• The Darkness Outside Us

  • By: Eliot Schrefer
  • Narrated by: James Fouhey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (504 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 *

©2021 Eliot Schrefer (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Darkness Outside Us

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    5 out of 5 stars

Whoa. I had no idea what I was in for.

Ok, this book is not YA. I genuinely feel more impacted by reading this book than I have by any other novel in a while. It's a top-notch Sci-Fi, with very little YA content other than the literal ages of the characters. You'll have a moment at the beginning where you feel like it's YA and that maybe the voice actor isn't as good as everyone says, but trust me, James Fouhey is wonderful, and the book will get wildly more excellent and more complicated. The themes are very mature. Like... contemplate your whole life and the complexities of human existence, the constructs of civilization, and the meaning of love, mature. For those who say the romance in the book runs sidecar to a larger story, that's only true in the sense that the actual larger story is SO DARN LARGE. In another respect, the romance is literally the thing that every part of the plot hinges on, and the only reason you feel genuine joy and hope at the end of what's really a very intense book.

Highly recommend reading it, but please don't have the expectation that you're walking into a fluffy sweet story. Worth it, I promise, but whew. Give yourself a little space to ruminate on these themes.

4 people found this helpful

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Quite recommendable

Thoughtful, philosophical but not … didactic or preachy. Romantic and not saccharine. Pretty dynamic story - didn’t really know where it was going until it got there.

Really enjoyable.

4 people found this helpful

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Space-odisey re-written

Beware of writers who have nothing new to write. I can’t understand how anybody would give this book a good review.

2 people found this helpful

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For all the high reviews, I expected more

I don't know where to go with this one. I don't want to offer any spoilers, so all I feel comfortable saying is there are issues with the story that still nag at me a couple of months after reading. The Cold War style premise should seem a bit off, but with the reality of current events, I will let it go.

The narration is fine - there aren't many characters to voice, and it works.

There are two huge issues for me, and without trying to spoil anything, I will say the timeframe of the book is wildly unbelievable. With nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the material should be accessible to most readers. The twists this book takes seem unnecessary. The romantic aspects are fine, but as you get further in the story it seems less likely that is would happen. Ultimately, I took the approach that I had to accept the broader concept as presented and not question it to appreciate the story the author was trying to tell. I would say it is recommended if you appreciate sci- fi with a gay twist.

1 person found this helpful

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would be a badass movie

I'm crying right now i loved this an absurd amount. please give this a listen, the narration is so cool too.

1 person found this helpful

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So much more than a romance

The romance itself is really sweet and deep, but there is so much more going on that makes this book incredible. There is mystery, twists and turns, AI, and more

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holy mackerel it’s good

I found this book on a list of good lgbtq romance novels. I wasn’t expecting much of a plot (I mostly listen to these kinds of books for fun on drives and runs and stuff). it’s the first book I’ve gone through in a long time where I actually had real emotional responses, not just smiling along because it’s cute or fluff.

It’s extremely heartfelt and absolutely surpasses any expectation I had both in terms of the depths of the relationship between the two main characters, but also as you the reader’s understanding of what’s going on develops and evolves throughout the story. It’s really something

Absolutely recommend 100%. I cried listening (both happy and sad tears) and that’s saying a lot for me.

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Great story

I don’t usually write reviews but I had to on this one. I’ll keep it short and sweet. The story line is great the characters are great twists and turns are present and you get a complete story. Happy and sad all at once. It’s a must listen.

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Buy it now

This book cut me deep and poured lemon juice on the wound, it kept me guessing and hoping for so many outcomes. When I was finally healing from the first initial cut and thinking everything would be okay I was torn open all over again.

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WOW

This is so much more than a sci-fi novel. I really did not see any of that coming. It's gutrenching and absolutely wonderful.

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  • Drdzim
  • 06-08-22

Could have been good

The protagonist killed it for me. I understand that the intention was to make him seem roughish and spoilt, but it was done in an over-the-top manner that was hard to believe, and even harder to listen to. Maybe it would have been better if the story was told from the 3rd perspective. The way it is now, this youngling has too much insight into his own (horny) feelings.
Despite being on a rescue mission for a relative he supposedly truly loves, a mission that had barely started, he jumps on the new acquaintance before he even sees him, like a dying man in a desert finding a drop of water. I found it bisarr.
The story itself is not original in any way. It didn't hook me up. Too bad, because the voice acting is incredible.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Faraday94
  • 04-26-22

Unexpected treasure

This book was so sad in places yet so uplifting in others. I cried for Ambrose and Kodiak. Their journey through space with them thinking they were doing one thing and then realisation that all was not what it seemed. Their ingenious ways of subverting the irritating OS and finding ways to pass on what knowledge they had gleaned to their future selves. Their love for each other kept them on track. A gloriously unexpected treasure of a book.

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  • Danny
  • 04-04-22

brilliant story, a few small issues

OS says.. OS says.... OS says... the author could have used a few more similies when depicting speach... thats about it withnout spoilers

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine
  • 12-17-21

Sadder and angstier then I expected

This book is so much sadder than I expected! Also it is a bit scarier than I expected.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna G
  • 10-26-21

YA story with a twist

I have a mixed feeling about this one. It has a good start and then slowly detours into something dark but quite interesting. There is definitely a kick and thrill and some sadness. However the end is absolutely soft and positive, maybe a bit too positive for my liking. I still liked the book and recommended it though.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-22

Science fiction/ horror.

Science fiction/ horror, I would also put warnings here for suicide and self-harm. it was certainly not what I expected from a young-adult sci-fi audiobook.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Isabelle
  • 12-24-21

Great story!

This felt like a refreshing story with great characters and a twist I really didn't expect!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-21

Amazing, finished it in a day

This book was a roller coaster of emotions and I loved every minute of it. I haven’t felt this many emotions from a book in a long time and I highly recommend you read it.

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  • Aydin McIntosh
  • 09-06-21

Not what I was expecting

Fair warning, this book is fantastic. The plot and progression was a refreshing change to other space themed books. If you want a MM book with a Fantastic plot that stays clear of the 'steamy sessions' that authors seem to jam into most MM themed books then this is the book for you.

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