Free Shipping on Orders of $40 or More
The Darkness Outside Us

The Darkness Outside Us

by Eliot Schrefer

Narrated by James Fouhey

Unabridged — 9 hours, 49 minutes

Eliot Schrefer
The Darkness Outside Us

The Darkness Outside Us

by Eliot Schrefer

Narrated by James Fouhey

Unabridged — 9 hours, 49 minutes

Eliot Schrefer

Audiobook (Digital)

$26.99
FREE With a B&N Audiobooks Subscription| Cancel Anytime
$0.00

Free with a B&N Audiobooks Subscription | Cancel Anytime

START FREE TRIAL

Already Subscribed? 

Sign in to Your BN.com Account


Listen on the free Barnes & Noble NOOK app

FREE

with a B&N Audiobooks Subscription

Or Pay $26.99

Overview

They Both Die at the End meets The Loneliest Girl in the Universe in this mind-bending sci-fi mystery and tender love story about two boys aboard a spaceship sent on a rescue mission, from two-time National Book Award finalist Eliot Schrefer. Stonewall Honor Award winner!

Two boys, alone in space. Sworn enemies sent on the same rescue mission.

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 each other . . . especially once they discover what they are truly up against. Love might be the only way to survive.

* Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books of the Year * A Booklist Editor's Choice of the Year * A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book of the Year * A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults & Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Book of the Year *



Related collections and offers

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

05/10/2021

In this sexy space odyssey by Schrefer (The Popper Penguin Rescue) set in 2472, Earth’s two remaining—and warring—countries, Dimokratía and Fédération, mount a mission to rescue Fédération’s Minerva Cusk, who sends a distress signal after being sent to colonize one of Saturn’s moons. The progeny of a corporate figurehead mother and Alexander the Great’s “reconstructed sperm,” 17-year- old Ambrose, who has “molten bronze” skin, is dedicated to rescuing his sister. Upon awakening in the Coordinated Endeavor’s infirmary, however, he learns that he’s been in a coma following a launch accident—and that he’s sharing the ship with a Dimokrat- ían spacefarer named Kodiak Celius, an orphan with olive skin. Wary of each other at first, the two slowly join forces as they complete the surveillance-obsessed Operating System’s log of tasks, notice strange things about the ship’s cargo, and together enjoy manicotti en route to falling in love. Against a backdrop of speculative fiction tropes and Cold War–like identity politics, Schrefer’s immersive novel combines the build of mysteries and the tension of romance, slowly unfurling an iterative story about love and attraction, destiny, and connection. Ages 13–up. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. (June)

From the Publisher

"Schrefer masterfully evokes and maintains suspense that keeps the pages turning briskly while still taking the time to limn the two boys’ touching, moving relationship. If all of this is space opera, readers will want an encore. Bravo." — Booklist (starred review)

"3, 2, 1…blastoff for mystery, adventure, and queer intergalactic bodice-ripping." — Kirkus Reviews

"[A] sexy space odyssey. Schrefer’s immersive novel combines the build of mysteries and the tension of romance, slowly unfurling an iterative story about love and attraction, destiny, and connection. " — Publishers Weekly

"Schrefer does an excellent job of developing and humanizing his characters before throwing them into the swift waters of a sci-fi plot with its truly shocking and satisfying twist. Readers are sure to root for these lovable characters’ survival." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"This deep-space survival story, with a strong gay romance and notes of horror, will appeal to fans of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae." — School Library Journal

"Yes, The Darkness Outside Us is utterly inventive and relentlessly page-turning. And yes, Ambrose and Kodiak are seriously the hottest couple in space. But even more, this is an insightful, tender, and profound story, about the weight of history, and the power of transformation and true love." — Deb Caletti, National Book Award finalist and author of A Heart in a Body in the World 

“Fiercely imaginative and desperately real, The Darkness Outside Us explores the wild expanses of the human heart. This book is a triumph.”  — Elana K. Arnold, author of Damsel, a Printz Honor Book

"The Darkness Outside Us is equal parts terrifying, tender, and thrilling. I loved every word of this sharp, thoughtful look at the world we live in and the ones beyond."  — Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion

“Absolutely brilliant. The Darkness Outside Us is a pulse-pounding thriller, engrossing science fiction epic, and heartfelt meditation on love all at once.” — Malinda Lo, Author of Ash

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Schrefer does an excellent job of developing and humanizing his characters before throwing them into the swift waters of a sci-fi plot with its truly shocking and satisfying twist. Readers are sure to root for these lovable characters’ survival."

Malinda Lo

Absolutely brilliant. The Darkness Outside Us is a pulse-pounding thriller, engrossing science fiction epic, and heartfelt meditation on love all at once.

