The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

Cover of The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

“Well, we’re hardwired not to accept our own demise. Daffodils are a lot more chill about it.”
“Okay, but we can be like daffodils together.”

I would actually recommend not reading the synopsis. If you’re going to read the book, don’t read the synopsis, just skip to the second paragraph. Honestly, don’t read the review either. The less you know going into this book the better.

Ambrose wakes up on the Coordinated Endeavor, with no memory of the launch. There is evidence that shows that strangers have been on board, the ship’s operating system sounds like his mother, and he has a handsome, brooding shipmate that isn’t supposed to exist, but has barricaded himself away. However, none of these things will stop Ambrose from making his mission of rescuing his sister a success. As thing progress, Ambrose and Kodiak will need to work together to learn and trust one another especially once they discover what they are truly up against. Love might be the only way to survive.

This book was a lot more than queer cinnamon rolls in space and I struggle with deciding how much to say in this review. This is one of those books that is definitely better the less you know going in because it goes somewhere that most people won’t even consider. The blurb doesn’t really do it justice, but if it did do it justice than readers would probably know too much about it to get the full experience. I would honestly just recommend checking it out if it sounds like something that you would be interested in.

Ambrose and Kodiak are cute together and this feels a bit like a slow-burn romance the way that their relationship unfolds. On page their relationship isn’t graphic, but it is implied that they have sex at one point. However, on the page, it’s all chaste kisses and light caresses. However, this book is more than a space romance. There is a mystery/thriller aspect to this book that needs to be played up a bit more so that people don’t just keep going into this book thinking that they’re just going to get a mlm space romance. There is a mlm romance, but the mystery/thriller plot line is actually the main one in my opinion. Sure, the romance is nice and cute, but even the romance takes second stage when the other plot line really gets going.

I know this is a short review, but I really don’t want to give away anything about this book before people read it. I would say that people who enjoy space thrillers, cute romances, and space travel books would enjoy it. Also, someone looking for enemies to lovers or slightly menacing A.I. systems may find a lot of joy in it. I’ll admit to not being interested in most of Schrefer’s other books, but I would be open to reading more by him in the future. Most of his current back catalog is middle grade and I’m not interested in most books from that age group.

Have you read The Darkness Outside Us? What did you think? No spoilers please!

Cover of The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

Important Bits:
Length: 416 pages
Published: June 1, 2021 by Katherine Tegen Books
Trigger Warnings: Death of a Character, Blood, Vomit, Electric Shock, Implied Sex, Graphic Depiction of an Injury
Awards: None.
Also by: The School for Dangerous Girls (2009), Mez’s Magic (2018), Out Now: Queer We Go Again! (2020), The Darkness Outside Us (2021), and more.

Book Depository Link:

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