Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Rage Within - Jeyn Roberts

Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts
Series: Dark Inside #2
Genre: YA, post-apocalyptic
Published on September 4, 2012
Published by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 368
Read From: 12.3.12 - 12.11.12

Aries, Clementine, Michael, and Mason have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now they're hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of surviving teens, and trying to figure out their next move. 
Aries finds it hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother, Heath, but it's impossible to know where he'd be, even if he is still alive. Michael is haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is wrestling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends. 
As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, Aries, Clementine, Michael, and Mason will have to trust and rely on one another more than ever in order to survive.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Yes, because it fits the genre and has a very ominous, dark quality to it. If it weren’t the sequel to Dark Inside, though, I probably would not have picked it up, because I would have immediately dismissed it as a zombie book.

Characters: I don’t have a whole lot to say on this matter. The Author did do a lot of exploring of character emotions and relationship building, but the majority of characters really didn’t leave an impression on me either way. However, Daniel did actually grow on me in this. Whereas I thought he was kind of creepy in Dark Inside, I began to like and pity him in this installment. Colin and Ryder were immensely easy to hate; I can’t wait until a Bagger gets Colin. But the rest of the characters sort of blended into one, especially the girls, whose narrations read pretty much the same way, so sometimes I forgot who was the protagonist for the current chapter.

The Romance: The love triangle between Daniel, Aries, and Mason actually didn’t bother me, because all three of them behave maturely, and Daniel and Mason aren’t at each other’s throats, fighting over Aries. I don’t really know why every girl in the story needed a boyfriend, though; considering the situation, I would imagine that romance would be the last thing on a person’s mind.

Plot: It got a little old, to be honest. Dark Inside had a fair amount of running-and-bashing in heads, but that wasn’t all it was about. Rage Within pretty much made up in that department. I enjoyed the aspects of the plot where we actually began to learn more about what was going on, but the majority of the book is spent with the characters dodging Baggers, arguing amongst each other, surviving, and searching for more survivors. There isn’t a great deal that is revealed in this installment, and I was disappointed with that fact.

Believability: Generally, it isn’t applicable to this book, though I must admit that the Baggers create a far more convincing police state/totalitarian regime than any I have read in dystopian novels: they round up undesirables, administer immediate and harsh punishment, drag people from their homes at all hours, and create concentration camps. While I found “Baggers” to be a rather silly name, they were genuinely creepy.

Writing Style: The Author’s style hasn’t varied much from Dark Inside: it begins choppy and little hard to follow, then smooths out as the story progresses. I still like the switching between narrators with each chapter, though as I have noted earlier some of the narrative voices sound so similar that I forgot who was narrating. She gets a bit more descriptive with the violence in this installment, and I got kind of tired of when every single time the characters ran into a body, we Readers would once more have to read about the stench of decomposition, the squishiness, et cetera. It’s not graphic, but it gets old very quickly. An Author needs to describe a corpse only so much.

Content: 1 s-word. The violence is not graphic, but it comes close at times, and is often stomach-turning and grotesque.

Conclusion: The twist behind what is “possessing” people borders on being lame. Depending on how the third book goes, I may in fact deem it irrevocably lame. About 100 pages in, I recall moaning to myself, Oh, please don’t let that be the answer. If that’s the answer, I am going to give this book a very low rating. While the twist is definitely lame, I also didn’t feel like the Author was making a personal opinion statement with it, which is what kept this book from getting a lower rating. But the whole, People brought it on themselves! plot has been so over-used in books like this; I would have preferred a government experiment gone wrong. In general, there were aspects of the book I definitely enjoyed, but it wasn’t as good as the first one.

Recommended Audience: Readers of Dark Inside may not be as thrilled with the sequel as they were anticipating, but they won’t be so disappointed that they’ll quite reading the series. Guy-and-girl read, older teens due to rather grotesque violence.

Others in This Series:
1)Dark Inside
2)Rage Within

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