172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

March 30, 2014

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Released: April 17th 2012
Pages: 355
Source: Purchased
Buy it: The Book Depository (Free Shipping)

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.

The Short
172 Hours on the Moon is super creepy yet engrossing. The mystery and the suspense kept me wanting to know what terrors lie in wait on the moon, and I couldn't put this book down. When you find out the truth, it is certainly not what you were expecting.

The Long
This book completely sucks you in, whenever I picked it up I couldn't stop reading. The first portion of the book - prior to the moon, is a little slower in pace. However, I loved getting to know the characters. and you still witness some odd occurrences throughout the beginning that peaks interest. It was really interesting having photographs and diagrams scattered throughout the book aswell, they helped create a more visually vivid understanding of things both on Earth and the moon.

There's a very interesting cast of characters, a lot of them are so ambiguous and I aroused my curiosity. You don't always know if they are necessarily good, as so many are keeping secrets. Each of the teens - Midori, Antoine and Mia, were nicely fleshed out at the start. They were each so diverse and brought something to the table, though I found that I didn't develop much of a connection with any of them.

I was particularly intrigued by the old man suffering from dementia, who we see a few times in the first part of the book. I loved stumbling across his chapters and trying to decipher what was going on in his head. He only provides a clue to the overall puzzle, but seeing his reactions to the new NASA mission was terrifying and really heightened the suspense.

There was a slight romantic aspect evident, but I felt it was a little unnecessary. There wasn't any room for it to be nicely developed as time skips ahead at some points, so it was a little flat. It certainly made things interesting later on, but overall I wasn't a huge fan.

The ending. The resolution. The truth. I am so conflicted!
My guesses as to what could possibly be happening on the moon were no where near the truth, but the discovery left me a little unsatisfied. It didn't make complete sense to me, and I still have so many questions about the last couple of chapters. However, I did like how it was quite open-ended, leaving you a little creeped out even after closing the book.... and even a few days later. I loved how the horrific elements played out until the very last page!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed 172 Hours on the Moon! It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, but I loved how easy and fun (though quite scary) this book was. Though I may now have a slight fear of the moon....


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