I was so lucky to win a signed ARC of Rage Within from Jeyn Roberts herself, that in itself is awesome but what makes it even better is that this books is so good! It's even better than Dark Inside, and that's saying something as book one was great. You can tell the Roberts has grown as a writer while writing the two books, and I can't wait to see how good her next book will be. Rage Within is a truly chilling novel, just like the first one it keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The horror of the baggers makes the reader clutch on to the book, hoping that everyone will make it away alive. The fear of this dark reality makes the reader really think about the horror's that could be hiding in the shadows of the future.
We join the group of survivors three months after the earthquakes. The group are still struggling to survive as the Bagger's search the streets looking to round up the remaining survivors. The Bagger's have organised camps for survivors that promise protection but you can never trust a bagger. Instead they are using the survivors as a clean up crew, so they can start a new world order. The gang are facing problems of their own, as if hiding was easy to begin with. Aries is struggling to keep a clear head as she leads the group. So many people look to her for orders but does she really know what's she's doing? The pressure is beginning to make her crack. Clementine and Michael are still searching for Heath, but instead they stumble across something rather unexpected. Mason, disappears suddenly making a new range of fear sweep through the group. Are the baggers closer than they realise?
I loved the characters so much in the first book and in Rage Within they grow even more. They are very well fleshed out, and even now we're still seeing new bit's of their personalities shine through. I want to say I have a favourite but I love all the main characters equally, Roberts has done a really good job of making the reader care for her characters. Aries is still the leader and she's as kick ass as ever. She tries her best to make the decisions that will benefit the group as a whole. After a horrifying trip back to her home, it leaves her emotionally scarred and questioning herself. Clementine, remains strong throughout the books even standing up to Aries when she feels Aries is letting the group down. She's motivated by the need to find her brother and she will not stop until she's finds him. Michael takes on the role of leader again, his past dawns on him and stays at the front of his mind. Last time he lead a group there were horrifying consequences, will this time end the same way? Mason's story in Rage Within is probably the one that hooked me the most. We got to understand more about him and why the Baggers are so interested in him. My heart went out to him whenever he was in pain, the poor guy deserves a break but alas that will never happen. We also still get the point of view of Nothing, the tortured soul that wavers between the horrible memories of what he's done and falling into the darkness. I now have a pretty good idea of who it is but for it to be confirmed I guess I'll have to wait until the next book.
The setting was still as good as ever. There was probably more gore in this book, that was vividly described. If you're squeamish you may want to step back, but don't let it ruin this awesome book. It's the vivid description of the horror of what the world could become that makes this book even greater. It truly makes the reader think about the consequences of their actions and even more terrifying if they have the potential to be a bagger if the world comes to it. It's pretty scary, but that's what makes this book so very awesome! The way that the bagger's are described with their black veined eye's and love of gore makes them scary but add in a few human characteristics, they become even scarier. It just gives me the creeps thinking about them.
The plot was fast paced making the reader cling on for the ride. The action was as good as before, maybe even better, it was great to see characters who fight for what they believe in and also the girls being just as kick ass as they boys. Although this book isn't even out yet, I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book, I hope there is one? I can say that this is one of the best books I've read this year, it is just so freaking good! I cannot tell you enough that this is a truly thrilling book, and a brilliant sequel. It's a heart-pounding, hair-raising roller coaster of fear and scary truths, that make the reader grip onto the book from start until finish. It's so good, if you loved the first one, you'll definitely love this!