Friday 29 November 2013

The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis

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And James did. Out the back door. Through the gap in the garden fence. Not stopping even after the bellowing of his stepfather had wasted in the wind and there was nothing but the whip of grass across his shins.
Published by Simon and Schuster in January 2013
Pages – 360
Book 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...
This book is being heralded as ideal for fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond and I would whole heartedly agree with that. Within these words, be prepared to find a mixture of darkness and sadness entwined. I kept thinking of Skellig by David Almond as I read it, because one of the main characters, Webster,  has that deep hidden hurt, covered over by the oncoming darkness of his situation. You are frightened of him to begin with, but soon see the real person hiding behind the mask.
James was utterly adorable. His strength of character for someone so young, astounded me and I was rooting for him all the way through the book. He had suffered enough to know what suffering looks like in another person and could trust them as a kindred spirit.
I loved the inclusion of the gypsies and fair ground life. The old woman who doesn’t ever appear to be named is an interesting character. She is scary and evil to a certain extent, but when her maternal instinct kicks in, she can be loving and caring just like any other mother.
The story is hard to describe. There is a paranormal element to it, but it feels very contemporary. The paranormal element isn’t over elaborated and always occurs out of scene, so we don’t actually see any evidence of it. So I really want to call this contemporary!!! But it isn’t.
The plot is a journey of sorts. A journey to discover the truth along side a journey to freedom. Within the story, there are many mirroring threads of finding freedom as different characters try to break from either their present situation or break away from the ties of the past that haunt them.  The story is heavier on dialogue, action and emotion than setting and back story, but I felt that fitted well with the intensity of the escape from the situations they found themselves in.
I really enjoyed this debut and I look forward to reading more from Rupert Wallis in the future.  I found myself racing through the pages, to find out what would happen next. I was totally lost in the story of James. If you loved Skellig by David Almond, then this is the book for you.


  1. I really like Patrick Ness and David Almond so I'll definitely be looking out for this. Great review :)

  2. great book thrill seeking and scary moments love it great review well done Rupert wallis


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