Author: Johan Harstad
Edition: Atom Paperback
Released: April 5th 2012
Rating: See below review.
There's a reason we never went back to the moon.
It was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. Mia, Antoine and Midori had different reasons to enter NASA's competition for a seat on the first shuttle to go to the moon in over forty years.
But while they all wanted to escape earth, they never realized there might not be a chance to come home...
When I first heard of this book, I put it on my wishlist straight away. I mean, how could anyone by-pass a book set on the moon?! What a great concept, right? Well, unfortunetly, though it was a unique and one-off read, I found it... lacking in quite a few areas.
I'll start off with the critism part of things. First off, the pace. At the beginning, it practically jumped from scene to scene. From Mia, Antoine and Midori's reasons for entering the competition, to them winning, to the training centre, to the take-off. It was almost like it was speeding too far ahead and leaving me behind. The training centre was the part that really threw me off, though. We never got to know what they actually had to do during the training. We maybe got one scene from Midori the first day they were all in the training room listeing to a lecture... and that was that. They were away to the launch site in the next dozen pages. However, I am glad to report that the pace was perfect once they had landed on the moon.
Another thing that I was quite let down about was the fact that during this jumping-between, it appeared that Mia, Antoine and Midori had already become friends. I was actually quite sad about there not being an introduction in the characters. We never got to read about their first impressions and how they came to like each other, etc. Another thing that felt too rushed was the romance. This is down to the exact same reason. The characters had already become friends and gotten to know one another without our knowledge so it appeared almost too much like an insta-love to me. Overall, I didn't really relate to any of the characters but at the same time, I didn't mind them either.
Mia is more headstrong and outspoken than Midori and Antoine but all of the characters compliment each other with their different personalities. Midori has suffered through bullying and Antoine, a break-up with his girlfriend. I actually was at one point sure I wasn't going to like Antoine because I thought he was going to turn out a little... stalker-ish (what with the telescope on the eiffel tower) but once I got to know him better, I didn't really mind him.
I'm not really too sure what rating I'm going to give this book. Though I felt more development in some areas would have made it more enjoyable, I did quite like the idea and mystery of what was on the moon. It was rather unique and that ending - what a shock! I'm sure I've not given this book enough justice because, despite the negatives I found, it still was quite enjoyable in some respects. Overall, 172 Hours on The Moon gets three stars from me.