27 May 2012
Review: 172 Hours on the Moon
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One thing I've never been able to sign onto is the relationship between sci-fi and horror. I personally never saw the similarities, but there's a long history of sci-fi and horror that exists well before I existed on this planet, and I suppose it's too late to stop that train. 172 Hours on the Moon is a sci-fi horror novel that mostly gets it right, thankfully.
The premise is as absurd as it is simple - in 2019, a worldwide lottery is initiated to send 3 teenagers along with actual astronauts back to the Moon. There's no way this would ever fly in the real world, but just work with it. The teenagers are chosen, weird things begin happening, and, once they arrive on the Moon, things are happening that no one prepared them for, and we finally learn the real reason why we've never went back.
This book has won a number of awards already, and is finally translated into English, so it's clearly doing something right. There's a lot of the film Moon in it, it handles the horror in a less gory, more suspenseful way (which is not to say there's no gore, mind you), and the book goes out of its way to shoehorn in some actual science (the famous SETI "Wow!" Signal is key to the plot), so there's a lot to like. The characters aren't the most fleshed out things in the world, but the science and setting are ultimately more important.
I'm glad this one appears to be getting a wide audience. It's a solid sci-fi, non-dystopian young adult book, which is something I feel like I haven't seen come around in a while. Definitely worth your time if you're looking for something a little different.
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