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Publisher's Summary

Earth is conquered. The Shongairi have arrived in force, and humanity’s cities lie in radioactive ruins. In mere minutes, over half the human race has died.

Now Master Sergeant Stephen Buchevsky, who thought he was being rotated home from his latest tour in Afghanistan, finds himself instead prowling the back country of the Balkans, dodging alien patrols and trying to organize the scattered survivors without getting killed. His chances look bleak. The aliens have definitely underestimated human tenacity - but no amount of heroism can endlessly hold off overwhelming force.

Then, emerging from the mountains and forests of Eastern Europe, new allies present themselves to the ragtag human resistance. Predators, creatures of the night, human in form but inhumanly strong. Long Enemies of humanity…until now. Because now is the time to defend Earth.

©2010 David Weber (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Weber pulls off this conceit in audacious style with a focus on military-powered action that will thrill fans of his Honor Harrington series, and he keeps the pedal to the metal right up to the almost unbelievable conclusion." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Barry
  • College Station, TX, United States
  • 10-27-10

Collapses at the finish line

I thought I was reading a Clancy novel at first, the attention to detail and the technical descriptions were first rate. The interplay between politics and social structure of the aliens and how that both helped and hindered their mission was fascinating.

The story was completely believable and I was totally hooked - until the ending completely blew it. It's as if the author was told he had an hour to finish the book and he just threw some nonsense at it.

I'm aggravated I put the time in to read the book now.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not all there...

This story is far too incomplete. I expected a better, more detailed story from David Weber, but this one has a pivotal character in the tale coming in late with almost no background information or personality. I am very disappointed.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Fontana, CA, United States
  • 11-28-10

Why Weber, why that ending?!?

It was all good; a little heavy on details about weapons, but that's to be expected from David Weber, but the ending. It was like a Star Trek ending where they make up some technobabble to get them out of the fix they were in during the last 5 minutes of the episode.

I have to wonder if he didn't intend this to be the 1st book in a trilogy and then decided it was just going to be a single book so had to be able to wrap it up after writing a good portion of the book.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A strong start, a WTF ending.

The book is fairly strong throughout the majority, with plenty of interesting tactics on both parts. However within the last hour of the book it goes steadily down hill. I've never said WTF out loud at an audio book, but this definitely caused it. I'd say if you go into it with full knowledge of the ending being screwy, it's not a bad purchase.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • chris
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 12-01-10

the last 2 hours was like ???

I liked the concept of aliens attacking Earth and ending up in a situation like the US in Vietnam at first, but the story soon got a bit monotonous, overly descriptive of each and every gun/weapon to the point of nausea, and then the ending was out of left field.

Spoilers ahead, the US in Vietnam analogy was soon lost because part of the reason the Earth was winning during actual fighting was because our technology for war was better than theirs. So at this I thought a real opportunity to comment on war being more than just who has the best toys was lost. Beyond that, so much was made in the beginning of the story of how abhorrently violent the Earthlings were, but then later we find out its common practice for the various creatures of the universe to enslave other sentient species as long as they haven't invented electronics??? Also the idea that they would invade our planet without doing a bit of research first? they took the time to get info, but after traveling millions of miles through space they don't take the time to evaluate the info???

Even though the story had it's share of lapses in common sense it was still a reasonably enjoyable story that I listened too on a long drive, and then... (big spoiler here) in the last two hours of the story, from out of nowhere, DRACULA himself makes an appearance to personally do his part to save humanity from alien enslavement...??? WTHeck...??? way to totally ruin it IMO. Before that the author seemed to do his best to make this a logical and pretty realistic portrayal of contact with an aggressive alien race, and oh buy the way Vampires are real too... :)

I liked the Prince Roger books, and this story started out pretty decent, but you don't just introduce a whole new belief system at the end of the book. I was waiting in the final minutes to hear that Jesus came down from heaven and brought everybody back to life too!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • JOPPA, MD, United States
  • 10-12-10

No Kidding, Really Bad Ending

Started well, mediocre story, unbelievable ending. Read as if author had to meet a dead-line. One star because it is a book, one star because it has a story.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

16 hours about muzzle velocities and dumb aliens

This was my first Weber novel, and it will probably be my last, unless someone convinces me that his other books don't ramble on and on about the hardware every single character uses. The story is very "high concept," action-packed, full of Americans saving the day, and ends improbably. Really, really improbably. You wouldn't believe the "twist" except that it's pretty obvious if you read the book's description (or other reviews).

This would have been a great graphic novel; cynically, I suspect Weber is hoping to lure interest from Hollywood. If you like military SF, I guess Out of the Dark has the requisite amount of blowing stuff up, but the characters were cardboard (including the aliens) and the writing was full of tedious infodumps.

