Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Lizzie     Jul 16th, 2013     Reviews, Science Fiction, Things You Should Check Out     0 Replies

Reading level: 12 and up
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
Source: Purchased
ISBN-10: 0316182885
ISBN-13: 978-0316182881

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.

More space books! Yes!

When I first found out about 172 Hours on the Moon, I hadn’t heard much of anything about it. At the time, I was quite out of the loop on the book world so I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what this was all about. I was really out of the loop. I picked it up in the bookstore, my eyes caught on that original hardback cover. Anything involving space travel will be on my to-read list.

I didn’t know what to expect when I cracked this open. But it certainly wasn’t what I got at all.

This book has freaking haunted me since I finished it. I can’t say anything about why without completely spoiling it but let me just say, whoa. The ending scared the crap out of me, like legitimately freaked me the eff out. I may have slept with the lights on but what does that matter…

In other points, the translation (this was first published in Norway!) was spot on and not awkward, as some translations can be. I loved the homage to Houston’s NASA Johnson Space Center, which I spent four or so months out the last year living near. It made me feel a little proud! =D Fun fact: JSC is actually in Webster, Texas but once you enter the grounds, it is officially considered Houston city limits!

Weird, huh?

Anyway! Back to the review…

Most of the characters were pretty likeable but I wish there could’ve been more focus on Mr. Himmelfarb, a retired NASA worker. It felt like there could’ve been a lot more of him without losing the sense of mystery but alas, that did not happen. I really particularly liked Mia. She was pretty badass and her at the ending… geesh!

I closed 172 Hours on the Moon with shaking hands and a racing mind. It, to this day, haunts me like no other book I’ve read. I want to scream when people talk about revisiting the moon because of this book. I never expected this, of all novels, to scare me as bad as it did. Read it with all the lights on and don’t look at the moon. This, along with that damn Apollo 18 movie, have absolutely shattered my dreams of visiting the moon. And if you’re up for being freaked out of your mind, you will love 172 Hours on the Moon.


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