Dark inside, dark outside. Dark on top and down below. Dark in a box. Dark with a fox. Dark in a house. Dark with a mouse. I'm sayin - this book is DARK.
Hee hee hee. I stayed up til 4am to finish it.
So ok - there's this giant earthquake, and that's pretty bad, but even before the earthquake there were a few weird things happening. The crazy got crazier, some old guy on a bus told one of our protagonists something like, "Too much hate, they found a crack, everybody's gonna die." You know, what crazies say in the books right before everything they say is going to happen happens.
But in addition to the earthquakes, a fair number of people just go hogwild. Ripping other people to pieces, blowing up schools. These bad people get organized pretty quickly. They go house to house murdering people. We don't get a super-clear look at them, although they are verbal and they function in an ordinary physical manner, i.e. not zombies. In a little X-Files shout-out, the veins in their eyes are black. It's the black oil! Watch out for that Krycek guy! Yum, that guy was handsome. I'm going to have to start watching Continuum.
Heh. Did I mention I stayed up late reading this book? I'm a little punchy.
And I mean, often in a book like this, the bad guys are the more interesting characters. Stephen King figured that out eeeaarly. We spent as much time in The Stand with the Walking Dude as we did with good old earnest, noble, whatshisname. They guy Gary Sinise played in the miniseries.
Dark Inside is written from five different points of view - 4 kids who survived the initial bloodbath and who have wound up in a group in Vancouver trying to survive the subsequent bloodbath; and one entity who calls itself Nothing. By the end we pretty much figure out who that is, and I suspect the second book, Rage Within, will explore that person, and the way he/she seems to struggle with trying not to be a murderous lunatic.
This is exactly the kind of bleak horror I slurped up in great gobbling gulps when I was a teen. Actually, considering I started this book after 10pm last night and finished it at 4am, I guess we'll take that "when I was a teen" phrase off the end of that sentence. Clearly, I am both immature and deranged.
ANYWAY. Really reminded me of Stephen King - not stylistically, thank heaven, none of those internal monologues in dialect, brr! - but Jeyn Roberts (the Y is silent, I looked it up, I know it's going to bug you not knowing how to pronounce that) manages to articulate each character's separate sorrow as well as their fear. Did I have a little trouble remembering which was which? Mmmm, a little. FOUR narrators though, people. Without continually reminding us - cheerleader! farm girl! guy with dead mom! - which is super annoying, maintaining four distinct voices is hard.
I was telling someone about this book and she kind of grimaced. "How do they resolve all that? Is there a happy ending?" I was ridiculously smirky when I told her, "Oh no. I think in the second book things are going to get much, much worse."
You know the kids that this book is for. Give it to them.