Book Review: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Simon and Schuster
329 pp.

Fair warning: I did not much care for this book. It was more or less readable, but I had no feelings for any of the characters, who were basically cardboard figures being dragged along by the plot. I also found some of the writing to be very clunky, and flat out disagreed with several of the points the writer seemed to be fumbling toward. (My feelings for this book are nearly the same as my feelings for the The Stand, another apocalypse novel that I really do not like very much.) It has a very open and somewhat weak ending, and the last couple pages are not numbered for apparently atmospheric reasons.

The Dark Inside is an apocalyptic novel vaguely related to the zombie apocalypse genre. After an earthquake groups of people begin to randomly go out and kill people, and destroy infrastructure. (It is implied that this is a world-wide phenomenon and the people in question are possessed.) This results in a societal collapse within a very short period of time as the people not affected by the unexplained miasma of evil are hunted down by the people who are affected.

This is an apparently supernatural outbreak, though the writer does not go into any kind of detail as to the nature of the supernatural threat. The possession seems to take one of three forms. The first group is basically mindless killer zombies. The second group seems to be motivated by some greater and mysterious purpose. These people are the ones who are destroying most of the infrastructure. They believe they have been “chosen” to enact some kind of plan though whom they think they are doing it for is something of a mystery. The third group hovers between homicidal and more or less normal and they seem to have mysterious knowledge and insight that leads them to believe some fairly nihilistic baloney about human nature.   

Our Heroes are a scattered group of young adults who are attempting to avoid being killed, as you do when society collapses and there are roving bands of homicidal crazy people. We have Mason, who is experiencing the double whammy of his mother’s death along with the death of civilization. We have Clementine whose mother was apparently psychic. Clementine turns out to have insanely good luck. (She is a character who seems to get rescued by randomness the most.) We have Aries and Michael who are both struggling with various tragedies since the groups they started out with did not last very long. We also have an unknown and anonymous character referred to as “Nothing” who is actually one of the people afflicted by the unknown miasma.


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Filed under apocalyptic, book, fantasy, Jeyn Roberts, Review: Book, young adult

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