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Dark Inside

Dark Inside

4.4 81
by Jeyn Roberts

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Roberts...masterfully [keeps] suspense high as the teens search for food, clothing and hiding places while fighting off attacks. The simple details of survival, such as living without electricity and refrigeration, fascinate as much as the fight scenes. Overall, a spirit of optimism wins through the post-apocalyptic despair. The four separate threads share enough common elements that, although distinct, they merge into a coherent narrative. Well-balanced, realistic suspense."—Kirkus Reviews

"A fascinating blend between Matheson’s I Am Legend and Collins’s The Hunger Games, Dark Inside will engross readers from the first written words, leaving them captivated by strong, compelling characters as well as the savage, destructive world they have to survive. Told from split narrations, a sense of unity is established that furthers the plot considerably and brings urgency and life to the book. Well-written and brilliant, Dark Inside will not disappoint."—VOYA

“The suspense and frissons [are] offered up in abundance by this successful debut.”—Booklist

“Amidst the recent glut of doomsday scenarios, Roberts makes her story stand out by focusing both on the physical challenges of finding safety in a world gone mad as well as the psychological devastation experienced by each of the teens. The terror of seeing friends suddenly transformed into monsters is keenly felt, but it is the teens’ disillusionment with themselves, and particularly their ability or willingness (or lack thereof) to lead that is most affecting. … Readers looking to prepare themselves for the end of the world might do well to start here.”—BCCB

VOYA - Raluca Topliceanu
A fascinating blend between Matheson's I Am Legend (TOR, 2007) and Collins's The Hunger Games, Dark Inside will engross readers from the first written words, leaving them captivated by strong, compelling characters as well as the savage, destructive world they have to survive. Told from split narrations, a sense of unity is established that furthers the plot considerably and brings urgency and life to the book. Well-written and brilliant, Dark Inside will not disappoint. 4Q, 5P. Reviewer: Raluca Topliceanu, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Sara Martin
One day, with barely a moment's warning, the world goes haywire. Earthquakes seem to unleash an unspeakable evil. Civilization crumbles as friends, neighbors, and family members are overcome by a darkness, awakened from within, and suddenly turn on each other with astonishing violence. No one is safe. No one can be trusted. In the face of annihilation, small groups of young people band together to try and survive. Told in alternating voices, each chapter focuses on one teen's predicament. Each of the characters is well drawn and engaging. Interspersed throughout are chapters narrated by "Nothing." This unnamed character is enticingly ambiguous, and this ambiguity has the unsettling effect of bringing everything into question. Small clues hint at this mysterious narrator's identity, but the question of "Who is Nothing?" will keep readers guessing beyond the final page. Dark Inside is certainly not for the faint of heart. Almost immediately, readers are thrown into a world characterized by fear, violence, and uncertainty. Author Jeyn Roberts effectively communicates the desperation of the characters' situation in a tone most appropriate for older teens. Although her descriptions are gruesome, the violence is not gratuitous but rather appropriately horrifying. With an open-ended conclusion, it is unclear whether a sequel is intended, but if Roberts can match the pace of her debut novel, readers - especially fans of post-apocalyptic fiction - will be clamoring for more. Reviewer: Sara Martin
Children's Literature - RevaBeth Russell
Was the book about zombies, the apocalypse or both? Four young people face some of the most horrific situations imagined. These young people hear loved ones screaming and pleading for their lives as the loved ones are killed. These four watch countless injustices one after another. They also experience cold and hunger but the biggest things they experience are fear and uncertainty. Who are they able to trust? Who has not become a "Bagger?" That is the name for these frenzied killers, because it is like they "bag" a deer on a hunt. There are amazing assortments of strategies these teens come up with as they struggle to stay alive. Finding food, clothing and sleeping bags from homes or abandoned stores becomes essential. Self-defense, even killing an attacker is another survival strategy. As civilization crumbles around the teens they try to make sense even though there is no reason or sense. Besides the Baggers, there has been a horrific earthquake in many parts of the world and there is no electricity or infrastructure that they used to have. There are some minor characters in the book that are fleshed out as the book progresses, such as lazy Colin, mysterious Daniel, and fragile, diabetic Chickadee. The writing is descriptive. When Clementine is urinated on by a Bagger, you can almost feel and smell it. As the book progresses each teen becomes part of a group often as the leader in spite of their youth. It is an absolutely riveting book. Reviewer: RevaBeth Russell
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This apocalyptic novel combines elements of the movie 2012 (massive earthquakes destroying major cities and civilization as we know it) and Stephen King's The Stand (Doubleday, 1978) (evil possessing large groups of people who seek to wipe out other survivors). The story alternates between four teens and a fifth character referred to as "Nothing." The teens initially have no connection to one another but circumstances drive them together as they try to navigate the aftermath of the massive quakes and the marauding bands of evil-infected survivors. "Nothing" is presumably the inner voice of one of the ancillary characters who is nearly, but not quite, overcome by the evil driving others to murderous madness. Lots of brutal action will hold teens' attention but on some levels the story just doesn't click. The nature of the force that can cause massive quakes and simultaneously possess millions of people is never even hinted at, much less explained. Characterization is weak to the point that readers are unsure of who is speaking as the perspective changes. The dialogue, setting, and many other elements are unremarkable at best. Recommended only if there is a high demand for end-of-the-world stories.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Kirkus Reviews
After an apocalypse of devastating earthquakes and murderous mobs, four teenagers struggle to survive. Earthquakes destroy North America's entire west coast, collapsing buildings and killing thousands, but that's the easy part. Apparently triggered by the quakes, the darkness inherent in humanity emerges, turning most survivors into a semi-intelligent mob with one purpose: to murder every "normal" person they can find. Aries in Vancouver, Mason in Calgary, Clementine in Iowa and Michael in Colorado all travel until their stories converge, experiencing constant danger, meeting others along the way and uncovering their own hidden strengths. Aries, for example, begins as a chatty adolescent but quickly emerges as a natural leader. Guilt-ridden Michael learns to forgive himself, and mournful Mason learns to love, while Clementine perseveres, although enigmatic Daniel just might be on the other side. Roberts makes readers care about each of them, masterfully keeping suspense high as the teens search for food, clothing and hiding places while fighting off attacks. The simple details of survival, such as living without electricity and refrigeration, fascinate as much as the fight scenes. Overall, a spirit of optimism wins through the post-apocalyptic despair. The four separate threads share enough common elements that, although distinct, they merge into a coherent narrative. Well-balanced, realistic suspense. (Post-apocalyptic suspense. 12 & up)