Deb Caletti

"Yes, The Darkness Outside Us is utterly inventive and relentlessly page-turning. And yes, Ambrose and Kodiak are seriously the hottest couple in space. But even more, this is an insightful, tender, and profound story, about the weight of history, and the power of transformation and true love."

Booklist (starred review)

"Schrefer masterfully evokes and maintains suspense that keeps the pages turning briskly while still taking the time to limn the two boys’ touching, moving relationship. If all of this is space opera, readers will want an encore. Bravo."

Elana K. Arnold

Fiercely imaginative and desperately real, The Darkness Outside Us explores the wild expanses of the human heart. This book is a triumph.” 

Brandy Colbert

"The Darkness Outside Us is equal parts terrifying, tender, and thrilling. I loved every word of this sharp, thoughtful look at the world we live in and the ones beyond." 

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Schrefer does an excellent job of developing and humanizing his characters before throwing them into the swift waters of a sci-fi plot with its truly shocking and satisfying twist. Readers are sure to root for these lovable characters’ survival."

The Horn Book

Well researched and emotionally rich.

New York Times Book Review

Mez’s Magic is packed with as many jokes as fast-paced fight scenes. And Schrefer has created a stock of memorable characters—including Gogi, a monkey with self-esteem issues; Rumi, a delightfully urbane tree frog; and a manic, pixie-dream bat named Lima.

Soman Chainani

PRAISE FOR MEZ’S MAGIC: “Unlike anything I’ve read. Eliot Schrefer has mined the richness and depths of his setting to find a deeper magic, immersing us in a world that is at once complex, dangerous, beautiful, and ultimately demanding of our protection. A thrilling start to an exceptional new series.

Dr. Jane Goodall

This is a book that combines skillful interpretation of orangutan character, the cruelty inherent in keeping apes as pets, and the plight of the wild orangutans. Eliot has created unforgettable characters in Raja, the orphaned ape and his human ‘brother,’ John. Moving, fascinating and eye opening.

School Library Journal

05/01/2021

Gr 9 Up—This deep-space survival story, with a strong gay romance and notes of horror, will appeal to fans of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff's Illuminae. Ambrose wakes up on a ship with no memory of the launch. He knows he was selected to pilot the rescue mission to save his sister, who tripped her emergency beacon on Saturn's moon Titan. He has no memory of the Fédération teaming up with their enemies to send two spacefarers on the mission. With no contact from Earth, bronze-skinned Ambrose, 17, and Kodiak, 18, with olive-toned skin, work their way into a détente and then to something more. They realize the spaceship's operating system is not being honest with them—not about their missing memories or about their mission. Ambrose's dry humor and confidence create a page-turning narrative that carries readers through its slower moments. Schrefer uses the cyclical nature of the plot to turn tables, amplifying fears and piling on the impossibilities, ultimately pulling together a satisfying—if not explosive—climax. Schrefer balances the romance of the novel (Ambrose is pansexual and Kodiak is attracted to men) with the intricate science behind space travel and survival. Readers may find that much of Ambrose's humor, which carries the novel pre-climax, disappears and the ending is less satisfying for its absence. A content warning for self-harm and suicide is applicable, though the romance remains intact. VERDICT A secondary general purchase, though recommended anywhere voracious sci-fi readers can be found. Readers who like accurate science in their fiction will not be disappointed.—Emmy Neal, Lake Forest Lib., IL

Kirkus Reviews

2021-03-31
A privileged socialite and orphaned cadet unpack the true intention of their two-person mission to one of Saturn’s moons.

Ambrose Cusk of Fédération (think United States circa 2470) is the elegant, golden offspring of Alexander the Great’s DNA and an emotionally distant mother. Kodiak Celius of Dimokratía (think Russia) is a brawny orphan-turned-cadet. The two 17-year-olds are paired on a mission to find Ambrose’s long-lost sister, Minerva, who disappeared while attempting to colonize Titan. Her distress beacon has mysteriously been activated years later. The socially, physically, and emotionally opposite boys are slowly unified by their need to understand their fuzzy, pre-mission memories; to combat an omnipresent, self-serving OS (remember HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey?); and to get to the bottom of why there’s a vacuum-sealed supply of their own cloned bodies hidden on the ship. This Groundhog Day–type loop features complex worldbuilding in terms of space, time, light, and sound. What’s not complex are base human wants and needs like manicotti, making out, and memories. Ambrose and Kodiak realize that mutual affection is a way to validate one’s existence; that human connection is essential even if you’re determined to be a loner; and that even with the same memories and experiences, our choices in love and life can be completely, wonderfully different if we have a chance to do them again. And again. And again. Main characters are implied White.

3, 2, 1…blastoff for mystery, adventure, and queer intergalactic bodice-ripping. (Science fiction. 14-18)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940172989193
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/14/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews