Saturday, April 28, 2012

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

NASA is going back to the moon to set up a long-abandoned base called DARLAH 2. NASA stopped sending astronauts to the moon decades what would make them want to go back? In order to cover up the real reasons for their trip - and to gain some money and publicity - they host a lottery to find three teens to take into space. It's the opportunity of a lifetime for the three winners: Mia from Norway, Antoine from France, and Midori from Japan. Before long the three are training for their space adventure...but it quickly becomes clear that NASA hasn't told them everything.

With the set-up of sending teenagers into space, you know that things aren't going to go well. I kept waiting for the book to shock me, and while I think the elements were there, when reading the book I felt a series of whimpers, not a bang, and I was really expecting a bang. Maybe this had to do with it being a translation, although in general I think that the book read very well. The short chapters kept me reading along at a fast pace, wanting to know what came next. A lot of time was spent in the first part of the book introducing the teenagers, although I felt like I knew more about Mia than either of the other two. I can see this book working very well as a movie, or (perhaps even better, though much more unlikely) a TV series - as long as it was in the hands of exactly the right person. I did like the blending of real-life events and fictional (I assume!) twists, as well as the more Lost-like elements of shared experiences and hidden codes. The cover design definitely got me interested in the story, and I think teens looking for a sci-fi supernatural read will definitely be interested in this book.

Check out the book's website.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Moonshot by Brian Floca
Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

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