172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (Translated by Tara F. Chace) | This shit is creepy as hell

Posted October 8, 2020 by Sophia
2 Comments

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Content and Trigger Warning: This book may be unsuitable for some due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. There may also be content that could be triggering to some, which we will try our best to provide below the synopsis in reviews written after May 12, 2020.
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (Translated by Tara F. Chace) | This shit is creepy as hell172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Narrator: Casey Holloway
Length: 8 Hours, 43 Minutes
Published by Hachette Audio on April 17, 2012
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library


A terrifying thriller for young adult fans of The Martian and paranormal space adventure that will be devoured in one heart-pounding sitting.

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.


Trigger Warnings: suicide (on page)

Look, sometime in the early days of blogging I was one of the people who very rarely reread books. Me, rereading? LOL, I can barely get through my TBR pile. Flash forward to 2020 and I’ve reread three (?) books so far, including 172 Hours On the Moon.

Way back before I started blogging, I came across 172 Hours On the Moon at Barnes and Noble and ended up finishing the book in one sitting while avoiding shopping with the family. It was creepy and haunted young me beyond the pages; I haven’t forgotten the book nearly a decade later, and recently decided to listen to the audiobook version to see if my thoughts have changed drastically from when I was a pre-teen

Listening to the audiobook version of 172 Hours On the Moon remained a creepy experience.

The sound effects and music at the beginning and end of the book, the descriptions and narrations of the experiences each of the characters go through – let’s just say it was a good idea for me to listen to most of the audiobook in the daytime and not finish it at 3 am when it’s dark, silent and ominous in my room.

I’m a baby when it comes to scary stories, pls protect me. Anyways, I definitely did not want to be on the moon in the circumstances created by Johan Harstad’s writing and Casey Holloway’s narration.

As scary as the audio reading experience is, 172 Hours On the Moon is unrealistic at times.

Of course, considering the author’s notes, this is based on true events that happened years ago, there is definitely a lot of liberty taken with the entire book. And the three teens selected to go to the moon honestly gave zero fucks about actually going to the moon.

We’ve got Antoine, who signs up in hopes to get over his ex-girlfriend (maybe in a way revenge to make her go, “Wow, I should’ve stayed with him”); Mia, who doesn’t give a fuck but ends up getting signed up by her parents anyway (without permission) and then ends up going because it’ll be good publicity for her; and Midori, who signs up because it’s a way to get away from Japan and kickstart her fashion career. The real kicker with Antoine, though, is he and Mia are pretty much all over each other shortly after they meet. I suppose that’s one way to really get over your ex, but not my style and frankly, I thought it was unnecessary.

And then we have the holes in the story.

Most of the novel takes place over the course of 172 hours on the moon, but some parts of the novel take place on Earth while the mission is happening. I personally would have loved to see more of the older man’s perspective on the shenanigans NASA and the government might have been up to. Alas, we’re kept in the dark other than the snippets that are given. Likewise, if the entire intention is to keep that mystery going even beyond the pages of the book, Harstad definitely succeeded. I still have no clue what exactly is going on behind the scenes.

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Sophia has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House crisis. Unlike her personality in blog posts, she's a socially awkward recent college grad who majored in Communications. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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2 responses to “172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (Translated by Tara F. Chace) | This shit is creepy as hell

  1. Ooh I haven’t heard of this book but it sounds kinda great? I love the idea of space horror, although I haven’t read a tonne. I recommend The Luminous Dead if you want more though! Loved the review. Happy reading!