172 Hours on the Moon
author : johan harstad
pages : [hardcover] 355
favorite characters : mia & midori
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.
I was really excited to get this book. First of all half of it is set in space. There is something both mysteriously beautiful and unnervingly creepy about the moon and space in general. I was also surprised to learn that this is a translation and there aren’t many YA novels out there that aren’t originally written in English (at least not ones that I’ve been able to get to, and if you know of any other good ones, please recommend them to me!). The entire time during the book I forced myself to ponder whether I would travel to the moon if I ever had the chance to do so.
Even in the first half of the book when the three teens are being introduced and they aren’t on the moon yet, unexplained things were happening. It was a good way to keep my attention and introduce the creepy parts of the novel that weren’t yet escalating. I especially liked Midori’s urban legends, just because it was such a freaky aspect of the book!
The second half of the book . . . I spent most of the time with my mouth hanging open, unable to believe what was happening. Usually in YA horror books authors pull back a little which leaves some to be desired. This was all so sudden and so perfectly put together. There were little calm moments where everyone thought that they were safe, trying to figure out what exactly this threat was, and then suddenly everything was chaos again. I loved it when we were finally told what was going on because I couldn’t really figure it out on my own.
And that ending . . . Yep, I’m definitely going to have trouble sleeping. I actually went back and reread it all knowing what happened just to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything because it was that crazy!
If you’re looking for an exciting, action-packed book set on the moon, pick this up. There are amazing characters, great scares, and there’s enough in here to fuel your nightmares for a while. I think I’d skip out on that trip to the moon if I ever had the chance.