Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Review: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Published: January 9, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Hardcover Pages: 384

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...

Thoughts:

I wanted to like this book much more than I actually liked it. It's space and mystery with some Indiana Jones type adventure thrown in. Humans get this signal from an ancient alien race that takes them to the far reaches of another galaxy, where secret advanced technology is hidden in these temples where you have to solve puzzles to get to the end. Interesting enough concept, right? That's why I added it to my to-read list almost instantly upon hearing about it.

But the execution is just not quite as great as I had hoped. What's the problem? It mainly has to do with the two main characters, Jules and Mia. For a good portion of the book, they are constantly lying to each other, and both just super upset about it, to the point where they go on and on about it in their chapters a little bit ad nauseum. You wish you weren't lying, I get it, buddy. Also the fact that they are both there for very specific purposes, yet get easily distracted by how pretty and interesting the other person is, you know, immediately.

I mean, look, I'm not against romance. I love me a good romance, it just happens so quickly here. I guess it's what you'd call the instalove thing, yes? They're into each other immediately and that colors most of their actions throughout the book. If that had developed more organically, and perhaps they had been a little more contentious of each other or something, I might have been more into it.

Now, the only thing that really keeps this from getting a lower rating is that the book takes a twist about halfway through, and the mystery about the ancient aliens gets a little bit more interesting. The ending twist is also kind of intriguing, but I kind of had it figured out, so it wasn't that big of a surprise. However, it does make me curious what's going to happen, but not sure it makes me curious enough to read the next one.

This book also feels a little bit like they were writing it while envisioning it as a movie. It's action-oriented, and just had a very movie-y feel to me moreso than an intriguing novel. Maybe that was the intention, but I find books that are like that are just missing a little something to really make me love them. And that's coming from someone who went to film school and loves movies!

Overall, I'm just kind of...meh. It's fine, but it could've been better.

Rating: 3/5

What I'm Reading Next: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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