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172 Hours on the Moon Hardcover – April 17, 2012
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"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
Top Customer Reviews
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? Why they head to the huge (we're talking units a hundred meters or more in length) lunar base that NASA built in secret back in the 70s. Huh? How did they ever launch so many missions to the moon (and that would have taken a LOT of missions) without anybody noticing? Those Saturn V launches could be heard for miles and seen by half the state of Florida! And how did the astronauts building all those modules not step over Armstrong's first footprint?
And when they get into the base, they all find out that NASA has some kind of miracle artificial gravity, so it's 1 G inside and 1/6th G outside. Except they keep referring to the gravity outside of the base as "weightless" or nearly so. The author doesn't seem to understand the difference between lower G and weightlessness.
Things go horribly awry (it is a horror novel, after all) and they lose all power and oxygen generation. When the oxygen is nearly depleted, one astronaut commits suicide by gun. But because the oxygen is depleted, there is no noise from the gun. The author confuses oxygen depletion with airlessness.
Oh, there happens to be a second, power-generating lunar base a couple of miles away with a power line connecting the two bases. Except that the line is buried so you can't tell where it is. Gee, the author points out that a footprint will last damn near forever on the moon but a trench dug up to bury a power line for a few miles? No trace of it. Similarly, the second base, which happens to be buried, is completely invisible except for a small, unmarked hole with a ladder going down about 60 feet. Again, if you move thousands of cubic meters of soil on the moon, it's going to leave a mark. A big one in fact, and one that will stick around a long time.
When the plucky survivor (?) manages to launch the completely automated emergency return vehicle from the second base, there is a tremendous amount of acceleration and power slamming her down. Except that launches from the moon are so gentle that all of our astronauts did so standing on their own two feet.
When the survivor lands on earth in a capsule that is barely big enough to cram three people into it, she "walked over to the hatch" and opened it. Can't cram a fourth person in this sardine can but you can stand up and walk around in it?
I forced myself to finish reading this novel to see if it could redeem the bad scifi with good horror but it just didn't happen. I cannot recommend this book to anybody.
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.
I read this on and off over a week while travelling… only near the end did I wish I had more time to indulge as the pacing was slow in the first half. The narrative is interesting though.
Love the desolate picture that this book portrays of the landscape – it could have been used to escalate the bleakness and justify some of the characters attitudes towards the conclusion.
On the whole, this felt like a fable – a story you tell children at bed time or around the campfire to give them a little scare. It story fell a little flat. I wanted more of that creep factor. Maybe some of the issues could have been put down to the fact it was translated from Norwegian, but the big thing that got to me was the amount of information we were given that did not drive the plot forward, and the amount of information which should have been included to add dimension to the story that was omitted.
Cool concept, great creep factor, a so-so read…
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first part of the book moved S L O W. Like painfully slow.Read more