Charles Keating is a good narrator but... he sounds like a crusty old Englishman. I kind of got used to imagining the Shongairi all sounding like British colonial officers talking about how to put down these nasty primitives. His accent doesn't work so well with the mostly American human cast, though.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Solid, with a contrived ending

First, Charles Keating is a great reader and was excellent in rendering this story. Second, Weber's premise was an interesting variation on the theme of aliens invade Earth and eventually get their asses kicked. The problem is that Weber contrived an ending that made no sense from the rest of the story. He could have developed many more plausible endings that would have flowed logically from the various story lines. So, it looks to me like he wanted to finish off the story, was tired of it, and just came up with a whacky way to do it. You will hear the usual Weberian internal musings, digressions, and ocassional political polemics that characterize his later work. He sounds a lot like Tom Clancy in his love of weapons of violence and their many models, attributes, and killing capacities.In summary, this is a decent piece of commercial work for Weber, but not anywhere close to his best.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andrew
  • alton, il, United States
  • 10-13-10

lost potential

I think if the narrator did better at character distinguishment, it would have been better. Too single toned, sometimes I lost place in not knowing from who's perspective I was listening too. I regret this purchase.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matthew
  • Hornsby Heights, Australia
  • 11-30-10

A great tale that's spoilt by a weird ending.

I loved this book right up until the last couple of chapters when the author lost the plot and introduced a truly strange twist to the plot. It's almost as if he ran out of ideas and so he came up with the most implausible ending he could find.

Disappointed :(

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma
  • 01-27-11

Show me, don't tell me!

I've listened/read a few David Weber stories now and I've really liked some of them. The 'march upcountry' series, for example, I really enjoyed. That said, I have the same issues with many of his stories, and they were especially obvious in this book - the author goes into an awful lot of unnecessary detail! In some cases, this can be quite interesting; I learnt about making swords, what makes a seaworthy boat and how best to use pike-men in the 'march ...' series. However, in this book the author spends so much time discussing guns and tanks, using alot of jargon, that I tend to tune out as it becomes incomprehensible to me!

He also spends the majority of the book telling the listener what is going on through large amounts of exposition, and not showing us. The events which are told as they are happening are very engaging and enjoyable, but too much of the action is skipped in favour of the events being told through conversations after the event.

I didn't hate this novel (i did finish it, after all), but it was certainly hard work, self indulgent (naming the pets after two characters from another series? Not cool!) and could have been much better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • martin
  • 12-09-13


Would you listen to Out of the Dark again? Why?

Yes, decent sci fi story. If you like Footfall or World War In The Balance you'll like this. Basically David Weber read both these books then and combined them to come up with this...which is no bad thing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Out of the Dark?

That would be near the beginning when the fighter pilots run into the Aliens and chaos ensues.

Which character – as performed by Charles Keating – was your favourite?

The Leader of the Aliens.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The gotta feel sorry for the Aliens

Any additional comments?

The end is kind of...well silly really. Wont spoil it but...made me chuckle. You'd think if you were going to invade a Planet you'd do a bit more research though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ariana
  • 09-11-11

Loved it

Yes, it's very different to the usual David Weber, but very enjoyable for all that. I really enjoyed all the little hints and subtle jokes in this book, and I guessed fairly early on what the deux ex machina was, the clues were all there if you pay attention. I found it very satisfying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • J. Arnold
  • 02-08-11

Ruined by a ludicrous ending....

A reasonably enjoyable story, with excellent narration.
However the ending of the story is ludicrous and a complete let down. Its like the author gave up and decided to go for something silly for a bet.
Might have well have ended with Harry Potter and Ron turning up and casting a magic spell to make the baddies turn in to hat-stands.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 08-07-13

Really good

Any additional comments?

Great sci fi book really enjoyed it.
I hope there is some more books to follow it

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • 03-23-13

Different but good

Simple put this book is about an race called the Shongairi who have conquered the earth and killed millions of people and this book tells the stroy of the people who fight back the end is different and not what you expect but it is still a very good book.

  • Overall
  • Edward
  • 11-03-10

ummm no

Obviously draws some inspiration from America's 'War on Terror' which makes for interesting comparisons but the hugely, lengthy descriptions of earth weapons and the damage they could inflict becomes boring fast - I zoned out a lot during those parts as it was like listening to a technical instruction manual. And where the audience might like more description eg the aliens, their history and battle scenes the descriptions are pretty basic.
I don't think the narrator was suited AND the ending - jeez ... talk about ridiculous ...

  • Overall
  • Christopher
  • 12-07-10

great story not so great ending

When i first started it was hard to get in to the story. But once past the first chapters and the history lesson it really gets good. But VAMPIRES the really was know need.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Keith
  • 03-26-16

Builds well, then pulls a Deus ex machina

(No spoilers here...)
Weber is normally reliable, producing strong, character-based military sci-fi.
This book begins well, develops very nicely and seems ready to deliver a fascinating denouement when Weber appears to hit a contractually obligated word limit, shouts "OH WOW IT'S MAGIC!" and ends the story abruptly with outright silliness.
Still an acceptable read/listen - but falls flat on its face and a long way short of Weber's usual high standard.