Outer Universe (Inner Universe #2), by Natalie Kelda

The Book

Outer Universe
Series: Inner Universe
Pages: 436
Age Group: Adult
Published on 7/17/2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Available on:


With immense losses, Merlon and his crew have escaped the cannibals of Ivory, but now they are stuck in the wrong universe with no idea which way home lies.

There is no time for grieving when it's discovered Lucia's rough flight through the enormous asteroid field has resulted in most of their precious water storage spilling. It's evident Merlon isn't done fighting against his former addiction, but in Outer Universe he finds help from unexpected corners and makes surprising discoveries.

Struggling to find a way back to Inner Universe before more of his crew are added to the death toll, new information about Lady Galantria's heritage reveal a threat that hadn't even entered Merlon's worst nightmares.

Will he succeed in returning to Amule, or will they be stuck in Outer Universe forever?  

My Review

Outer Universe is the sequel to River in the Galaxy, both part of the Inner Universe series written by Natalie Kelda, a low stakes science fantasy adventure novel, following the travel of Merlon and the crew of the Lucia in order to investigate what happened when Merlon's parents disappeared in an expedition. 

We start directly after the ending of River in the Galaxy, with the Lucia's crew still grieving the losses suffered at the hands of the cannibals; at least they are a step closer to finding about Merlon's parents. The situation isn't easy for them, especially Merlon, who is now dealing with survivor's guilt, despite nobody could blame him for what happened during the travel.

Continuing with the line established in the previous book, we will be discovering unknown places in this Outer Universe, entering into contact with new civilizations and even new creatures; Kelda unleashes her imagination in this second installment on the series, including, for example, a pair of dragons who are defined by using neo-pronouns (a detail I think it should be highlighted).

While the pacing is still slow, typical of low stake books, I have to say that I think it has improved from River in the Galaxy, feeling this a book where more things are happening, compressing several adventures in the same novel; a fine structure that allows you to take a breath between encounters.

Outer Universe is an improvement over River in the Galaxy, which still caters to those readers looking for a lower stakes story, with Treasure Planet vibes, and which also feels as a little homage to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; in definitive, a nice set of nautical adventures set in the space.

The Author/s

Natalie Kelda

Natalie Kelda

Danish by birth, Natalie Kelda now lives in the green hills of Yorkshire, UK. She spends her evenings writing, drawing, and creating while only mildly hindered by her adventure cat, Barry.

Natalie has been an active Viking reenactor, advanced martial artist and avid horse rider. She loves to take on new challenges - especially if the activities build experiences that can help with writing the next story or the one after.

Storytelling and inventing new worlds has been a part of Natalie’s life since before she could read or write. Nowadays she mostly writes in English but you’ll often discover hints of her native Danish or some of the other languages she has picked up along the way.