the kids escape from the 'baggers' by the skin of their teeth.
At different times throughout the book I felt I was channeling Stephen King (the Stand), Terry Brooks (Armageddon's Children) and Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It), but while the story reminded me of each of them, ultimately, it was really nothing like them at all. Leanna over at Daisy Chain Book Reviews (check out her wonderful review) classed Dark Inside as "apocalyptic horror all the way - very dark and brutal, truly scary and not for the faint of heart", in one of her comments and I couldn't agree more. It is an absolute must for fans of apocalyptic fiction - I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did. Dark Inside is the first in a trilogy and I for one can't wait for the next installment.