Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: 172 Hours on the Moon - Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Genre: YA, suspense, horror
Published on April 17, 2012
Published by Little, Brown Books
Pages: 355
Read From: 10.11.14 - 10.18.14












SYNOPSIS
They'll travel more than 238,000 miles from home. . . . 
It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA's unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space - and change their lives forever: 
Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band's ticket to fame and fortune. 
Midori believes it's her way out of her restrained life in Japan. 
Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible. 
It's the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space. . . . 
No one is coming to save them.

Review

Cover Blurb: Yes or No? There is something extremely eerie and creepy about the cover art. I love it.

Characters: There's no doubt that this is a plot-driven book. While Mia, Midori, and Antoine are all fleshed-out teens with believable struggles and dreams. However, their backstory feels just like what it is: backstory. It's not real complex, and it's just kinda there to give the characters a bit of depth without actually giving them much of it. Mia, Midori, and Antoine were good protagonists to follow along with, but you never really ever get attached to them. The adults are even less developed; names, and not much else.

The Romance: Mia and Antoine develop affection for one another, but this is a horror/suspense novel, and therefore not a whole lot of time gets spent on it.

Plot: The year is 2020, and NASA is losing funding big time. In order to reboost interest in the space program, they decide to hold an international lottery, where three lucky teens will be randomly chosen to go with an astronaut team to the moon and spent 172 hours at a lunar base that was built back in the 70's - and that no one, up until now, has even known existed. Mia, from Sweden, thinks this may be the big break her band needs to get famous. Midori, from Japan, just wants to leave her traditional home. And Antoine, from France, wants to get as far away as possible from his ex-girlfriend. None of them really expect anything super exciting to happen, and the team expects things to go smoothly. There's just one problem: lunar base DARLA 2 was abandoned for a reason. And that reason has just been waiting for people to come back to the moon. I'm not going to say too much about the plot. I don't want to give you any preconceived ideas about the twist. It's one of those things that you have to go in blind, because part of what's creepy about it is the slow realization of what's going on; the confusion and mystery at first, and then the "oh, that's creepy" moment. I don't scare easily, and I would say that this is more horrifying and disturbing than anything else (and not demonic disturbing). But it's just. . . .yeah, hard to explain without giving things away.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: Third person, past tense - and really nothing special. Each chapter alternates between which teen's perspective we follow.

Content: 9 s-words, 3 g--damns.

Conclusion: So if this book doesn't really have character development and the writing is nothing special, why the generous rating? I'm sure you are all wondering that. Because the plot was everything. 172 Hours on the Moon creeped me out. It kept me up at night, it has made me really not want to visit the moon, and that ending! 172 Hours on the Moon is like an extended Twilight Zone. That's the only way I can describe it without giving anything away. If it were a movie, it would probably be silly. As a book, though, it was creepy and weird.

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, seventeen-and-up, fans of suspense, weirdness, and creepy concepts.

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