Review: Dark Inside

Dark Inside
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had to down grade this one a little due to the fact that it had multiple POVs, and kept switching every chapter. The chapter headings and top of each page were labelled with the kid’s name, but since I have large memory problems, for one night to the other, I forgot who was who and had to keep going back to check. That said, it was a decent unknown PA book, due to some earthquakes, and “an ancient evil” that turned most of the people, but not all, into raging lunatics that killed. Why was never explained, but since the ending was left open, I suspect more books might be coming, and will explain the problem further. That’s another reason for the downgrading. Although I love series, I prefer more questions to be answered in a single book, than left open. It’s hard to strike the right balance sometimes. The author may have an overreaching story arc, but we the readers can’t see that, and aren’t even sure another one is coming since it wasn’t mentioned in the book. So if this turns out to be a stand-alone, my rating will stand.

As for the story itself, there were three or four basic characters – one a young girl who had been on a bus with her best friend and that girl’s boyfriend, on the way to their school’s play rehearsals. After the earthquake, and as the violence was beginning, they made their way to the school, and holed out there, eventually deciding to strike out for Vancouver/Seattle. Each one had a reason for going to the coast – family, a memory, etc. Another was a young girl who was in church when her parents noticed two men coming in with shotguns, and somehow knew something was going to be terribly wrong so they got her to leave quickly and quietly, but she hung around too long and was quickly running to find shelter. Another young man was on the other side of a big city from his parents, and knew that most likely they were gone, so he teamed up with a slightly older man, but when the going got tough, he ran off, and felt like a coward the rest of the way. And there were more kids, either through POVs or as seen through the kid’s eyes as they met and joined up. Some were lost along the way, others survived. Decent story, but with that many people, it’s hard to get inside each character’s head and find out their emotions, what drives them. One felt guilty, but I never could figure out (or remember) what he felt so guilty about. Confusing to me. None of them had enough depth that I could sustain a memory of them across the book. And one other detail that bothered me, the PA queen, is the ease with which these small groups of kids made it across the US or Canada in the late Fall, as winter approached, and without the proper survival gear. Food/water, etc, seemed to come easily, although in a few places they got very hungry, but mostly they were able to drive around, find shops, etc. But it was interesting, and if further books delve into this ancient evil, it could be a decent series.

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