Product Details

MacMillan Hardback Omes
Publication date:
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Dark Inside

    I’m standing at the edge of existence. Behind me, a thousand monsters descend. Their disguises change with each stride.

    When they look in a mirror do they see their true selves?

    Arms open wide. In front of me is nothing. No one ever knew how existence would end. Sure, they made assumptions: fire, flood, plague, etc. They studied the skies for locusts and watched for rain. They built their cities, destroyed the forests, and poisoned the water. Warning signs left behind in the ruins of ancient civilizations have been misinterpreted. The sins of mankind are always to blame. But who would have guessed it would be so gray? So empty.

    Is there really a way back?

    Hello? Is there anyone there?

    Sorry, wrong number.

    There are too many thoughts to cover in such little time. I knew they would find me. I’m glowing in the moonlight. My darkness was too bright to hide forever. They find all of us eventually. They play the odds, and they’re up a thousand to one.

    In front of me is nothing. No bright lights, no darkness. No energy. Just nothing.

    There is no future because we no longer have a past. Our present is devised of basic survival, and it’s about to end.

    They have made sure of that.

    I am Nothing.

    I am existence.

    I am pain.

    I kneel down in the dirt and write some of my last words. I’d speak them, but there is no one left to listen.


  • Meet the Author

    Jeyn Roberts is the author of Dark Inside and Rage Within. Her first story was published in a middle-grade anthology called Let Me Tell You when she was sixteen. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in writing and psychology and received her MA from the prestigious creative writing graduate course at Bath Spa University. Jeyn is a former singer, songwriter, actress, bicycle courier, and tree planter. She lives in Canada.

