Trudi's Reviews > 172 Hours on the Moon

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
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Jan 23, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, cover-lust, science-fiction, love-the-premise, group-in-peril, survive-this, 2012, in-translation, outer-space
Read from August 12 to 13, 2012

"To the moon, Alice!" --The Honeymooners (1955)

In space, no one can hear you scream. --Alien (1979)
First of all, if I was ever going to read a book based solely on its cover, it would be this one. That eye, that desolate, lunar landscape, that solitary, shadowy figure.

Magnificent, yes? Also, the premise of this one had me at "hello, we're going back to the moon. And there's something wicked bad there. And you probably won't make it back alive." Space horror is the bomb. Unless you're talking about this piece of crap, then it's just a crime against humanity.

I was primed for this book when I picked it up. I had just watched Apollo 18 -- not an entirely dreadful found footage flick about bad shit happening on the moon. I dug it. The moon freaks me out. It has a face people. It sits in judgment of us all. I don't have to suspend disbelief in order to believe there are sinister things afoot up there. If you can think it up, you won't have much problem selling it to me.

The premise for 172 Hours on the Moon is EPIC --- the execution and delivery? --- meh, it was okay. It takes way too long to get to the moon, and once you do everything juicy and good happens way too fast. I wanted much more moon. More dread. More sophistication and sexiness. (view spoiler)

Characters are also poorly developed, and not very likable. That's okay cause I was mostly reading for ideas and action -- sadly, the former are flimsy and the latter is lacking in both quantity and quality. Sigh. Still, I liked it. Just didn't love it. Maybe something was lost in translation from its original Norwegian?

I'm always hungering for space horror -- in print or on film. If you have any recommendations lay them on me!! This book has made me want to read Sphere. So that's my recommendation to me :)
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Kemper (new)

Kemper "The moon freaks me out. It has a face people. It sits in judgment of us all."

Did you ever see the 30 Rock where Tina Fey meets Buzz Aldrin? The moon is visible through a window while they're talking and Aldren keeps insulting and taunting it. "I walked on your face!! Stupid moon!"

Trudi LOL! No, I hadn't seen that. I bet it's on YouTube though. I shall look for it :)

S Suzanne The cover totally sucked me is not as good as cover promise....

message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen I totally agree! I just finished the book and I'm left with more answers than questions. I've even resorted to note down my thoughts to my friend who doesn't even read books! gah, I guess I'll have to fill in the blanks myself...

message 6: by Reyn (new)

Reyn Graves I agree with your opinions on the book. The premise was great and very spooky, but the execution and delivery just didn't live up to my expectations. In addition, I didn't think the characters were very well fleshed out, which made it difficult to connect to them.

I also found the beginning of the book a bit slow, but the promise of a mystery later in the book was enough to keep my interest. For example, Antoine sees "two inexplicable letters on the plane's tail section: QU" (Harstad 96) while Midori sees Gate J5 and Mia sees 6E on the back of Murray's jacket. This makes it creepier when the computer on DARLAH 2 says, "I am 6EQUJ5" (Harstad 268) and tells Mia and Midori that they're not going to survive.

My main issue was that nothing was really ever explained. Sometimes that tactic can work to make the end even creepier, but in this case, I think the story needed more explanation. What is the moon? Why is this happening? And most importantly, what's going to happen back on Earth after "Mia" makes it home? (Although, the mission reports at the end definitely add to the creepiness factor.)

All in all, I thought the book was alright, but it wasn't great. You might have a point about something being lost in translation

message 7: by Matthew (last edited Jan 12, 2016 03:31AM) (new)

Matthew Great review! But the Tina Fey/Buzz Aldrin thing has made my day. :D

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