172 Hours on the Moon

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Little, Brown Book Group, Apr 5, 2012 - Juvenile Fiction - 416 pages
2 Reviews

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. . .

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User Review  - Floratina - LibraryThing

READ IN DUTCH I wanted to read this book for ages. The story seemed so promising, but for me it was a big disappointment. Really, I wanted to like it, but I couldn’t. For multiple reasons. It may ... Read full review

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Actual rating 3.5 stars
I’d seen this title bouncing about on friends reviews and it has popped up on my recommendations, it’s sci-fi, horror and YA, so there was no reason not to add this to my
reading list. With no prior knowledge, other than some teens getting the chance to visit the moon, I cracked the spine expecting a momentous space adventure fraught with peril. Well it was that, but just not in a way I expected.
‘172 Hours on the Moon’ is a much sinister read. Less on the science fiction, and more on the scare factor.
There is a lot of switching of perspective in this book, which was interesting in learning about the cast and their backgrounds and culture. But I wasn’t sure what that had to do with the actual plot…
Additionally some of the more interesting facts and parts of space travel and being on the moon were glossed over or intentionally omitted. I feel some more of the technical aspects of the setting would have added credence to what they faced on the lunar surface. It is a stark and dangerous landscape and just how vulnerable to the elements and death was right there, but the author missed so much of it. Although, what was included really helped set the tone of being alone and helpless in the vastness of space and the lunar landscape… but with an added threat. If the continual worry of something going wrong and suffocating by vacuum wasn’t enough.
There were several parts in the novel where the hairs on my arms stood up… and not many books do that. It wasn’t an outright fear response, but rather that creepy feeling that you know something is not quite right and should be used as a portent for real evil.
The characters were likable, although the insta-love between Etienne and Mia felt irrelevant to the story.
I read this on and off over a week while travelling… only near the end did I wish I had more time to indulge as the pacing was slow in the first half. The narrative is interesting though.
Love the desolate picture that this book portrays of the landscape – it could have been used to escalate the bleakness and justify some of the characters attitudes towards the conclusion.
On the whole, this felt like a fable – a story you tell children at bed time or around the campfire to give them a little scare. It story fell a little flat. I wanted more of that creep factor. Maybe some of the issues could have been put down to the fact it was translated from Norwegian, but the big thing that got to me was the amount of information we were given that did not drive the plot forward, and the amount of information which should have been included to add dimension to the story that was omitted.
Cool concept, great creep factor, a so-so read…

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About the author (2012)

Johan Harstad is a Norwegian young adult author. He won the 2008 prestigious Brage prize in the children's literature category for 172 Hours on the Moon.

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