Review: Out of the Dark by Claire C. Riley

May 26, 2016 Lindsay's reviews, Release Day 0

Out of the Dark front cover

‘Out of the Dark #1’

We are temporary. Finite.

The choices we’ve made, the people we have loved. Who we used to be no longer matters.

Because now it is all about the ending. And the ending always comes too soon.

There’s fear in the dark. And behind every drop of light, the shadows creep and the darkness comes in the form of clawing, red-eyed monsters. They hunt us—stalk us…they are desperate to destroy us.

But I have a reason to fight the darkness and everything in it. A small glimpse of light that lives within my golden-haired daughter, Lilly. She is my strength. She is my everything.

Every life is an untold story, each scene unfolding until the final act. But our ending has yet to be written, and I will continue to protect us, until I can not.

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Out of the Dark teaser graphic slide


I still have so many emotions running through me, and I’m stuck somewhere between love and hate for Claire C. Riley. She has a habit of setting characters (and readers) up for heartbreak. I knew what I was getting into when I first opened the book. Every time Claire provided a glimmer of hope, I tried my best to tamp it down. I just didn’t want to get crushed when everyone inevitably died. Apparently this was the perfect frame of mind! When the book wrapped up, I wasn’t entirely broken. Tears were shed, but it wasn’t an ugly cry. I survived.

Out of the Dark was an extremely brave endeavor for Claire.  With only two main characters, and a mostly undead supporting cast, it’s a fairly limited view. Plus, with one of the characters being a child, the dialogue is also limited to what a child will understand, and what is safe for her to hear. Lilly is young enough, plus malnourished, so she spends a lot of time sleeping, leaving a lot of time for inner reflection. Which brings me to an important point; it seems strange, but for the amount of time we spent inside her head, we never even learn her name. It’s amazing how close you can become to a character without something so basic. She simply becomes “Mama”, as both a name and her most important role.

A lot of the plot in the beginning revolves around everyday activities. It’s important to catch a glimpse into their desperation, and the way that they blindly cling to the smallest ray of hope. As the story continues, the pace begins to pick up, with increasing contact with the Infected. Sunlight burns their flesh, and they thirst for blood. Does this make them vampires? If so, then they’re unlike any vampires I’ve read before! But they’re also mindless in the pursuit of their prey. Vampires merged with zombies? I absolutely LOVE where this series is headed! Better buckle your seat belt. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.


Riley delivers a story that is equal parts thrilling and breathtaking. It beautifully illustrates the lengths we go to survive and what it means to love when we’ve lost everything.

NYT & USA Today bestselling Author A. Meredith Walters

OUt of the dark teaser graphic text

Riley’s ‘Out of the Dark’ holds a special place in my heart. Before I’d devoured it, I’d never read a book that so beautifully and eloquently captured the distressing, aching love a mother holds for her child. It is built into the heart strings of a woman, natural and uncontainable. It goes past biological and into spiritual.

In her most unique and mysterious way, Riley has given us a transcendent picture of love in the midst of a terrifying climate. She has shown us what it means to choose your family, that it is a matter of honor and earning and not a matter of a blood bond and obligation. I am honored to have read this book pre-release and I know it will stick to me like honey, nearly glued onto the fabric of who I am as a human being.

Speculative fiction author – Eli Constant

out of the dark teaser

A beautifully written story that makes you realize that you should always have hope, even in the most desperate of circumstances. It will tug at your heart strings, until by the end, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.

Goodreads & Amazon reviewer

Out of the Dark full wrap

author head shot


Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and International bestselling author. She is also a bestselling British horror writer and an Amazon top 100 bestseller.

Her work is best described as the modernization of classic, old-school horror. She fuses multi-genre elements to develop storylines that pay homage to cult classics while still feeling fresh and cutting edge. She writes characters that are realistic, and kills them without mercy. Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband, three daughters, and one scruffy dog.

Author of:

Odium The Dead Saga Series (3 books),

Odium Origins Series (3 books),

Limerence (The Obsession Series) (2 books),

Thicker than Blood series (2 books),

& Shut Up & Kiss me,

Plus much more.

Contact Links:

‘She writes characters that are realistic and then kills them without mercy’ – Eli Constant author of Z-Children, Dead Trees, Mastic and much more.

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One woman stuck in a house full of boys, I immerse myself in books and save my sanity by reading, writing and blogging. I'll read just about anything, from any genre, and LOVE supporting Indie authors. <3
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