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Thursday, September 26, 2013

352 Pages of Blood, Gore and Not Much Else

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When the world erupts in a sudden explosion of unimaginable violence, everyone's shocked and confused.  Well, maybe not everyone.  Some—those to whom the darkness speaks—know precisely what's happening.  They welcome the chaos, the destruction.  The rest cower in fear, not understanding how or why their neighbors, friends and families have turned into such vicious, blood-thirsty monsters.  They're not zombies or werewolves or vampires, but something else, something that looks human, but acts like a feral animal.  No one's safe from the creatures, so consumed are they by beating, maiming, torturing and killing anyone who shows signs of retaining even an ounce of their humanity. 

Four teenagers—Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael—struggle for survival in this strange new world.  All are worn down by what they've seen, what they've had to do.  They're traveling the same road, ultimately heading to a place that's rumored to be safe.  But, what will they really find when they reach Vancouver, B.C.?  A refuge or just more death and despair?  Can the darkness be outrun?  Defeated?  With so few real humans left in the barren, empty world, it's up to the four kids to figure out how to not just survive, but also triumph against a powerful, ancient enemy.  How will they achieve such a lofty goal, though, when they barely know each other, let alone trust each other?  And will their efforts be in vain when they discover the secret one of the teens is desperately trying to keep hidden?

Dark Inside, a debut novel by Canadian author Jeyn Roberts, offers readers an adrenaline-fueled, action-packed story that will engage even reluctant readers.  It's dark, though, and thick with violent, gory scenes.  In fact, that's about all there is to this tale—the writing's nothing special, the characters lack depth, and there's little that's original or surprising about the plot.  The kids spend all their time running from the bad guys, making no real progress toward solving the problem or saving the world.  Without that kind of plot development, Dark Inside is basically 352 pages of  blood-gushing, gut-spilling horror which, let me tell you, gets really old, really quick.  I checked the book's sequel, Rage Within, out of the library at the same time I did Dark Inside with the intention of reading the novels back-to-back.  When I finished the latter, though, I decided I'd had enough gore.  Since I didn't care enough about the characters to read on, I didn't.  'Nough said.  

(Readalikes:  Its sequel, Rage Within; also reminds me of The Road by Cormac McCarthy and other post-apocalyptic novels)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs) and violence/gore

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. I'm kind of burned out on dark books right now. I'm in the mood for something spooky, but not gory. Thanks for this review! Love seeing so many YA reviews lately! :)

    1. I have been on quite the YA kick lately, haven't I? Especially of the dark, dystopian variety. I'm tiring of them a little, too, so stay tuned for some lighter YA reads :)

  2. Okay, I'm staying away from this one. Too bad, though because I like supporting Canadian authors.

    1. Yeah, this one just wasn't for me. Too dark, too violent, and not well-written enough to make it worth the read.


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