Book review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: September 15, 2008
Source: Borrowed
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. 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.
In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

So, a thing that not very many people know about me is that I have no tolerance for anything spooky or scary. I don’t watch horror movies. I don’t read creepy books. I had no idea what to read for September’s Monthly Motif.

You may recall that Daniel is the best and that he’s always providing me with excellent recommendations, so when he recommended this book, I immediately put it on hold at my library. Luckily, it didn’t take long for the hold to come in. I did, however, have to finish up some ARCs before I could start reading it… and coincidentally, that time came when I was home alone for five days straight. Perfect time for someone with no spooky tolerance to read something spooky. 🤦‍♀️

Well, I read this book in two sittings. I did sometimes have to put it down for a second to pet my cat or text my best friend because I was just getting too spooked, but wow, this book was so good. Teenagers being randomly selected to go to the moon is possibly the most unrealistic thing I have ever read in my life, but I could not put it down and it was so good. The creepiness builds, first with little things, and then all of a sudden it’s so creepy and I’m so spooked that I might have a heart attack right here on my couch. As I said, I have no spooky tolerance. My heart is still pounding.

I can’t not recommend this book.

#mm18: don’t turn out the light


Have you read 172 Hours on the Moon? What’s the last book that freaked you out?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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22 thoughts on “Book review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

  1. Enchanted 2 Read You says:

    The last creepy book I read was Annihilation. But, to be fair, I was only scared at first, when I didn’t know how the book was gonna go. After a while, I realised there weren’t going to be any jump scares or terrible monsters. So you could say that the last book that trully made me want to stop reading was the Bird Box!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dreamingofcats says:

    it sounds SO unrealistic, and yet I WANT IT. I read a couple books with the premise of teenagers going into space (Dare Mighty Things and The Final Six) and at least those had the teens competing for the opportunity and showing their skills and intelligence so it was based on merit, lol. and yet ‘172 Hours on the Moon’ is still is tantalizing me, haha, I just love the hook of teens in space, damn it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      Would you recommend those two books? I feel like reading some more books about teens in space!

      And it was a random selection, but they did have to do a bunch of training and pass some tests before they were allowed to go, so it’s not like they just drew the names and shoved them on a spaceship. Still, I can’t imagine what would happen if something like this were proposed in real life… The book was SO GOOD though!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • dreamingofcats says:

        I whole-heartedly recommend Dare Mighty Things, but I’m biased because it features a half-Indian asexual protagonist (aka I identify whole-heartedly) so I was all *HEART EYES* throughout it. the book was genuinely good, though, even if you leave out my glee at the one-in-a-million representation; I thought the science program part was executed really well, I liked the camaraderie built up with other participants (instead of juvenile Mean Girls-esque antics) and there was just really good plot and character development.

        The Final Six was underwhelming – I may have liked it more if I’d read it first, but it had the old ‘we’ve known each other for a day, but OUR LOVE IS FOREVERRR’ thing going on, and I was just rolling my eyes at the hormonal teenagers. I mean, even if I don’t experience it myself, I understand teens act on attraction and do stupid things for love, but I can’t STAND it when they’re in life-threatening situations and decide that’s the time to make out! NOBODY DOES THAT.

        these two were both relatively ‘normal’ sci-fi books, ie. the setting was like our modern day Earth or just a little skewed/futuristic, but if you’re in the mood for something similar but MORE sci-fi-ish, I recommend 27 Hours which is set on a different planet with monsters! they don’t go into space as they’re already IN outer space, lol, but there’s so much action and delicious character dynamics: “a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

        Okay, thank you so much! I’ll definitely grab Dare Mighty Things from the library one of these days!

        And as for The Final Six, one of my biggest pet peeves is when teenagers in a life-or-death situation can’t get over their hormones and act reasonably. Thank you for telling me that, because it would drive me crazy.

        And 27 Hours!! I read that last year and really liked it!

        Liked by 1 person

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