Simon & Schuster/November 1, 2011
From Goodreads ~
Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies.
Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.
Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.
Another young adult dystopian novel you say? Yes it is. I could say this is different because it is. And I could also say it's creepy as hell because it is. And filled with suspense that will keep you glued to the page because it is. It's all that and more.
The dark inside has come out to play and those left to face it have very little chance of surviving it. Those that do survive the initial outbreak are forced to fight for lives never knowing when or where the next attack will come from. We follow four teenagers in the aftermath of horrendous events which leave them to face the uncertainty of a world gone mad.
I started reading this late at night, planning to only read a little before going to bed. At nearly 3 am I forced myself to stop and get some sleep. It's a very fasted paced story with five different POVs that switch with each chapter. This is really my only complaint. It's like reading different stories that eventually intersect but until they do, you must keep track of each separate story line. This caused some problems with the flow of the story because each time the POV switched, I had to scramble to remember that particular character's story line.
The four main characters not only come from different places but different backgrounds. Marcus was raised by his single mom. They are very close and her loss devastates him. He has no chance to mourn before the world falls apart around him. Aries is separated from her parents and has no chance to search them out before she is running for her life. Michael's parents are divorced and he lives with his dad who is out of town when disaster hits. Clementine's story is heartbreaking - she is forced to run, knowing death is all she's leaving behind. Her only hope is traveling cross country to find her brother. The fifth POV comes from Nothing. It's left up to the reader to decide who or what Nothing is.
Of all the different main characters I found I liked something about each one of them. Marcus for his deep emotions and kindness. Aries for her leadership and determination. Michael - I'm conflicted about. I found his perceived faults fascinating but are they really faults or just genuine human reactions to horrifying situations? Would the other characters have done the same? The one character that surprised me the most was Clementine, the cheerleader from the Midwest who would probably be at the bottom of the list to survive but she has guts and a fierce will to go on.
The monsters are here and they're hungry. This time it's not zombies or aliens or vampires or werewolves. The monsters are humans. Humans who have lost their humanity and become the thing of nightmares. They terrorize and kill, roaming in groups using cunning and deceit to capture their victims. There are no true safe places since these monsters can go anywhere the survivors can. This kept the suspense high, never knowing where the next killer may turn up.
Dark Inside is a clever, highly addictive novel about what could happen if the darkest side of human nature is released.