Book Reviews

Review: The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

If you have been looking for a SF thriller, then look no further. The Darkness Outside Us was unstoppable around the 60% mark. While I wasn’t sure how I felt initially, by then I had a much better idea of what I thought! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Two boys, alone in space.

After the first settler on Titan trips her distress signal, neither remaining country on Earth can afford to scramble a rescue of its own, and so two sworn enemies are installed in the same spaceship.

Ambrose wakes up on the Coordinated Endeavor, with no memory of a launch. There’s more that doesn’t add up: Evidence indicates strangers have been on board, the ship’s operating system is voiced by his mother, and his handsome, brooding shipmate has barricaded himself away. But nothing will stop Ambrose from making his mission succeed—not when he’s rescuing his own sister.

In order to survive the ship’s secrets, Ambrose and Kodiak will need to work together and learn to trust one another… especially once they discover what they are truly up against. Love might be the only way to survive.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: transphobia

I also buddy read this with Delara from @bookwnoname and Katy from @theshriekingstack.

The Darkness Outside Us will appeal to those who are looking for a SF thriller with a good dash of romance. The intrigue was definitely my favorite element as it made me think so much about what I might do in their situation and so many of the twists I really enjoyed. I would say that by about 60% I found the book really hard to put down. There were so many pieces I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. And while I had a few plot questions by the end, I still enjoyed the resolution of this action packed book.

Another element that worked for me, despite my skepticism, was the romance. While there were still a few pieces to it that deserved some of my side eye, I enjoyed how it played out. I can’t talk to you about ALL my thoughts on this book, because SPOILERS, but I can just say that where the romance could have ended up being a little overplayed, it ended up being very tender. Even though this is a SF, and the thrills happen in space, there are some very basic world building questions I have that sort of frustrated me.

I felt like the biggest conflict was a political one between Ambrose and Kodiak, but I felt like there was a richness of the world/background that was missing. With the thrills it’s easy to get lost in them, but from a world building perspective, I just had a few lingering questions. Additionally I would have liked a bit more to the main characters which is, understandably, kind of washed out by the high stakes action and odds.

Throughout The Darkness Outside Us there’s some clever writing that plays into the intrigue. And if you’re looking for a SF thriller with some romance, this is definitely a good pick. Find The Darkness Outside Us on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite SF thriller?

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