Review Detail

3.9 4
Young Adult Fiction 1767
Frightening psychological horror
Overall rating
Writing Style
I somehow missed the memo that this book is, you know, horror—and it’s not that I would have refused to read it had I known, but that lack of research on my part made 172 Hours on the Moon a complete surprise for me. And everyone: this book is downright creepy. It messes with your mind and makes an “alien invasion” look like a fun time. Mad applause to Johan Harstad for his storytelling.

So, backing up a bit: NASA decides to send 3 kids the moon for a week. The three kids (plus NASA trained astronauts) arrive at the moon. And then craziness starts happening. Like, omg. If you’re thinking green alien dudes or whatever, think again. 172 Hours on the Moon is pure psychological horror, and it works very well in that capacity.

Of course, totally awesome horror elements aside, this book sometimes fails to make sense. For instance, say you send NASA people up to the moon. And then the power at the moon station goes out. And the NASA people don’t know the proper procedures for fixing it. That’s not likely at all. Not if the mission has civilians accompanying it and the entire world is watching via live feed. NASA isn’t stupid.

Okay, but you’re not exactly reading this book for intelligent portrayals of astronauts and stuff. So it’s easy to brush that off and just focus on the truly excellent job Harstad is doing of scaring you silly.

But, you know. Sometimes it’s easier to be scared witless if you feel like you have a connection the characters who are stuck on the moon with some kind of…thing. Unfortunately, in spite of 100 pages of exposition and boring back-and-forth in the beginning, I didn’t get to know the three main characters very well at all. I knew Mia, a girl from Norway, the most of them, but even with then she didn’t have a very defined personality. 172 Hours on the Moonis very much story-focused, and Harstad spends most of his time working on suspense, anticipation, and, oh yeah, scaring the reader to death.

So, basically, this book is very excellent if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and let the author take you on a very thought-provoking ride with the creepy factor turned way up. Because in that sense, this book is great. Like, really great. Just keep in mind that whatever you’re expecting to be up there on the moon with these people? It’s probably not what you expect.
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May 12, 2013
sounds like an amazing book
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