Monday, April 30, 2012

[Review] 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Published Date: April 17, 2012
Published Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: Hachette Canada
Received Format: Hardcover
Pages: 355

A BIG thanks goes out to Hachette Canada for providing me this wonderful copy for review! <3

Synopsis via Goodreads:
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.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

My Thoughts:

I love the concept! The prologue of the book reminded me of the typical government secret meeting. So secretive and amazing!

The characters had their pros and cons. Mia seems like an actually normal teen. She had real teenager emotions. She acts kind of like me, a little hot headed. I also love Midori! There is something about her that I just cannot hate. and as for Antoine, he is smart, and thoughtful. I love how Johan wrote the characters. Each one if them are unique and none of them made me hate them. No particular character got a spotlight. That is basically their pros but for some reason, the characters seemed to dull as the book went on. It seemed their colours faded. That is the completely opposite to the plot, as I kind of expected.

The first three chapters or so were pretty good, but as the story went on, it got boring. The first half of the book basically talked about the teens getting picked. Everything basically repeated 3 times. Mia gets the letter, Midori gets it, then Antoine gets it. It got real boring fast. The first part of the story didn't provide a lot of descriptions and that meant it didn't provoke emotions within me. BUT!

Everything got more exciting when they arrive in the moon base (as expected). There were moments that made my heart beat faster but it didn't made me go breathless, (not sure if you know what I mean).

It was nice to see how the teenagers stood up for themselves. As the story "leak" out more secrets, the more you want to see how the book end. It became a book that was hard to put down! And for that reason, I am giving this book 4 fires out of 5. Great job Johan! 

PS: I love the pictures in the book! I wish it was more drawing though. Sketches make me squeal more, especially when I see "rough" sketches. Okay, yeah, you might think I am weird. :P

1 comment:

  1. I loved how the author slowly introduced each of the teens and their perspectives over the beginning third of the novel...and then built up to the take off in the middle of the book. At times it may have seemed a bit slow paced while I was reading it, but in retrospect Johan Harstad did an excellent job of building up to the actual space flight and time on the moon. I think it was that build up and anticipation which made the latter part of the book so thrilling.

    One does, as with any science fiction story, need to suspend disbelief otherwise you will never be able to get over the initial hurdle which is that the US government and the teens' parents are all ready to send random lottery drawn kids with only 2 months of "training" into space. If you can simply focus on the teens experiences and feeling throughout their individual'll get to the heart of any good thriller--the character development. (Sadly though...these characters are not long for this world--or any other.)

    I also loved the little pictures and diagrams that at times accompanied the text. It made the story feel that much more "real." And despite being a translation the writing style flowed easily and seemed to fit well with the content of the book.

    The ending was one that I did not in any way expect. And I would imagine that most readers were also blindsided as I was. And that takes me to my one complaint about the novel. The wonderful twist at the end which unfortunately is complete puzzlement.


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