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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Simon James Wood created a complex dystopian fantasy in Within The Dark. Quinne and her brother, Jason, are being led by Nick to end the magic wielders who killed her father. They are joined by Steven and Traci who are twins that need to be protected. Quinne is violently ill and Nick claims he knows someone to heal her. When Quinne meets the man, Luke, he calls her Natalie before he kills himself. Nick turns and shoots Jason and her, but a woman with red hair appears and saves Quinne. Nick kills Steven and returns to the commune with Traci. Nick advises Daniel, the commune leader, on the change of plans to secure his safety. Daniel has to face Eliza, the witch confined in the black stone room. After Traci is home, she realizes that something isn't right. How did her father become rich and why does he refuse to answer her questions?
Wood penned several characters whose paths intertwined into this dark dystopian story. Quinne’s development is slow but aligns with the injuries she sustains. Traci’s naivety is a complete farce as she investigates what is being kept from her. Nick's involvement throughout the story was entrancing as he manipulates every key character. Every detail of the creatures, people, and setting is vivid. The transitioning views are divided by a bold quote from the character. Every chapter includes the perspectives of Quinne, Nick, Daniel, Chloe, Traci, and others. The timeline is easy to follow and the variables each character faces are unique. There is a major climactic scene at the end of the story that ties everything together. Those who enjoy dark fantasy stories involving magic, political corruption, and multiple viewpoints will enjoy Within The Dark.