(Goodreads) 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. . .The Short Story? - Imagine a horror movie and a sci-fi movie had a bookish baby. That would be 172 Hours on the Moon. Harstad YA debut is an amazing ( and scary) work of fiction that's completely twisted my mind. I now fear space travel, teenage girls and aliens. Nevertheless, this is one novel that's got the "wow factor" - you should definitely check it up! It's an edge-of-your-seat roller coaster ride that will send shivers down your spine...
The Long Story? - This novel took me by surprise. The novel was much better written than I would have thought. The plot was brilliant ( and scary). What a powerful YA debut! There are a lot of fantastic books out there but only a few have the "wow factor" and 172 Hours on the Moon has definitely got it. It's evident a great deal of research was invested in the writing of this novel. The line between fiction and fact is blurred and I'm almost convinced that a raging psychopath alien is somewhere on earth. Harstad has definitely got his NASA facts and using them he's written a killer novel ( quite literally). The plot is filled with mystery, suspense, dead ends and unexpected endings. My heart was pounding throughout the novel, I had shivers, I couldn't bring myself to go upstairs alone. This is a scary novel, it's more horror than sci-fi. If you're looking for a thrill - 172 Hours on the Moon is just DARING you.
The characterisation was good although Harstad only briefly touched up on each character. I could connect with them but not as deeply as I wanted to. Mia was definitely the "main" protagonist during the novel. While Harstad switched between telling the story from one character's perspective to another character's perspective but it was mainly Mia. Mia was so so so brave! I mentioned this is like a horror/sci-fi right? Well if I was Mia - I would have bawled my eyes out and than curled up into a fetal position and waited for death. She was strong for herself, for Antoine and for Midori. Her brief romance with Antonie was so cute and it was heat breaking too. I don't want to spoil the book but the tragic ending was undeserved for such a brave heroine. Harstad has beautifully developed these characters with fears, dreams and futures and for everything to fall apart in the end - it was brave for the characters and for the author. Dangerously cruel - well played Harstad.
All in all, this novel blew my mind. I'm being quite vague with this review because if I say too much - I would spoil it. And the last thing I want is to spoil the story for anyone. A book with the "wow factor" is definitely worth a read. A complex yet brilliant plot, characters that give brave a new meaning and a debut author who's unafraid to cut his looses. A dangerously thrilling debut - 172 Hours on the Moon will haunt you long after the last page!
What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck
*Hint - If you do decide to read the novel, there are these transcript like pages at the back - READ THEM! You won't understand without reading them!
Badass Bookie xx