It's been more than 40 years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2 - a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world, and they have only one thing in common: They aren't especially interested in space travel.
But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events, one of which contains a direct warning not to travel to the moon. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now - a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun, and as soon as they set foot on the moon...everything goes wrong.
Strap yourself in for this chilling adventure from a young Norwegian author on the rise. You'll want to keep your lights on long after you've heard the last chapter.
©2012 Johan Harstad (P)2012 Hachette Audio
I have to agree with the other reviewer I see here. It did feel a lot like something was missing, or not quite right with this book. I didn't dislike it as much as the other reviewer, but definitely was mystified by how it seemed to wander in terms of plot. It seems like there is a lot of character development in the begininning, in fact throughout much of the first half of the novel and then (without wanting to give any spoilers away) it becomes clear that such a large amount of development was needed, the characters don't seem to have the significant role we thought they would and it does not become the character driven story it seems to set out to be. So instead it is relying on the plot, which definitely is neglected in large portions and doesn't seem solidly constructed. I think the story tries to build tension, but somehow misses the mark... It might have helped to have more explanation of the situation on the moon - what is it, where from, why, how, etc... A bit more science, no matter how far fetched, could have helped this work of science fiction/horror.
That said, there is some scary stuff, and some interesting ideas, and personally I liked the ending and thought the narrator did a fine job... So it isn't a waste, just not a brilliant book... Somewhat entertaining, more or less, though flawed, I would say.
Incidentally, on an unconnected side note, I wonder why the other reviewer here apologizes for giving a bad review and claims it is only worth reviewing if you love a book. Granted, everyone seems to mark the review as "not helpful" if it crtitical and glowing reviews always seem better received (no one likes a critic) but I think that a bad review - or even a somewhat critical review, is just as, if not more, important than the good ones. No one likes to be disappointed with a book, and no one likes to feel they wasted a credit or their time... If you think there is a valid reason other than personal taste, or something that might steer a listener away from something they will not enjoy, or even just some insight into what kind of experience you had listening that may help people make better decisions, then do us all a favor and make your case. Wish audible had a chat forum or message board so such ideas could be discussed.
172 Hours did not live up to my expectations. It never seemed to fully develop and I felt like part of the story was missing. It jumped around and ended, just like that! It left me unsatisfied.
I keep wondering if something was lost in the translation or if it was a culture thing. The premise is great but the execution fell flat. I never identified nor cared about the characters even when things go awry. I could not have cared less when people started dying.
I have listened to other books narrated by Casey Holloway and I enjoyed her performance. This time her narration grated on me. I chalk it up to the material she had to work with.
I forced myself to finish the book so I could understand where it was leading and am utterly dissapointed. I just don't get it. There is no story within its pages.
Generally I dont write reviews like this, I wait until a book really moves me and I share my enthusiam for it. This time I just cant help myself. This truely is a book about nothing.
Oh wait, there was one good thing. I actually did an internet search on a historical figure that was discussed--only to find out that what was in the book was almost verbatim to what I found on line. And I do mean that literally.
I wish I had my credit back
I was very underwhelmed by this book. The story and the characters seemed hollow. It's obviously targeted towards teenagers, but apparently is intended for teenagers that know very little about how anything works. The portrayals of the adults seem very unrealistic, except maybe from the view of a teenager that thinks adults are emotionally frail and can't do anything right. Many of the premises in the story are eye-rollingly implausible. The story seems to touch on issues without ever truly scoping them out. I'm afraid that I can't recommend it as anything but a low-grade sci-fi fluff piece that tries to give a few chills.
The narrator did a decent job. Not great, but decent. The only serious complaint I have about the narration is that the voice used for the Norwegian girl sounded very much like the voice used for the Japanese girl, including the accent. That was a significant enough issue to be distracting and confusing at times.
For many of the reasons already stated here by other reviewers, this story was a disappointment. It never came together for me.
First, these kids are going to the moon! THE MOON! Where is the sense of wonder? The writing is flat when it should be brimming with urgency. It's a pretty great subject, but it sounds like the author knows about as much as I do about the moon...which is to say, not much. Where are the details that bring such things to life for readers/listeners? Everything gets skimmed over. Months of training for the mission come down to a few paragraphs. The launch and subsequent landing on the moon get the same sparse treatment.
(And yet the author wastes pages and pages telling us about the ex-girlfriend of one of our lucky space-traveling teens...for no reason I can see.)
Second, there was too much "telling" and not enough "showing", and I never felt a connection to any of the characters because I could not get inside their heads.
Also, it contains the most dismal excuse for a romance imaginable. It is almost as if the author realized that all YA novels MUST contain a love story (it's some kind of rule, apparently) and threw one in at the last minute.
Finally, I disliked the narrator. She was okay when not trying to do accents, but it was the accents that really ruined the reading for me.
The second half was marginally better than the first half. There were some creepy moments, and the ending was good (if predictable). But I'd give this one a pass if I were you.
The characters were silly and completely hollow. The idea behind the book is neat, but the execution is weak. It reads like a class writing assignment. There are so many little flaws with the book. (NASA wants to do this to put America ahead in the space race, yet none of the selected children are American. Also, why would they select children?)
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