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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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172 Hours on the Moon Hardcover – April 17, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A 2013 YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee
Dagbaldet's Best Norwegian YA Novel of All Time

"This irresistible premise is often intoxicating and occasionally downright terrifying.... pretty darn effective."―Booklist

"Imaginative.... Well-crafted suspense.... Interesting and original."―Kirkus Reviews

"Harstad combines the perfectly paced creepiness of classic Twilight Zone episodes with Battlestar Galactica's chilling portrayal of the vast, unknowable emptiness of space."―Romantic Times

"Creepy and bleak, Harstad's story is both psychologically and atmospherically disturbing."―Publishers Weekly

"Original, creepy, intense... 172 Hours is page-turning sci-fi that will stay with readers long after the shocking and heartbreaking conclusion."―School Library Journal

"Surprisingly creepy.... The novel's strength is its rising tension and skin-crawling conclusion: Scandinavian thriller meets sci-fi horror movie."―VOYA

"Hard to put down."―Library Media Connection

About the Author

Johan Harstad won the 2008 Norwegian Brage Award in the young adult/children's literature category for172 Hours on the Moon. He has also written several novels for adults, including Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, a Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2011 book, which has been published in thirteen countries; four plays; a collection of short stories; and a prose collection. He has been described as "one of the most important [Scandinavian] authors to emerge in the early years of this century." He lives in Oslo, Norway.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316182881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316182881
  • ASIN: 0316182885
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I don't normally bother doing reviews on books I like or don't like. This is a first for me as the book was so bizarrely bad that I wanted to save others from reading it.

This book appears to try to be a combination of "hard" science fiction (that is, scientifically accurate) and horror. As horror goes, it's not that horrifying and the epilogue seems to completely undo the "horrifying" finale. As science fiction, it's just awful.

The author appears to have vaguely heard about NASA and the Apollo era moon missions but didn't seem to bother doing much research on how NASA does things. Have a lottery to send three teenagers (along with fully trained astronauts) on the first mission back to the moon after 40 years of absence using untested hardware? Well, that's pretty ludicrous but even ignoring that, NASA would not just randomly pick 3 "winners" and send them. They would pick a larger group (I'm guessing about two dozen), interview the hell out of them, test them physically, mentally and psychologically and eventually boil it down to a primary team and a backup team at minimum.

When the astronauts and teenagers land on the moon, it's practically on top of the Apollo 11 landing site. In the real world, NASA would send them someplace more geologically (I know, "selenologically" or whatever) interesting. The Apollo 11 site was chose as it was bland and relatively safe. When they leave the lander and first step on the moon, do they have any inspiring words for the folks back home? Nope, not a one. Oh, they do take time to put a plastic box over Neil Armstrong's first footprint on the moon. As if they could tell which one that was as it would have been trampled over by Amstrong and Aldrin during their two lunar walks.

What do they do next?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Actual rating 3.5 stars

I’d seen this title bouncing about on friends reviews and it has popped up on my recommendations, it’s sci-fi, horror and YA, so there was no reason not to add this to my reading list. With no prior knowledge, other than some teens getting the chance to visit the moon, I cracked the spine expecting a momentous space adventure fraught with peril. Well it was that, but just not in a way I expected.

‘172 Hours on the Moon’ is a much sinister read. Less on the science fiction, and more on the scare factor.

There is a lot of switching of perspective in this book, which was interesting in learning about the cast and their backgrounds and culture. But I wasn’t sure what that had to do with the actual plot…

Additionally some of the more interesting facts and parts of space travel and being on the moon were glossed over or intentionally omitted. I feel some more of the technical aspects of the setting would have added credence to what they faced on the lunar surface. It is a stark and dangerous landscape and just how vulnerable to the elements and death was right there, but the author missed so much of it. Although, what was included really helped set the tone of being alone and helpless in the vastness of space and the lunar landscape… but with an added threat. If the continual worry of something going wrong and suffocating by vacuum wasn’t enough.

There were several parts in the novel where the hairs on my arms stood up… and not many books do that. It wasn’t an outright fear response, but rather that creepy feeling that you know something is not quite right and should be used as a portent for real evil.

The characters were likable, although the insta-love between Etienne and Mia felt irrelevant to the story.
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Format: Hardcover
I heard a representative of the publisher of 172 Hours on the Moon tell about how terrifying it is. After reading the book, I now understand that she was terrified because it is her responsibility to promote it. Johan Harstad's book centers around three teenagers who are chosen via worldwide lottery to take part in NASA's first trip back to the moon in 40 years. Mia, from Norway, only agrees to go because she wants to create publicity for her band. Midori plans to use the mission as her chance to leave Japan for good and settle in the U.S. Antoine just wants to put as much distance as possible between he and his ex-girlfriend.

In the chapters before the launch, Harstad gives indications that the mission won't go as smoothly as planned. Something spooky happened on the last mission, scary enough to keep NASA away from the moon for a few decades. Unfortunately, the book does not follow through on the promised suspense. First of all, this is supposed to be a book about scary stuff happening on the moon, but the characters don't even leave earth until half way through the book. Harstad used too many pages trying to set the scene and build up the characters and he wasn't even successful doing that. None of the teens are particularly sympathetic and the adults are completely unrealistic.

Flat characters would be fine if the suspense and action were able to carry the day. But that just didn't happen in this case. Even after they reached the moon and some freaky stuff started happening, there was just too little action. The events that did occur were generally unrealistic or insufficiently depicted. Overall, 172 Hours on the Moon is just a poorly written book. It seemed to me more like 172 Years Reading This Book. If it weren't for the fact that I was planning to review this book for the blog, I would have stopped long before the liftoff!
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