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    Dark Inside 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
    trishaleighkc More than 1 year ago
    There are so many good books out there. Books that make me laugh, that make me think, that scare me, and many that I recommend to friends. It is a rare thing, in my mind, to uncover a GREAT book. A novel that makes me sit up and take note. For me, Dark Inside (by Jeyn Roberts) is one of those rare finds. It's been a long, long time - probably since I first read the Hunger Games books, that I would have run out to buy the next book had there been one. I sat around wanting to read more, hours later finding my mind back inside that world, with those characters, that fascinated and horrified me. Goodreads describes it as 28 Days Later meets The Road, and it is a novel about the apocalypse, but one unlike any other that has passed through my hands this past year. This one isn't due to something supernatural, something paranormal, or anything too hard to believe. It's caused when those dark recesses of humanity, the ones we suppress and beat back, rise up and take over. As a historian, this concept fascinates me. The author alludes to this being the driving force behind the fall of every great civilization, and there's something to that. Most great cultures have shown marked disintegration of their collective morality during the centuries leading up to their undoing. I won't tell you anything more specific, because this is a beautiful, philosophical, thought-provoking story. Peeling away the layers will be more satisfying when you jam them under your own fingernails. I will say this: the characters are REAL. They're flawed, they do bad things, and they struggle with not giving into the darkness themselves. There are four POV characters, all of whom I felt connected to (some more than others, of course) but any of their deaths would have devastated me. There is a fifth POV, a character known as Nothing, who is slipping back and forth between the darkness trying to claim his soul and the tattered remains of his humanity, and that character tells us so much in his broken, anonymous words.
    BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
    I love these types of books! It always makes me real excited to read a book that not only held up to my every expectation, but left me longing for more. What I loved most about this book is the plot. Man, did it rock! The pacing is perfect from page one. This book has many point of view switches. It did not confuse me at all. It anything it enhanced the book making me read it faster. I loved that each point of view is connected to one another. I like how the Ms. Roberts captures the reader from the very first pages holding them down for something that they never expected. The reader is taken down roads never seen, things never told and eyes awakening to a whole new reading experience. I really enjoyed all the elements in the books as well. So much sacrifice, love, fighting and death. It made the book so much real with the emotions swirling between the pages. I adored jumping from character to character, seeing things from different views. Ms. Roberts made me love the point of view switching in this book. As the reader, I was completely excited to see what characters I can fall into next. Her writing is easy to read and very easy to fall into. If you want a intense, fast read with surprises coming at you read this book! A very enthralling read from the beginning to the end, Dark Inside is intense.
    annmarie2011 More than 1 year ago
    Dark inside by Jeyn Roberts Earthquakes rock the earth places crumble to ash and people are killed within a blink of an eye but the worse is still to come. Evil has been set free and is changing people into something dark. Killers and hunters ready to tear you apart. Four teens Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael each in different places fighting to stay alive and to keep the darkness out there souls. Will they live through the horror that awaits them at every corner. In the course of the book you manly follow four characters they are all different and the author has put them together really well. You follow the journey of these characters from the beginning from the not understanding what's going on to the having to survive. It's emotional and scary and you sometimes wonder if the characters are just going to give in. The book was dark and deeply twisted in a way I really loved. Each character was not only trying to stay alive but was trying to keep this evil from getting inside them. It was a rollercoaster of action and fear and horror and I loved every page till the very end. The book was well written and easy to get into because you are thrown right into none stop action from the very start. There are scares, shocks and so much more I don't want to give too much away but you need to read this book. 5 stars This book is dark and deeply twisted and shockingly fantastic
    nightskyreviews More than 1 year ago
    The book is about four different teenagers, Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael as they each share their own perspectives and thoughts on the world crumbling around them. A huge earthquake happens which results in a tonne of people all over the world going crazy. The people who were affected by the earthquake begin killing people brutally just for their own pleasure and the four teenagers must find a way to survive the apocalypse. It was a very interesting read, Usually I'm not too fond of apocalypse-type books but this one definitely sucked me in right from the start. There's always something going on and it never gets boring even for a minute. Each chapter is from a new person's perspective because the four teenagers haven't crossed paths yet. That was probably the only thing I disliked about it. I can't stand when there's more than one person telling the story. But in a strange way, it didn't bother me too much. Jeyn definitely made it work. The character's were brilliant! Their