[Audiobook] Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

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172 hours on the moonTitle: 172 Hours on the Moon
Author: Johan Harstad
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
Source: Library (Overdrive)

Length: 8 hours 43 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Casey Holloway
Published by: Hachette Audio

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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, and they have only one thing in common: they aren’t especially interested in space travel.

But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events, one of which contains a direct warning not to travel to the moon. 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, and as soon as they set foot on the moon… everything goes wrong.

Strap yourself in for this chilling adventure from a young Norwegian author on the rise. You’ll want to keep your lights on long after you’ve heard the last chapter.

my thoughts-01

So there’s this Doctor Who episode that takes place on Mars. People think, “Oh, there’s water on Mars! It must be habitable!” And then they go there and all hell breaks lose. Does that speak to the naivete of humans? That we’d just assume that anywhere would be hospitable towards us? Just because we’re humans? I mean, I may go way out on a limb with this, but I’m sure there is some GREAT evil lurking out there.

This book has been on my radar for quite some time. I looked at it ALL THE TIME at the bookstore and never picked it up. I think I had the paperback out from the library for a while, but never read it. But then I remember book blogger Christa (from More Than Magic) talking about the book and its creepy factor and I knew I had to give it another chance. Thankfully, my library had the audio available for download.

I’d like to say that right off the bat I was hooked, but a lot of the story in the beginning is set up. We meet different characters and learn their situations. We get to see how they hear about this mission to the moon and how they’re chosen. Then it’s a lot of preparation for the moon and whatnot and then FINALLY we get to the moon. The first part of the book was definitely quite anti-climactic for me. But then we get into the crazy spooky parts of the last half of the book and I have to say — it’s terrifying!

I’m not sure how believable the idea of the government choosing a bunch of teenagers to go to space is, but it was a fun journey. It’s not *just* teenages (because THAT would definitely be unbelievable), but there are adults on the mission as well. There are also other … entities … that are in the story and between them and the setting and the creepiness of traveling somewhere where you can’t escape evil worked well together. In fact, at times it was quite disturbing.

The narration wasn’t bad for this story. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the narrator. She tended to have weird pauses in the story — kind of like if William Shatner were narrating. But I did like her accents for the different characters and liked how easy it was to differentiate between them all as I listened. Her pacing was good, but I almost wanted someone older, or maybe even a male narrator. But since our main character is a female, I guess that wouldn’t work.

I love stories like this and was so happy with the ending. The last 30 – 40% of the story was perfect. The pacing, the set-ups, the twists and turns … it all made me want to just keep listening to the story. In fact, I listened to the whole thing in an afternoon and a morning and was so happy to have finally given it a chance. Reading other reviews, though, I think there were pictures in the physical book to accompany the story, so I’m not sure if I missed out or not, but it might be worth a look the next time I’m in the bookstore or the library. I look forward to more creepy stories like this!

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