Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Review of Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Thanks to Macmillan Publishers for the review copy.
** What it's about **
Moments after several huge earthquakes shake every continent on Earth, something strange starts happening to some people. Michael can only watch in horror as an incidence of road rage so extreme it ends in two deaths unfolds before his eyes; Clementine finds herself being hunted through the small town she has lived in all her life, by people she has known all her life; and Mason is attacked with a baseball bat by a random stranger. An inner rage has been released and some people cannot fight it. For those who can, life becomes an ongoing battle to survive - at any cost!

Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen - now it's our turn!

** What I thought **
I’m sad to say I was disappointed with this book.  The synopsis drew me in and I thought I would really enjoy it, but alas…!
The book focuses on four main characters; Clementine, Aires, Michael and Mason.  Each chapter is told from a different point of view, as the book follows their struggle for survival and their journey to find loved ones or safety.  I found there was a lack of character development, as I could never remember which character belonged to which story and had to keep flicking back to remind myself.  Unfortunately this continued throughout the book, and so it became even more confusing once they all met up and there was no way to distinguish by their surroundings/people travelling with them.
The book also contains chapters from the point of view of “Nothing” – this for me didn’t add anything.  If I’m honest, it confused me and I still don’t really understand what the point of it was. 
The ending was a disappointment.  Having looked at a couple of reviews, it would appear that it’s possible that this is part of a series.  If that’s the case, I think it needed to be made clearer, and the ending should have been more of a cliff hanger to draw people into the next book.  As it stands, I don’t feel any strong pull to read any follow up book.
Having got all my complaints out of the way, I should say that Roberts style of writing is good.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the actual narrative – it did hold my interest and the pace was good with twists and turns along the way.  However, the flaws (in particular the unsatisfying ending) outweighed that enjoyment for me. 
This is a book aimed at YA (and a debut novel for Jeyn Roberts) so perhaps as an older reader, I am being overly harsh but certainly if this is intended to be a sequel I think it needed to make more of an impact from the start.  I liked the characters, but they weren’t that memorable and I didn’t feel any strong connection to any of them.  The ending left a lot of unanswered questions, but unfortunately didn’t leave me desperate to know the answers to them!

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