135. 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad. Translated by Tara F. Chace (US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Pages: 359
Ages: 14+
Finished: May 11, 2012
First Published: (2008, Norway) Apr.17, 2012 US
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Genre: YA, science fiction, horror
Rating: 4/5

First sentence: ""That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard," Mia Nomeland said, giving her parents an unenthusiastic look."

Publisher's Summary: "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."

Acquired: Received a review copy from Hachette Book Group Canada.

Reason for Reading:  I'll admit the cover caught my attention first, then simply the plot intrigued me and finally the fact that the author was Scandinavian sealed the deal.

I love YA science fiction, but never seem to read much of the genre.  I was totally enthralled with this book.  An intriguing and unique premise makes for an exciting read.  The characters are perhaps not fully fleshed out and I would have liked to know them better as people but the main character (I won't tell you who that ends up being) does get the most attention developmentally.  The book does focus more on plot than character development.  This is not a problem though as the plot is totally engaging!  At first, I thought it was going in a typical direction but things took a strange twist and threw me for a loop.  The science fiction plot takes a turn towards horror as the unknown element lurks in the background and then confronts those who journeyed to the moon.  The ending is unpredictable and a shocker.  It's  not all spelled out for you and I had to think back about how events went down at the end to realize just what exactly happened.  Some readers may find this frustrating, while others, including me, will find this exhilaratingly clever.  A well-written and eerie sci-fi/horror for older teens who can handle the tension and some slightly violent scenes.


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