lives were all so very different but yet they each ended up in the same predicament. I think Aries was my favourite. Even though she was terrified throughout most of the book, she still remained strong and brave for the sake of her classmates that also survived and they all looked up to her like she was their leader. Mason was completely badass. I always come across males in books where the author basically made them cold with no emotion but Mason was definitely the opposite. He felt all the pain in his life and he tried to deal with it but it overcame him at one point and he lost it, just like any other normal human being would. There's another mysterious person in the book called 'Nothing' who gets a chapter here and there telling the readers about his life. He came across as psychotic but it was definitely interesting and fun trying to guess who it was. I think I may have figured it out towards the very end but I'm not entirely sure because we never actually get told. Hopefully we'll find out in the sequel! Dark Inside was definitely a book I enjoyed reading. It had just the right amount of suspense to keep you coming back for more. It was a quick read, only having 336 pages. You could most likely finish it in a day if you really wanted to. It was interesting, fun, captivating and Jeyn Robert's writing was brilliant. She's a really talented author and I think she deserves to be known by more people. So everyone, I recommend that you read this book! Even if you're not into the apocalypse genre (I'm not into much myself), I still think you should read it. You won't be let down!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Wow this is better than hunger games and i would also read dust lands by???????but the talk folkish sO b? careful
    _rachel_ranodolph_ More than 1 year ago
    At first i didn't think i would like this book at all. Afer i got a few chapers in i started loving it. It's a GREAT read!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    MUST HAVE A STRONG STOMACH. Its a very good book, one of the better I've read recently. I highly recomend this series.
    BrittanyEliseS More than 1 year ago
    This book is AMAZING hands down. <3 I loved it and the second one is even better!
    Sapphire33 More than 1 year ago
    I could not put it down. I was so engrossed with the characters, it made you want to read the next chapter to find out what was going on with each of the teens, they are all going through the same things in different places and have different reactions. I really like Aries and Clem and Daniel. Great characters! I wanted more when I finished "Dark Inside" and had to pick up the next book "Rage Within" immediately to find out what happens next. I can't wait for the third book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love this book theres not a lot of ratings for the next though its called Rage Within if any one was wondering
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    So at first i didnt like this book. Even though there is tons of action, plotwise it is slow. But as the characters develop you really get into it. My problem with this book is the unanswered questions of WHY. Why are people turning into crazy killers? What made everything turn upside down? It ia frustrating to invest time into a book only to be dissapointed by the ending. The ending is an important part of any story and Dark Inside just didnt have a worthy one. Parts of this book made me scared for the characters. They showed couragr and survival skills i wonder if i could possess. Tha is the best part about this book. It makes you wonder whatyou would do to survive. Oh and i love how Nothimg FINALLY reveals who he isat the end. Of course i suspexted it would b him from the moment he was introduced so it was gratifying to be right! (Written on tiny nook keypad)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was amazing. It's unlike anything I've read. The story plot was driven and left me wanting more. I love this book and can't wait to read the next one.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Absolutely wonderful.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love how all the characters stories end up converge......I wonder who the "nothing" guy id.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    For all those wondering (including me), there is going to be a sequel to this, called "Rage Within" and its expected for release on Sept. 4. I hope that changes... I love this series!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    If you can tead any read this one.This book was a total page turner the way jean roberts writes is so gripping she always knows what to say so if u like to read the best book ever tead this one
    cubicleblindnessKM More than 1 year ago
    Wow, this story is pretty intense. I think if somebody had taken my picture while I was reading this book I would have a slideshow of variations between heartbroken, shocked/ wide eyed. With the story being told from several perspectives there is very little down time. The reader travels from one event to the other. From hundreds of schools getting bombed around the nation to random shootings and acts of violence. There was also several earthquakes worldwide which caused tsunamis and all of the things that come with catastrophic events happening all at once. There is no internet, phones and then people start attacking each other. Some are taken over by the darkness, shooting and attacking, seeking out all living people until the "danger" is gone. I did not quite catch on to why some people had the darkness arise in them and some didn't. There is nowhere to hide, no one you can trust and where are you supposed to go now? It was an amazingly dark story, as the title and summary say. There were several gruesome and horrific things happening. I loved it.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Just finished the book. It was great. Will there be another one?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I loved this book and recommend this book to everyone. This book makes you think aboit what you would do to survive. Would you betray your famuly in order to save yourself? Or are you goin to become a leader to save others? Would you kill for your own safety? These are qusetion i hoped i never have to ponder but this book made me ponder these qeustions. I love this book and can't wait for the next one
