Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back.

It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2 – a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now.

The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world. But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now-a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun. . .

172 Hours of the Moon by Johan Harstad. Translated by Tara F. Chace. Published by Little Brown & co., May 2013. Original published in Narway, 2008. Paperback edition is 351 pages.

WOOO! The local library here has a book shelf where all the books are for sale. ๐Ÿ˜€ While browsing that shelf lately, my eye spied 172 Hours on the Moon. Ooooo! Look at that pretty cover! So intriguing! Very eye catching. The plot blurb on the back was pretty attention grabbing too. YA isn’t always my fave, but how could any space lover say no to this?

Love, love, love the premise! SomeTHING is on the moon, government conspiracies, 3 lucky(???) winners who win a trip to the moon! Then everything goes to hell. The story kept me locked in the entire time. I was HOOKED! For 351 pages, time felt like it flew. I was so curious about what was really going on… I just couldn’t wait to find out what it was. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The pacing was great. There is just a tiny bit of set up, mostly to get to know the 3 teen main characters and learn about the moon contest. Then we see a little bit of set up for all the training the teens go through to become astronauts. Thankfully it is brief and never felt like it dragged. We get a small taste of it and then we moved on to the meat of the story- the moon! It all felt like it flowed really well.

Once we get to the moon, 172 Hours on the Moon gets freaky! The author keeps us on our toes guessing the whole time. When the big reveal finally happens at the end, well…. I honestly didn’t really know how to feel about it. Was it unique? Yes. Was it creative? Yes. Did I understand it fully? Not really! :/ For the last 20% of the book, I was feeling a little bit confused. It’s a WHAT NOW on the moon?? But… why? How?? I….. don’t get it….? There are a few different theories thrown around, but they are just personal opinions and the answers are left a little bit too open-ended for my taste. This doesn’t mean the reveal is a bad twist…. I just felt a little confused by it.

Even though I didn’t fully understand the big reveal, I had a blast reading this YA sci-fi horror story. It has a great premise, enjoyable characters, and it’s just straight up fun. I had never heard of this book or author before, but I am so happy to have stumbled on to it. I would not say no to reading something else by him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s