172 Hours: Reviews from Taryn, Eleanor and Arjun

172 Hours: Reviews from Taryn, Eleanor and Arjun

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Atomic: Taryn

Age: 16

172 Hours on the Moon is a sci-fi thriller set in the near future which places the main characters in possibly the most terrifying and hopeless situation imaginable. 172 Hours sees three teenagers sent on a lunar expedition along with five other astronauts, and when things go wrong it becomes strikingly clear that they are on their own, completely isolated with no chance for help.

172 Hours is, in my opinion, a refreshing change from the usual novels aimed at young people, and is a memorable read that stands out from the seemingly over used ‘vampire/werewolf/forbidden romance’ genre. 172 Hours was a very interesting read, and towards the end I found myself completely engrossed, unable to tear myself away from the characters’ frantic attempts for salvation. While it wasn’t so much an easy read as it dealt with a somewhat confusing plot and a pretty unique setting (i.e. the moon!) I think it was overall a better read because of it.

While I did find myself enjoying the book, I did think that something was missing. It just feels like as a reader, you don’t get to know all the main characters too well. I got to know Mia pretty well and think I got a good feel for her character, and a vague idea of Midori’s character, but after reading the book I still feel that I don’t know Antoine all that well. I think this makes the relationship between Mia and Antoine a bit difficult to fully understand, but the book itself doesn’t focus on this, so you can get by without knowing all the details, and if the book included all that it might detract from the overall story.

The ending of the book came with a welcome twist that was just what the book needed as it felt like it was going down a pretty predictable route. The twist however, again, is a bit confusing, but in a good way. It leaves your brain whirring on all engines with the itching desire to pick the book up and start again from page one. (Which I’m pretty sure I will do!)

All in all, 172 Hours on the Moon is a fantastic read for its genre, and even being someone who would not choose sci-fi as their favourite, I very much enjoyed it. The book lends itself well to those who are not familiar with the genre as it bases all the science and space related equipment on typical ‘70’s sci-fi film’ style gear and the famous first moon landing. Even just looking at it in general, it’s an exciting read, the sense of urgency and desperation is conveyed clearly, making the book near un-put-down-able as it reaches its climax. 172 Hours is a book that I definitely will be recommending to certain people (and ensuring that my school library gets a copy of), but I definitely think it’s not for everyone, (some people probably won’t get over the fact that it’s a sci-fi book about lunar travel, and will write it off immediately declaring they don’t like science) but those who do read it will most likely thoroughly enjoy it.

After reading 172 Hours I must say, I feel very glad to have my feet firmly on Earth and now feel more than ever that space is not a place for us!


Atomic: Eleanor

Age: 17

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were wonderful, and very easy to relate to, the plot was imaginative and original, and some moments were genuinely scary. I will definitely be recommending this to my friends.

My only criticism is that the pacing is a little off. There is a huge build up to the “trip of a lifetime”, but the action then feels very rushed. Overall, however, I think this is an amazing book.


Atomic: Arjun

Age: 13

[Atom warning: this one contains a spoiler!]

I hate this guy yet love him. Harstad has written such an epic, thrilling novel that will keep you groping onto the book until the end. IT was such a totally un-put-downable novel and it would have gotten an A+ from me had it not had such an annoying ending. I guess though that's always what makes a book stand out, or at least for me. Having the ending that no-one expects. No happy ever after, and sad, cruel ending that you hate so much you feel like something in you has broken. This so far has only happened with two novels. Candor, and 172 Hours on the Moon.

The book was just such an intense roller coaster of craziness. The plot must have been outlined in detail and pondered over for hours, if not days. The research was also so clever. It wasn't all just made up, Harstad took real evidence and twisted to suit the fantastic sic-fi novel. 

The writing is just perfect. It ran at the fast pace and give you a twist every now and then. The twists and turn in this book were just so clever and shocked you so much. The writing was so vivid, though, swell. It made you feel like you were really there, in the book watching the whole thing play out in your head like a movie. 

The characters, well you just got so close to them. They felt so real, like they were friends and I think that was a really good think because when each of them was then killed off it hurt you as well as everyone else. It really affected you and made you feel so bad for them. My favourite character would have to be Mia, because after the whole novel she sticks out because of all the tragedies, hers sticks out…

Overall it was a fantastic book, and I absolutely loved to pieces, just as much as I hate the ending.

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