Featured Review: Unearthed (Amie Kaufman)
About This Book:
When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.
For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.
In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...
*Review Contributed By Kim Baccellia Staff Reviewer*
Indiana Jones meets Myst on an alien planet. There's lots of tension when scavenger Amelia meets disgraced professor's son Jules Addison on the alien planet Gaia. Each has their own goals. Amelia wants to scavenge any of the alien tech to help buy back her younger sister's freedom on Earth. Jules wants to prove his father was right. The obstacles thrown their way include other scavengers and a deadly secret.
What worked: I really loved the idea of going through an alien temple and trying to find a secret that might help Earth. This is where the book reminded me so much of a popular video game Myst. Each room has secrets. Some deadly. I liked the premise of a tough scavenger who was parts Lara Crofts with her own goals of trying to find something on the planet's surface that might save her sister. The mystery and the whole ancient alien's messages that might not be all they seem is something right out of a Sci-Fi movie.
I did have issues though with the romance. It felt too rushed. I get that Amelia is street smart and will use anything she can in order to save her own skin and her sister. Jules at first comes off as that arrogant sheltered professor's son. They do have to work together to survive, especially when the people Amelia thinks she's working with turn on them. But the romance? I just felt it comes too soon and fast. But that's just my opinion.
Also the ending? I had to go back and reread to make sure I didn't miss something. I won't spoil it here, but it felt a tad bit anticlimactic to me.
Some of the descriptions are great like when they enter an alien temple for the first time. Jules's stands in reverent fascination of it all. The whole alien landscape is haunting and chilling. Add to that the other alien message warning of doom. Yeah, great edge of your seat action!
Engaging Sci Fi tale set on an alien planet which might have the secret to helping Earth survive, but with the twist that not all is what it seems.