Friday, 13 September 2013

Book Review : 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

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.

I read this book over the long weekend (for Ganesh Chaturthi). I had taken a leave on Friday so I would have 4 days to spend in Ahmedabad with my family. So while I was helping my sister move in to her house I read 2 books. One of them was 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad.

I really liked the premise of this book. I mean if I were given a chance of visiting the Moon I would jump at it. But I also understand the view point of those who would be reluctant to do the same. Even though I liked the premise, the execution of it went a little awry in the middle. But the book redeemed itself at the end.

This book is about NASA restarting the Space program and giving a chance to 3 random teenager to go to the Moon, to visit a previously secret space station on the Moon called DARLAH - 2. These 3 teenagers would be chosen by a lottery and would undergo an intense training before heading off in to space. But NASA is not doing this for the sole reason of exploration alone. There is something that they are hiding from the general public when it comes to this trip to the Moon.

There are different narrators in this book. But for the most part the story is narrated by the 3 teens who get selected - Mia from Norway, Midori from Japan and Antoine from France. Each of them have their own reasons for putting their names up for the lottery. Amongst the 3 I was mostly annoyed with Mia a bit at the beginning of the book. But I started liking her as the time for the Moon launch came nearer.

The book was a little slow, especially the parts before the Moon launch.And the author mostly skipped the 4 days spent on the journey. But the story really picked up once the team landed on the Moon.

I cannot really write about what it is exactly that the astronauts face on the moon without giving something away, so let me just say that the ending was awesome and the suspense that was built up in the 2nd half of the book on the Moon was just right.

I rate this book a 3.5/5.

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