Dec 10, 2012

Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Title: 127 Hours on the Moon
Author: Johan Harstad
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 4.17.2012
Pages: 355
Genre: SciFi
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: C-

Summary (from Goodreads):
It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA's unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space--and change their lives forever.

Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band's ticket to fame and fortune.

Midori believes it's her way out of her restrained life in Japan.

Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

It's the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space... no one is coming to save them.

I can appreciate the idea and concept that Johan Harstad was going for in 127 Hours on the Moon, but something most definitely got lost in translation for me. Unfortunately, I feel like I need to make a small disclaimer going into this review: I have never been a big fan of science fiction and I’m not someone who ever really cared much about space travel beyond watching Apollo 13.

That being said, I thought this novel would be fun because I could approach it without any prejudices, and I am a fan of most things horror-related. I could start from scratch and let Harstad create a world for me. That, however, was not the case. I quickly grew bored with the plot, and I found large chunks of this novel … dry, for lack of a better word. I frequently found myself skimming pages to find out if the plot picked up.

I could never quite get in synch with the characters. This seems like the type of novel that would work better with a singular narrator. With there being three, I never connected to any of them. Since I never connected, I never cared and the story fizzled out for me.

I also think there is something to be said about this being translated from another language. The old adage “lost in translation” isn’t just a pithy saying. You truly do lose something in translation, and I think (hope?) that was the case here. While there were a few parts that I found entertaining and exciting, it was dulled down due to my lack of overall caring.

If you’re a science fiction fan, I think this might be worth checking out. But I would recommend grabbing it from the library before you make a purchase.


  1. Interesting review. I'm not really a fan of multiple narrators either. I'll save this for a book to read if I have nothing else at the time to read.

  2. This is a book I was interested in when I saw it as a WOW way back when. I could easily see where this book could/would fall flat. IMO it takes a certain type of author to keep this story going and interesting all the way through.
    Thank you for the good review.
    Bella's Bookshelf

  3. I was interested in this book when I first heard about it but after reading more about it I'm not sure. I think I'll read it if I come across it but won't be buying it. Thanks for the review!

  4. I tried to win this book in a giveaway and lost. Now after reading your review I don't feel like I lost that much. Also their reasons for going to the moon are so petty. Who decides going to the moon is a great way to get away from family troubles or an ex? Usually that's what running away, avoidance or road trips are for.

  5. I actually was interested in this book for a while. It seemed cool, but after reading your review, I'm not so sure I'm going to waste my time on it.


I hope you know that every time you comment, an angel gets its wings.

OK, not really, but thanks for popping by!