172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Johan Harstad

Publication Date:
April 17, 2012

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Hardcover, 400 pages

CAD $19.99

An ARC was provided by HBG Canada for review! Thank you!


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.

Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band’s ticket to fame and fortune.

Midori believes it’s her way out of her restrained life in Japan.

Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

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.

About The Author

Johan Harstad is the Norwegian author of Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, a Kirkus Best Fiction of 2011 book, Hässelby, and DARLAH: 172 Hours on the Moon, for which he won the 2008 Brage prize in the children”s literature category. He has been described as “one of the most important [Scandinavian] authors to emerge in the early years of this century” and “an author of exceptional stylistic assurance.”


The government holds a lottery for all teenagers worldwide to be be able to go to the moon. There’s a special mission they have to do and we as as the reader are left in the dark. Mia, Midori and Antoine are the chosen teenagers and together they train and memorize and help each other prepare as they are sent off to the moon. What they encounter once there isn’t so pleasant and together they realize they’re not alone.

*queue sinister music in here*

The premise of this book starts off really well. We have a slight introduction to all the teens and their lives before their training gets under way. Now I would have loved if the book was set with just the teenagers’ point of views because the ones with the secondary characters didn’t add anything but confusion. To me anyway. I disliked what the occurrences actually were just because it made no sense! There was very little description or explanation and I couldn’t believe that it was happening to these people. The end was a good one though. I enjoyed that part. But after reading it I couldn’t help but wonder where it went wrong. I guess I was expecting some major reason behind it all but it wasn’t what I expected.

I enjoyed the chapter titles because it foreshadowed what was about to happen so it was fun guessing what was about to happen. The photos added a nice touch too. And that cover..talk about creepy! Make sure to pick up this book soon! Oh, and don’t read at night if you scare easily..Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Rating 4/5


“The feeling that there was no hope. And that all the goodness in the world couldn’t save him from the evil standing right next to him.”–Coleman (246)

Giselle San Miguel is a freelance web designer who has a voracious appetite for reading and manages her own book blog at booknerd.ca. She also enjoys writing, design, movies, and photography.