Book Reviews

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad – Book Review

I had very high hopes going into this book, which might be a big reason why I was so disappointed.

172 Hours on the Moon follows the story of three lucky teenagers from around the world who are picked in a lottery, and their prize is to go to the moon and spend 172 hours there. From the start, there’s a lot of mystery. Many things are kept secret. There are vague conversations amongst secret characters. Things are setup to be incredibly eerie and epic.

I didn’t mind the slow pace. The teenagers are each given a brief backstory and mild characterization, which really all felt stereotypical, but while reading it, I decided to push that aside since I was sure it would all pay off in the end. The thing is, I got to the last fifty pages, and I was still waiting for this awesome mystery to unfold. And then it hit me that it had already been revealed, and the really boring action sequences was as good as it got. I had been waiting for something mind-blowing, but what I got was the dullest thing ever. I even predicted the ending; it didn’t faze me at all.

This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy some aspects of the story. There were a couple of truly frightening scenes, which actually gave me goose-bumps. There were also some interesting facts about space and the moon that I found fascinating.

Unfortunately, the good parts didn’t balance out the bad ones. I didn’t like this book. I really wish I had. I wanted to love it. I know I’m partly to blame for having such high expectations, but that doesn’t change how I feel about it.


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