172 HOURS ON THE MOON by Johan Harstad


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Age Range: 12 & up
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Three teenagers join an expedition to the Moon in 2019 and find horror there.

This imaginative Norwegian science-fiction novel places more emphasis on the fiction than on the science. America finally decides to return to the Moon, but to get publicity NASA holds a worldwide lottery for three teenagers to accompany the astronauts. Mia, a Norwegian punk rocker, Midori, a Japanese girl rebelling against her restrictive culture, and Antoine, a French boy devastated by a broken romance, win. The group intends to shelter for a week in a previously secret lab that NASA had established on the Moon in the 1970s. As soon as the group arrives, however, things start to go horribly wrong. Harstad keeps the focus mostly on Mia, seemingly the only participant strong enough to keep fighting against the evil forces they encounter on the Moon. Few of the astronauts cope well, with one even resorting to drugging herself to escape emotionally. The “science” comes across with about as much plausibility as the premise of the teenagers joining the mission, but the fiction features some well-crafted suspense, and even a touch of romance. A nifty surprise ending will get readers’ attention.

Interesting and original. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: April 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-316-18288-1
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2012


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