Tuesday 21 January 2014

Guest Review: The Dark Inside By Rupert Wallis

Name: The Dark Inside
Author: Rupert Wallis
Release Date: 30th January 2014
Summary: When thirteen-year-old James discovers a homeless man in an abandoned house, the course of his life changes dramatically. Hoping to find a 'cure' for a dark curse inflicted on the homeless man, the pair embark on a journey together not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined.

Review: In The Dark Inside wasn’t the story I expected it to be, but then the synopsis really doesn’t do the book justice. This story is eerie, unpredictable and full of subtle nuances and depth.

Two very different characters are drawn together by their unhappy situations and desire to escape. James is a young boy living an unhappy life with his stepfather after the death of his mother, and Webster is on the run from some very scary fairground people trying to take advantage of his ‘curse’. Despite their differences, notably age, they seem to be kindred spirits and throughout the story they both look out for each other and try to find a cure. I loved their relationship and felt they absolutely belonged with each other, and although they were complete strangers they made the best family.

The other characters in the story, particularly Billie and his mother (only ever known as ‘the old woman’) felt very real - the old woman with her scary wooden doll and witchy ways really spooked me out. 

I found the narrative style a little unusual to get used to in places as the third person perspective jumped from one character to another from paragraph to paragraph. Whilst it meant that I never felt that intimacy of knowing one character inside out, I think it suited the story. It allowed my feelings towards some characters to change as I gained insight into the minds of some of the more evil characters and saw that they might not all be purely bad. 

Wallis’ writing was wonderfully descriptive and evoked real sinister and dark atmospheres without being heavy handed. The paranormal, magical elements of the story didn’t dominate, and some elements were even left open for you to question whether they were real or not. I liked the uncertainty and questions left unanswered even at the end; it means that each reader can interpret the story in their own way.

The Dark Inside is a mysterious dark tale of hope, faith, family and trust.

Thanks to the fantastic Hannah for this awesome review, at present she is just guest reviewing but her blog is www.hannahmariska.blogspot.com. Hopefully we'll be having Hannah back here soon.


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