The Darkness Outside Us

Eliot Schrefer. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-288828-0
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)
Reviewed on : 05/06/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-288825-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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