Sunday, October 4, 2015

Review: 172 Hours On The Moon by Johan Harstad

172 Hours On The Moon by Johan Harstad
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
Score: 3.5 Stars
Page Count: 350
Stand Alone
Publisher: Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
Published: April 17, 2012

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.

1. I've been seeing this book float around for quite a while so I was bound to pick it up sooner or later. Not only does the cover look super cool and the title sound ominous, it has a pretty cool synopsis that I thought sounded creepy to the point where I just couldn't pass it up. I've been gravitating towards creepier books in the past couple of weeks, which isn't surprising since Halloween is just around the corner, so I thought it would be the perfect time to finally pick this book up and see what everyone was talking about. Here's my review:

2. The first thing I want to talk about is the characters. Mia, Midori and Antoine as well as the astronauts sent up to the moon were all interesting characters. I liked that they all came from different parts of the world as well as different walks of life. Mia was in a band, Antoine was still trying to get over his girlfriend and Midori was a young teenage girl who just liked shopping because she could. I liked getting a little bit of background to all the characters and connecting with them little by little. There isn't much back story to any of the characters but what I did get satisfied me enough to want to continue on with their journey.

3. It was an obvious fact going into the book that the scientific facts strewn throughout were very well researched. The author put in a lot of dedication to the researching of space, NASA, astronaut training and the conditions of the moon that really made the book even more interesting to read. I really loved feeling like what I was reading were actually events and facts of a subject I don't know a ton about: The moon, its surface, NASA's previous space missions, the Wow! signal which I knew only a little bit about. It made the book more entertaining to read. If you love a book about anything having to do with space, I would recommend this one.

4. I really loved that this book also had pictures that were made specifically for the story and also had actual pictures of earth from space and of the moon and its surface. It was really cool seeing the details of the moon base as well its layout through the pictures. If you loved Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children or Asylum, you'll probably enjoy this one as well.

5. Lastly, I would dub this book a great read for the Halloween season. Many people told me how creepy this book was and how they still had nightmares about it even though they read it months before. The last 150 pages of this book were absolutely brilliant in my eyes. It gets creepy right off the bat once the characters land on the moon and things start getting weirder as their time on the moon increases. They see things, hear things, experience things that are unexplainable and keep you guessing as well as on the edge of your seat. The book keeps you asking what's going on and what exactly is on the moon other than the characters. It even had a couple of scenes that seemed straight out of a horror movie so if you don't like creepy or gory, might want to skip this one.

The reason I didn't give this book a five-star rating was because of these reasons:

1. It took a little while for this book to pick up the pace. I was about halfway through the book and the characters still weren't on the moon. I get that the characters and everything had to be introduced and set before the story could continue but I would've liked to have seen it go a little faster in the beginning. I would suggest reading at least the first 100 pages or so, after that it gets interesting.

2. Some of the things that the three teens experience before going to the moon didn't tie in well with the rest of the story, even towards the end of the book when those things are explained. What I mean by that is this: Before heading to the moon, each teen sees something that can't be explained by them or the people around them, each a seemingly eerie warning that they shouldn't go to the moon. It seemed awkward and still like loose ends. I didn't get why those experiences happened the way they did or even happened at all. I guess it did make things a little more eerie to say the least.

3. Some of the POV's in this book didn't add anything to the story for me. They felt like random chapters that could've been left out and wouldn't have changed the story or how it played out. Mr. Himmelfarb added a little more of a creep factor and so did the scientists but I personally didn't think it was absolutely needed to have their say.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this book review! If you have any other book requests you would like me to review, just leave a comment or send me an email. Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

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