REVIEW - 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Title: 172 Hours on the Moon
Author: Johan Harstad
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 5th April 2012
Source: Own Copy

There's a reason we never went back to the Moon....

It's been more than forty 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.

But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. 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. . .


If I sleep this week I'll be doing well, I have been making the school boy error of reading books that are a little on the creepy side and this has been one of them.

172 hours on the Moon is a book of two parts, let us talk about first, the not too creepy start of the book. 

The basis of the book is that  NASA are going back to the Moon, they have a hidden agenda but that agenda is disguised in the form of a lottery that chooses three people to go with the astronauts to the lunar surface.

The three people are to be picked from the world's 14 - 18 years olds and NASA is whipping up a media frenzy to get everyone excited, from London to Berlin, from Paris to New York, the NASA marketing machine is everywhere, who will be the lucky winners?

Now one of the things I loved about this book was the choice of teens that were picked to go on this journey of a lifetime, they are not American - now before my American readers shout and scream at me, I love America and all who sail in her but it is so nice to read a sci fi book where some other countries get a shout out. 

The countries in question are Japan - Represented by Midori, France - Represented by Antoine and Norway which is represented by the teen we hear the most from Mia. 

These three "lucky" teens are from very different backgrounds and we do learn a little about them before they become media darlings.  They all have different opinions on what they are about to do and the book follows them as they travel to NASA to train for their mission.

So what do you think?, it all sounds quite nice and normal, well it is to a point but that is where this book lures you in to the false sense of security. Obviously going to the Moon is not normal but the book reads like a nice normal YA book full of angsty teens full of hormones.

But then it stops.

They head to the Moon, with them are a group of proper Astronauts (thankfully, well they aren't just going to let a group of teenagers fly a rocket) and on the moon is DARLAH 2, a moon base built in secret in the 70's, this is going to be their home for 172 hours.

Life in space is everything they imagined and more, but they can't believe what they are seeing when they finally land on the lunar surface, it is spectacular, quite literally out of this world.  They quickly settle in to their new surroundings but very, very quickly things go wrong.

The power goes out.  With no need to panic (PANIC!!!) just yet, they start to get organised to go to the second super secret base DARLAH 1 where another power source is located. With the power gone, NASA will think all is lost so it is imperative that contact is made.  They discover that the power has been tampered with and this where things start to go very, very wrong. 

Two are sent to DARLAH 1 leaving the rest to wait in DARLAH 2, as they wait one of the girls is looking outside. What she sees looking back at her isn't her reflection, something is looking back at her, something that looks like her and that something (or should I say someone?) should not be outside on the lunar surface wearing normal clothes. It gave me the total creeps and it gets worse (good worse!!!).

To avoid spoilers what happens next is genuinely creepy as hell, what is up there, what do they want and most importantly who will survive?

As I said up to a point this is a YA book then all of a sudden, WHAM!, it kicks it up a million notches and all manner of crazy, scary Moon happenings go on. I love it! What I also love was the pictures and diagrams peppered through out the book giving you an idea of the layout  of the habitat on the moon to the advert luring you to apply to go to the Moon in the first place.

The ending is worth waiting for and will have you asking a lot of questions!


Random Redheaded Ramblings


  1. The start of the book makes me think of Charle and the chocolate factory and the search for a golden ticket! Love how creepy it all gets, I'd love to read this one!

    1. You should, it is incredibly creepy but it all of a sudden just starts up, loved it!

  2. A book that lulls you into a false sense of security to suddenly get creepy ? Oh, I love the sound of that ! Thanks for sharing ^^ (Note to self : read during the day...)

    1. Yes, read during the day. I always make the same stupid mistake, I really should know better by now!

  3. I have read this one, but unfortunately I didn't like this one at all. I just found the characters unimmersing and I didn't like the plot at all because I felt it was too predictable. The only thing I didn't see coming before it happened was the ending, so I could appreciate that.

    1. The ending was something else, I'd actually like to read more about what happened next.


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