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    No words to describe how wonderful this book is. I literally JUST finished, and I'm speechless. I fell in love with the characters. Beautifully written. Worthy of more than 5*.
    BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    Dark Inside is probably one of the darkest books that I have ever read. I usually write my reviews right after finishing, but this time, I just couldn't. I still can't really decide how I feel about this book. Most parts of me could not put it down, but I just couldn't let myself, I had to know how the characters fared and I couldn't stop until I finished. The last chapter really confused me and I wish that it wasn't there, because everything I thought I understood kinda disappeared, and I would have been fine stopping just before. But the "nothing" chapters didn't really do much for me, so maybe that is why. The fear is really palpable, and the characters all are truly survivors, regardless. I have to admire and hold onto hope with them, no matter what keeps happening around them. The only complaint I have is with the multiple perspectives, I didn't feel like I was in the characters heads long enough to completely keep straight what happened to who, and I had to flip on more than one occasion to their previous chapter to remind myself. This is definitely for mature teens and those who can handle dark themes and some gore.
    Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
    This book is a must-read for dystopian readers. Mason, Aries, Clementine, and Michael are the main characters. The novel is told from their view point. Each experience odd occurrences right when the earthquakes occur, literally shaking their world upside down. The main characters appear unaffected by this pervading rage that infects much of the population. There are people attacking others in horrible ways, to the death. The author captures the hatred from these people and can really make the reader feel it. There is a sense of doom in the novel, aided by the evil "Nothing" that shows up to speak its say. Nothing is supposed to be the evil that is, perhaps, influencing all of these people to forget societal norms and turn into marauding killers. The main characters would never have met in real life had this evil not occurred. They each have differing qualities and quirks that are likely to allow a reader to choose at least one character he/she feels he/she likes the most. The events are incredibly fast-paced, the reader can't put this novel down before another brutal attack occurs. The ending is somewhat frustrating, a bit of a cliff-hanger. The only other negative in this book would be that, at times, it was hard to follow four different point of views. This book is recommended to readers who enjoy dystopian novels.
    Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
    I actually saw book two before this one and when I noticed that there was a book one I had to get them both to read. I didn't even read the synopsis to see if the book was going to be up my alley I just went with the cover. Now normally a book like this I devour within a day or two, not sure if it was because I could easily put the book down or if it was because I had a busy weekend and hardly no time to read but it took me from Friday until today (Tuesday) to finish it. This story is told from 5 different P.O.V.'s which for me I don't really like as sometimes it gets confusing but I can say with this one I was okay with it. I was able to keep the characters apart and it all came together. The fifth point of view is from Nothing. Everything is fine one day that is until and earthquake hits and then some folks start going on a crazy murdering rampage. Those that have not been affected are running and hiding trying not to let the people who we later learn are being called Baggers find them and kill them. Four people all come together in the end but they each struggle to survive until the end somehow fate is bringing them all together. It seems everyone has a darkness inside of them but some it effects more than others this is the difference between the Baggers and normal people. I wish there was some background as to why this happened was it from the earthquake? Was it from something in the air? I guess the mystery behind it is that it happened with no warning so to speak. Now the book does become a lot of running, hiding trying not to let the Baggers find you. There are some fighting scenes but nothing too major. Each character has something about them that makes you remember them in some way. Aries seems to be a strong leader even though it weighs on her. Mason is trying to keep the darkness at bay though he doesn't truly understand what the darkness is. Michael I hate to say it but seems like a coward he runs instead of helping those around him. Clementine I haven't pegged her personality as of yet, she comes into play when her family ends up dying all but her brother Heath. She is on a mission to find him. We all know that these characters will meet up but it is a matter of when and what will happen. With each chapter being a different person we see what they are going through at a certain time, how they see the world and what they are thinking. I plan on reading book two as I want to follow this group to see if they are going to continue to survive or will they be captured? Will we get an answer to what caused people to turn into killers? I only hope with book two there is more action and not just a lot of running and hiding.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    REB4 More than 1 year ago
    A great read! Hard to put down!