Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

cover image

Unearthed book 1. Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760292157
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Themes: Science fiction. Adventure. The Undying, an alien race, has left behind technology on Gaia, an abandoned planet, that will save the earth and there is a race to discover more of it. Jules Addison has come to Gaia as a scholar, convinced by his father that there is a secret warning contained in a message that tells of danger to those who uncover it. Meanwhile Amelia (Mia) Radcliffe has won passage on a space ship because she is a clever scavenger who just wants to make enough money to save her sister back on Earth. When the two confront other scavengers after their equipment, they decide to work together to find out the secrets that the Undying have left behind.
From then on it is all action as the pair race across the planet with the scavengers in hot pursuit. They have to pool their abilities once they reach the hidden temple and the way they work out the clues and avoid all the obstacles and traps makes for an exciting read. Told in alternating chapters by Jules and Mia, the reader gains an in-depth understanding of the character and motivation of each and can sympathise with both as they work toward such different goals. They are both intelligent and clever and gradually see where the other is coming from and gain a measure of trust. The snappy dialogue between the two is often funny and gives the reader some relief from the ever present danger and action.
Even before I knew that Unearthed would be made into a film I found myself agog with the sheer speed and action in the book and could easily imagine it on the big screen. In fact it reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft movies and the story line would have great appeal to audiences who enjoy the action adventure movie and book. And the ending is sure to keep the reader waiting impatiently for the next episode in the story.
Pat Pledger