Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Monday, June 18, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction (Horror)
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Series: Standalone
Source: Won from Figment- Thanks!
172 Hours on the Moon
NASA is in need of funds, so in an extreme publicity stunt to get sponsors, they decide to send three teenagers to the moon. The lottery is worldwide, and the three winners- Mia, Antoine, and Midori- are very different. All of them, though, are hoping to get something out of this trip. However, NASA seems to be holding back important information. The moon may not be so safe and they may all be endangered. In fact, they'll be lucky if they get back to Earth at all.

What did I just read?

That's pretty much what I'm thinking about this book. Some words to describe it are terrifying, disturbing, and utterly mind-boggling. Just, what?

172 Hours starts out a little slow. Some of it is, I think, that there's a lot of build up, plus the book has been translated, which may have taken away from the writing. It's all pretty straightforward in the beginning, too. It's a lot of character-building, and there are a lot of random warnings about not going to the moon. In hindsight, it doesn't really make sense that those are just thrown in there, except for the suspense factor. The characters are okay. I didn't feel a particular connection to any of them, but I enjoyed the many perspectives and loved Sander (Mia's younger brother) and Mr. Himmelfarb.

The second half, though, I was absolutely scared out of my mind. At one point, I had to put the book down before I started again. I mean, yeah, I'm pretty much a scaredy-pants (even though that usually doesn't stop me from reading horror stories), but this stuff is CREEPY. And a lot of the story ties in with actual history, which makes it simultaneously cooler and more frightening.

I just feel the end lacked sufficient explanation. I have nothing against authors leaving stories open to interpretation, but this just feels too open. The reader does get a theory of what the moon could be and why all the stuff that happens on there happens (that's a terrible sentence, I know, but I'm trying not to include spoilers), but I was hoping for a little more than speculation. 172 Hours has the potential to be so much deeper, to leave the reader thinking about what he/she just read, instead of trying to unravel it.

Not to say that it's a bad book, because it's not. I found it fascinating and engrossing, despite its flaws. And there was one part where I even got a little choked up. It's just lacking the why and the how.

One last thing: When I was little, like every other kid, I wanted to go to the moon. And, even though I'm definitely never becoming an astronaut anyways, after reading this book I am more than content to stay on Earth. Seriously.
*3 stars*
Do you love horror stories or do you hide under the covers? Sound off! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm strange I hate horror movies but know all the clichés of them enough that I can watch the TV show supernatural. I don't think I've ever read a straight up horror novel though as of lately I grew up on goosebumps though if that counts


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