D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts

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D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Buy D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: An unusual entrant into the dystopian market: Dark Inside doesn't bother with any worldbuilding, it just goes for violence and frenzy. Bookbag really enjoyed the intensity of it and will be looking out for the next in the series. However, we did feel the characters needed clearer delineation, given the multiple narrator format.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Macmillan
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0230756182

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4. Earthquakes shudder across the world.
3. SOMETHING is released.
2. Trust no one - not even yourself.
1. The killing game has begun...

Erk! Aries's best friend is killed in a road crash, but her other friends are stalked and killed by passers-by. She only escapes with the help of a mysterious stranger. Michael sees road rage spiral out of control and bodies in the street. Mason is murderously attacked with a baseball bat by a man he's never seen before. And Clementine is hunted through her small hometown by people she has known all her life. The world has changed forever. Swathes of people - we'll come to call them Baggers - are possessed by a violent rage that they cannot control and the few that aren't must fight for their lives...

There is a complete lack of worldbuilding in this dystopian book. Future catastrophe novels crowd the shelves at the moment - happily for me, because I love them - and I thought this was something new and rather refreshing. Roberts doesn't worry too much about setting scenes; she just goes for violence and frenzy and confusion. I thought this intensity brought something new and I enjoyed it. I hope fans of this genre prove open-minded enough to embrace it.

All four main protagonists take a turn in a multiple viewpoint structure. This works well in a plot that has disparate characters eventually coming together and it suited the book. However, the various voices weren't really sufficiently distinct - a consequence of the concentration on action - and I did find myself occasionally flicking back to a chapter title to check whose turn it was, particularly with the boys. I needed stronger characterisation than I got.

Short entries from the mysterious Nothing are interspersed throughout the book and we soon suspect these are thoughts of someone we know. But who?

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed D4rk Inside. It didn't follow a genre blueprint and I loved its almost-zombie-but-not-quite Baggers. It was an intense, senses-battering and thrilling read and I really couldn't put it down, despite my reservations about the characterisations. I hope there is going to be a book two, because I'll certainly be reading it.

My thanks to the good people at Macmillan for sending the book.

For fans of a narrative driven by action, we'd recommend Gone by Michael Grant in which teenagers are imprisoned by the mysterious Fayz, and The Enemy by Charlie Higson, a zombie schlock-fest.

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Buy D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts at Amazon.com.


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