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DARK INSIDE by Jeyn Roberts

DARK INSIDE

By Jeyn Roberts

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2351-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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)