Review Blog

May 31 2012

172 hours on the moon by Johan Harstad

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Atom 2012, ISBN 978 1 9074 1151 9.
172 hours on the moon is about three teenagers: Mia, Midori and Antoine who are selected by an International Lottery to make a trip to the moon. The idea is a publicity stunt by NASA to revive interest in space travel and to encourage funding to support it. There is however another motive which unfolds as the story progresses.It is clear from the beginning that there is not going to be a happy ending: 'three of them will go on the trip of a lifetime. Only one will come back.'The format follows each of the teenagers as they are chosen, trained and finally arrive on the moon. Chapters are short and this moves the story along but also allows the author to drop in hints that all is not what it seems and this builds up the tension.After the disaster on the moon only one teenager returns and it is here that the author produces the final twist.
I think secondary students who like science fiction and suspense would find this a compelling read.The characters are fleshed out enough to be interesting and the interaction would appeal to the intended audience and the final twist certainly is unexpected and leaves the reader with a great sense of unease.
David Rayner

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