Tag: Eliot Schrefer

Review – The Darkness Outside Us

Posted January 7, 2022 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot SchreferThe Darkness Outside Us, Eliot Schrefer

This is a very claustrophobic book, with a very tight group of characters. In the “present” of the book, there are three: the operating system running the ship, the spacefarer from Federation, and the spacefarer from Demokratia. There are some glimpses of other characters in the past, but the action takes place on a spaceship, with just those three, stuck together.

It’s a book that I think most people would prefer to read blind, so I’m not going to say too much — most of my comments about the book as a whole would give too much away. I will say, though, that I expected it to be more about the romance and less about the sci-fi/mystery, and instead I’d say that the sci-fi/mystery is the primary thread, with the romance… not quite taken for granted, but definitely not the primary story being told here.

I found it really readable, and actually finished big chunks at a time, though some of the tense bits triggered my anxiety for a bit and I had to put it down. There were things I found predictable, but I was curious about less the “what” or even “why” than the “how”. That paid off for me, especially from part two onwards; in part one I was kinda wondering if I’d stick with it because of that.

Rating: 4/5

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WWW Wednesday

Posted January 5, 2022 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I did this… but I missed it, I was just too tired out by life to pop in and say hi. So, how’s the reading going? Here’re my answers:

The Dark is Rising by Susan CooperWhat are you currently reading?

Fiction: a reread of The Dark is Rising, which just missed being perfectly seasonal, and which I’m almost done with, and Eliot Schrefer’s The Darkness Outside Us. The latter’s a little predictable, but I’m curious exactly how they’ll work it all out, and also about the romance.

Non-fiction: I’m reading Chris Gosden’s A History of Magic, but I’m constantly full of objections about the assumptions made about things we can’t possibly know. Like, people don’t need to be exploring a deep spiritual bond with animals to draw them: I do not have a deep spiritual bond with cats. I don’t even particularly like cats, I just have a particular stylised cat doodle I like to do and then label “Jorts”. And people don’t need to be trying to borrow the magic of animals to tattoo said animal onto their skin: few people are actually trying to do a magical spell when they tattoo Belle from Beauty and the Beast on their arm (though if it works to summon that library, I’ll do it). I find the descriptions of the archaeology fascinating, though.

What have you recently finished reading?

Nothing yet in 2022! But I did read quite a bit between Christmas and the New Year, including Murder After Christmas by Rupert Lattimer. It went on slightly too long and tried too hard to be quirky, but it was fun in its way.

Cover of Strange Beasts of China by Yan GeWhat will you read next?

I don’t know. Possibly Serena Dyer’s Material Lives, which is about (as per the subtitle) “Women Makers and Consumer Culture in the 18th Century”, which I’m quite curious about. Also, I should read Yan Ge’s Strange Beasts of China, since it’s a book club read.

How about you?

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