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The Dark Inside

Written by Rupert Wallis

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The Dark Inside Review

Debuts of the Month Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Recommended Children's eBooks

Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2015 - February 2014 Debut of the Month  A poignant debut novel, The Dark Inside is the touching story of a thirteen year old coming to terms with the death of his mother as well as an exciting, mysterious and dramatic adventure. When James finds a man covered in terrible wounds living in the ruined house that he runs to in order to escape his step father, he begins an complicated journey in which the real readily becomes magical and the supernatural is never far away. The lessons James learns about change are thought provoking.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Dark Inside a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I really enjoyed this book. It was creepy, dark and a little sad at times. It kept me turning the pages and guessing throughout the whole book! It is a really good book which I highly recommend!'

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The Dark Inside Synopsis

The House on the Hill has been abandoned for as long as James can remember. So when he discovers Webster, a drifter, hiding there, he's instantly curious about the story behind the homeless man. What is he running from? Afflicted by a dark curse, Webster is no longer who he used to be. But there is said to be a cure and it might just be that by helping Webster, James will find some solace of his own. Together they embark on a journey, not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined...A gripping and haunting story about loss and hope, perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond.

The Dark Inside Press Reviews

A small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review The Dark Inside.  You can read their reviews below.

Neamh Mills aged 10 - 'adventurous, scary, exciting, mystical and magical. The storyline is amazing and I am always on the edge of my seat.' Click Here to read the full review.

Sarah Murray, age 15 - 'I really enjoyed this book. It was creepy, dark and a little sad at times. It kept me turning the pages and guessing throughout the whole book! It is a really good book which I highly recommend!' Click Here to read the full review.

Naomi Megan Jones, age 12 - 'If you are looking for an earnestly told book about  personal exploration and finding friendship in the most unusual of circumstances then this is the book for you.' Click Here to read the full review.

Liam Pickering, age 11 - 'This is a great book! I was gripped from the start and I couldn’t stop reading. Rupert Wallis brought the story to life and made me care what was happening.' Click Here to read the full review.

Madi Campbell, age 13 - 'This book is full of mystery and magic which keeps you reading and picturing the scenes which are about to be revealed to you. I would recommend it to anyone, a real page turner.' Click Here to read the full review.

Lewis Duckworth, age 12 - 'I personally think this novel is amazing, because it had me on the edge of my seat...This book would be perfect for the fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond.' Click Here to read the full review.

Jokubas Markevicius, age 11 - 'I think that the plot of this story is very captivating and will always hook the reader in so that they can't even put the book down.' Click Here to read the full review.


Josh Hall, age 13 - 'One of the best books I have read for a long time!' Click Here to read the full review.


Freya Moore, age 11 - 'This book was a real page-turner with a very eye-catching plot that . It really captivated me.' Click Here to read the full review.


Rebeca Ullah, age 16 - 'I found this book to be a great read. I couldn't put it down! I loved all of the detailed descriptions and mysterious characters. I'm looking forward to more!' Click Here to read the full review.


Aimee Sweet, age 13 - 'An amazing book with a good plot, The Dark Inside is gripping.' Click Here to read the full review.


Izzy Read, age 13 - 'The Dark Inside weaves a story of hope, loss and fantasy wrote around everyday life...I really loved this' Click Here to read the full review.


Eimear McWilliams, age 16 - 'I loved this book and found it a very enticing read.  It will leave you curious as to what really is real in this mad, time-bomb world.' Click Here to read the full review.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471118913
Publication date: 30/01/2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471118913
Publication date: 30th January 2014
Author: Rupert Wallis
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Hardback
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children
Other Categories: All Shortlists and Winners

About Rupert Wallis

Rupert Wallis read Theology at Cambridge University and holds an MFA in Screenwriting and Writing for Television from the University of Southern California. His work has been shortlisted for awards both in the UK and abroad. His Debut novel The Dark Inside is now being adapted for film. In addition to writing books, he is a Teaching Associate at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education. He also mentors students at the Faber Academy. Photo credit Joanne Willis

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