Kim's Reviews > 172 Hours on the Moon

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
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Mar 31, 12

bookshelves: 2012, for-review, science-fiction, genre-horror, mystery-and-suspense, multiple-povs, paranormal-supernatural
Read from March 13 to 16, 2012

Review also posted on The Paper Planes

172 Hours on the Moon is a hard book to describe without giving anything away. It's laced with the suspense and horror that you'd expect of it, but also a supernatural twist and an ending that took me completely by surprise! And since I don't usually read much horror, I was blown away by how much I actually enjoyed it.

Harstad introduces a large range of characters and since it's told in third person, an equally large amount of POV's too. Yet unlike most books where too many POV's make the characters seem rigid and stiff, in this one every character manages to completely enrapture you! The characters each hold a sense of naivety and innocence about them that makes their experiences and feelings entirely appropriate to what is happening. However I'm not going to lie, all three of the teenagers weren't entirely likeable at the beginning, but when they finally cross paths during their space training, it's easy to forget your earlier misgivings!

Not only that, but the relationships between the characters are clearly palpable! They're three completely different teens yet when they all come together, they seem to fit perfectly like missing puzzle pieces. Midori and Mia's relationship is one of a sisterly bond and it's definitely comforting to read about amidst a terrifying horror background, while Antoine and Mia share a sweet relationship, making up the romance portion of the book for all those avid romance readers! It's hard to say without spoiling anything but their individual traits and reactions make them all believable in a way that most fictional characters aren't!

As well as having amazing characters, 172 Hours on the Moon is an interesting blend of science-fiction, horror and the supernatural. While fairly predictable, it's doesn't dull the fact that I was too scared to look at myself in the mirror for three days! If I were to compare, I would say it holds that slightly creepy feel -- that feeling where you're almost certain that someone is watching you, of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the desolate isolation of space as seen in Across the Universe and the utter hopelessness we see in Titanic. There's just this eerie, foreboding sense that something is going to jump out at the characters at any minute, and it had me sure that I was always reading it during the day!

Layered with genuine characters and a mind-blowing plot, 172 Hours on the Moon is a book that horror, supernatural and sci-fi fans alike will pounce on! It may not have the best fore-shadowing in terms of the surprise in plot developments but it's still stays true to it's original catchline as being "a chilling edge-of-your seat thriller!"
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03/14/2012 page 90
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