Series: Unearthed (Book 1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Science Fiction
Goodreads Synopsis: When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.
For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.
In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...
Review: I’ve been excited for this book since I learned about its release. I really enjoyed the Starbound Trilogy and I couldn’t wait to read more from these authors and since I’m in a really Science-Fiction mood, I decided to pick this up right away. I wish that I waited for the other books to come out, like I did with the Starbound trilogy.
I’m on the fence about both the protagonists in this book. On one hand I appreciate the author’s reverse gender roles, but I’m actually one of those rare individuals who enjoys the ‘bad boy, but good guy’ trope. I had problems with Jules in the beginning, but eventually warmed up to him after a few chapters. Mia, is the ‘street-smart’ trope, who will do everything and anything for an ultimate goal, but there is something about her that didn’t really catch me. I just thought she was too much of every female characters we find in popular books these days, that I had a hard time differentiating her from the others. I can’t really dissect her in this review, since that will give too much of the whole story, and possible spoilers. Maybe she will grow on me in the next book, but since she might not be the main character in book two, I’m not sure how that will happen.
During my reading process of the book, I was entertained, but now that I think about it, there were too many downtime for my liking. I wished that she spent more time with exploring the caves or even create a proper world building of the dying earth, this would have given readers a better idea to the dire situation of the planet. I can’t really say that I hated the book since I did give it an almost 4 out of 5 stars, but there were too many unanswered questions by the end of the book. I guess this is the plan of the two authors, since that ending was a killer for me! I didn’t really take out points for the lack of the world building, since I know that the two will most likely explaining everything by the end of the trilogy, but I wished that they gave us a little bit more.
All in all, I enjoyed reading the book. It was one of my most highly anticipated read of 2018. Did it live to my expectation? Not really. The one thing I enjoyed about Starbound is the seamless flow of the stories between all six characters and the romance of all three couples. My two favorite is of course Tarver and Lilac, who I just adored. To be honest, although it’s really not fair, I was comparing our two protagonist with the main characters of These Broken Stars. Unfortunate for Jules and Mia, they just didn’t live up to my expectations. Their relationship, for me, didn’t seem quite as sincere and it didn’t really give me the butterflies that I experience with Lilac and Tarver. That being said, I still enjoyed the story as a whole. I like how Kaufman and Spooner writes together and I will definitely be picking up the second book in 2019 (if it will be released next year).
WARNING: THE ENDING WILL BE REVEALED
There’s a major cliffhanger in this novel. Although our two protagonist pass all the test that the undying laid out in the caves, they were tricked by Mia’s handler and Jules contact, who (it’s not really a surprise) is actually the same person. She was hired by the AI to follow Jules and capture as much Tech as they could transport to Earth. Unfortunately for all of them they, in turn, were tricked by the ‘Aliens’ who turned out to be other humans.
This is were the book ends and the readers are left wondering what these Undying want with their planet and why bother mislead everyone into thinking they are aliens. The fate of our protagonists is also left hanging in the air, since they are hiding (in a not so hidden area) inside the ship of the aliens/humans who is trying to invade their planet.