Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: August 30th 2012
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
After the earthquakes came the infectious rage, turning friends into deadly enemies. For survivors Michael, Aries, Mason and Clementine the battle to stay alive is about to get even tougher. The new world is organising itself, with camps that promise protection for the uninfected. But the reality of the sites is far more sinister. Besides, nobody is safe from the rage within their own soul... (from Goodreads)
Rage Within was everything I wanted from the sequel of Dark Inside. More creepiness, more tragedy, more struggling, and a little trickle of hope mixed in with all the madness. We got to find out more about certain characters too, which I loved, and I really can’t wait to see how it all ends.
All four of our main characters were back, and we had four POVs again (though interspersed with Nothing’s chapters and a few other characters too). Nothing’s chapters were my favourite once again. There was something about the way they were written... I’m pretty sure everyone can guess Nothing’s identity by now, but I won’t spoil it. I will say however that Nothing was...complex. They seemed to suffer from intense self-loathing, but also enjoyed the hunt and the kill that came with the darkness. It was very strange. You could sort of tell that Nothing wasn’t truly an evil person – or at least, didn’t want to be an evil person – yet couldn’t help succumbing to that side of them, the darker part that was in their nature. It made me think about how easily this person, who used to just be a regular citizen, was transformed into something else, someone that chased and killed over and over again. The darker side of humanity was a theme prevalent throughout this book (and the last), and it definitely made me wonder how far people would go to survive when they were pushed to their limits.
We also got to find out a bit more about Mason in the book, which was one of my favourite parts, because his story was one I’ve wondered about since book one. He felt the darkness in him but was determined to fight it. His past didn’t really help (and I’d love to know more about his past) but he was trying hard and it was commendable the way he refused to give up information about Aries and the others’ hideout even when tortured. He seemed to be struggling with some internal battle and he definitely became one of the characters I was most interested in. I enjoyed the time he spent with Daniel because Daniel’s words seemed to have an effect on him. Plus I wanted to find out more about Daniel too (which luckily we did – we got to see a bit of Daniel before all the earthquakes and also discovered why he was so secretive all the time).
Aries was the leader still, in this book, but was struggling with the responsibility and was close to breaking point at times. I still admired her strength but could understand how hard it was, trying to keep people alive when they all wanted different things. Clementine grew on me a lot more in this one, I felt like she had grown up a bit and become less naive and was more willing to fight for her life. Michael, though he had some important scenes, seemed to take a bit of backseat in this book. He was easily misled and his character got little development, but I still liked him I guess.
Rage Within started with a few chapters set before the earthquakes, which confused me at first as there was no indication of this. However, it was very, very interesting to see the events before the earthquakes started and it was clever the way they were integrated into the book. I thought Dark Inside was creepy, but Rage Within was disturbing from page six! If you scare easily, I wouldn’t read this alone at night. The plot was generally very good; fast paced, unpredictable and compelling, with an ominous vibe throughout. I had trouble remembering all the characters at first as there were quite a lot of them, but it was fine after a while. I really liked the little side stories that went on, including Jack’s (who I always thought was a good guy) and the continuous threat of Colin (who was just horrible and deserved no help, in my opinion).
A lot was still left unexplained in Rage Within, such as what exactly the darkness was, where it came from and what it wanted (this was actually addressed a little, but the response only added to the mystery, in my opinion). A lot of new questions also formed inside my head, especially ones about the Baggers. Just how exactly did they work? What was really going on in their minds? How were they so affected by the darkness? How did they become that way? What made them want to kill the regular humans? Why could some of them fight off the black veins in their eyes? Was it possible that they all had periods of sanity where they remembered who they were? So many questions! The Baggers were the ones who intrigued me most (as morbid as that sounds), I think, and I definitely can’t wait to find out more about them in the third book.
Overall, Rage Within was a very satisfying sequel and if you liked Dark Inside, definitely get a copy as soon as you can. And if you like post-apocalyptic stories, then read this series!