Book Reviews

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer Book Review [a YA Sci-Fi about Queer Boys solving mysteries in Space]


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.



When I started this book, I thought that I was going to end of DNFing it. I do have a problem with anticipated books in that they end up disappointing me, and Ambrose was such a Holden Caulfield I found him difficult to cope with. BUT. This story is worth sticking with, because after 30% it really picks up and delivered one of the most incredible, hopeful and beautiful endings I have ever read.

Ambrose and Kodiak are a great couple, they challenge each other and each other’s beliefs, while trying to learn from each other and simply trying to survive on a batsht crazy spaceship with an AI that sounds like Ambrose’s mother, hurtling through space in search of Ambrose’s sister. I enjoyed following them as they found ways to hide from the Ship, discovering what it’s hiding.

This story is brutal, bloody and utterly bonkers. I have a huge love of the “someone ends up in space and mysterious stuff is happening” trope and this truly delivers, it had me guessing every possible outcome including that maybe they simply never left Earth and the truth was stranger than I ever could have imagined, putting our characters in mortal peril time and time again.

Have you read this book? Loved it / hated it? Let me know in the comments!


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