Dark Inside – Jeyn Roberts

I’ve had the pleasure of reading some truly excellent dystopian YA novels in recent years - The Hunger Games and The Declaration trilogies spring to mind.  The post-apocalyptic setting seems to be increasingly common in recent YA releases and Dark Inside, Jeyn Roberts’ debut , is part of this growing trend but is it strong enough to stand out from the rest?

Four teens, Mason, Michael, Aries and Clementine are survivors of a bizarre catastrophe – a series of worldwide devastating earthquakes coupled with sudden onset psychotic behaviour manifesting itself in the majority of the human race so you don’t know who to trust.  Each chapter deals with a different teen and their efforts to stay alive, all of them journeying to Vancouver, thought to be a haven in a world of terror.

I enjoyed Dark Inside – it’s an extremely fast paced read which keeps you hooked from the opening chapter.  However, there were some elements which spoiled the reading experience and really irked me at times.  I usually have no problem following a storyline with multiple POV but I didn’t feel the characters were well enough developed for me to cope with each chapter shifting to a different storyline and I couldn’t remember who was who and kept on flicking back to remind myself of each character’s back story.  In the midst of the four teens’ stories are random interjections from an anonymous narrator, “Nothing” which really didn’t add to the overall story.  Unfortunately,  this got in the way of my enjoying what was actually an exciting narrative.

It would appear from the concluding chapter that this might be the start of a series but if this is the case, it’s a shame that the opener wasn’t stronger with more defined characterisation.  It will appeal to those who like action-packed narratives but I fear that Dark Inside might be eclipsed by others in this increasingly saturated market.

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  1. Ellie says:

    I wish there was more distopian fiction aimed at old adults but this sounds good. I might get it just for the cover, I really like the clever design.

  2. Treez says:

    There is so much dystopian themed stuff out there for YA at the moment, Ellie. Virtually every book I looked at in WH Smith YA section today was about one disaster or another, some are really good reads. We had vampires, now post-apocalyptic and zombies, who knows what’s coming next!! ;-)

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