172 Hours on the Moon (aka Darlah) by Johan Harstad

172 Hours

Author: Johan Harstad
Genre: Horror
Rating: 4/5
Protagonist(s): Mia, Midori, Antoine
Other Characters: n/a

Synopsis: In order to get the younger generation excited on the re-launch of a moon expedition, NASA has decided to hold a lottery. Three teens will be selected to accompany experienced astronauts to the moon. For 172 hours, they will collect samples and materials that will be beneficial to earth, at the same time experience life at the moon on the Darlah II base.

As the crew explores their new surrounding, they realize that something else has settled in with them.

Review: When I was trying to look for an audiobook to listen to, this one caught my attention because of one particular review. They said that this books is “a horror novel, disguised as sci-fi”. This held my attention for some weird reason and I’m glad that I did. I have a feeling tho, that this book is one of those book where you either really enjoyed it or really hated it. There was no grey areas. For me, I fall on the former category. Yes, there are some questions that’s unanswered, but the almost seem irrelevant I was reading the book. It’s really only after I got over the fright that I start to question things. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t give this a 5 then took out a point because I started to doubt some of the stories. To me its a solid FOUR since my reading experience was highly enjoyable.

In all honesty I love reading YA horror. For me there is that subtle fright that doesn’t really leave me sleepless for nights on out. I can do a light read, enjoy the thrill and be done with it. I’ve read handfuls of them and they have never left me as scared as this novel did. There were times in the book where I had to stop because I just couldn’t keep reading for fear of a heart attack. The way this book is written I felt that I didn’t get attached to the characters. It was told in a way that showed you the life of each individual winners, but in a cut-scene format. Each chapter follows the life of a different character both our teen winners and other characters that was pertinent to the story. So although I didn’t get too attached to them, it doesn’t necessarily mean its a bad thing. It’s really awful how I’m describing this, but if you read it, you will understand what I mean. I’m actually glad that the author decided to write this book where she didn’t focus on the training and the relationship building of the teens. I’ll leave it to that since I don’t want to say anything more, in fear that I might write something that will give the ending away (If you want the ending, then spoil yourself at the end of this page). I also enjoyed the references that the author made on other real moon landings. This addition to the story made the lottery realistic and a lot more frightening.

As I said before, I didn’t really see all the negatives until a few days afterwards. When my fear finally abated that’s when I started to question some things in the book. There were some parts of the book that was left unanswered, which I admit is annoying, but unfortunately this is a standalone and so any questions will stay that way. The one particular part that left me scratching my head are the events that happened to our protagonists before they landed on the moon. Those left me questioning why the author added those tidbit, I understand the whole puzzle and premonition, but I feel that it was unnecessary. The other instance is the letter at the end. That left me even more frustrated. Even if there were things that left me with questions, overall I really didn’t mind since the book did leave me, well in terror, but that was the intention.

Would I read another horror story by Johan Harstad? Yes, without hesitation. He write very well, and obvious for my previous statement, his writing style is effective. I highly enjoyed this book and if you’re the type of person who enjoys being scared and psychologically scared then picking this book up is a definite must.

Audiobook Review: I really enjoyed this audio. The narrator did the voices perfectly for each protagonist considering they were from different countries and gender. If you have a chance to listen to it on audio, then take the chance!

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

Ending: Truth be told, when they were explaining the whole evil thing being left in the moon, I pretty much tried to tune it out. The book was creepy enough that I don’t really need to know how the evilness lingered in the moon. From what I remember, the doppelgangers are not living material since they comprise of inorganic matter. They can take on any shape of the anyone and believe to be pure evil. They have no other agenda, but to kill.

Every since the first moon landing, there has been reports by astronauts witnessing someone that looks exactly like them on the moon, just minus the space suit. These ‘twins’ tries to attack them, but never have really been able to get on a ship to travel back to earth. Until this expedition.

All the crew member was unfortunate and even at the end we find out that the Mia who survived was an actual doppelganger.

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One thought on “172 Hours on the Moon (aka Darlah) by Johan Harstad

  1. Pingback: November Wrap-up and December TBR |

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