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all hearthfires & holocausts

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Dark Inside

Dark Inside - Jeyn Roberts In a time when the YA market is so saturated with dystopia that it has all but become blase, Dark Inside offers a new and unique spin on the genre. (Though to be honest I don't even know if dystopia is the right descriptor to tag this with, but it's what the publisher called it so we'll go with that. ;)For starters, rather than set sometime in the future after the apocalyptic event, Dark Inside is a contemporary novel, set at the advent of the shift. This is not a story that builds a new world out of the rubble of the old, but rather tells the story of how our current world breaks down. And the way it breaks down is people turning on people. Not through world wars or a military coup or nuclear weapons as with so many other dystopians, but with a dark and insidious voice that infiltrates and overtakes the majority of the population, turning them into psychopaths bent on killing anyone in their path. There's a metaphor here, and a good one I bet, but unfortunately the way in which Dark Inside was written is so distracting, I can hardly grasp it. The story is told in third person limited narration style, through the eyes of five different people. Five. In a three hundred and change page book, that doesn't give me much room to get to know anyone, especially when there is a larger issue in play. I never felt I knew any of the narrators well enough to become emotionally invested in what happened to them, and had a hard time keeping track of who was who. And while their stories did eventually intersect, it was not until the very end of the book and by that point, I was just ready to be finished. I don't know if this is a series, but given the way it wrapped up I assume is has to be. It was not a cliffhanger, but it was very anticlimactic. Aside from those major issues, I found there to be too many coincidences and conveniences that allowed characters to escape or hide or remain undiscovered. Dialogue felt flat and trite in many instances, and the narrator's voice never shifted between the characters--and also never felt like an authentic teenage voice.In my opinion, this would have been a much better read if it had focused on one single character and had been written in first person. It needed the immediacy and the intimacy of being inside someone's head and going through the horrors with them. A very generous three stars for a great concept and a very poor execution.